If I could go back in time, the one person I’d love to be able to sit down and have dinner with would be my late grandmother. In case you haven’t read my about me page, my grandma was not only an incredible woman but an outstanding cook. 100% Italian, she could make anything from pasta to jello and it would taste amazing. Seriously, I’m not exaggerating.
As a young girl, I really didn’t recognize the quality and skills my grandmother possessed in the kitchen. Sunday dinners became the norm for me, and I quickly began to take advantage of the time I had to spend with her. Having her recipes written down is one thing but watching her as she delicately tossed together the simplest of ingredients and added a pinch of this and a dash of that is a whole different experience. Walking into her house, the first thing you could smell was what she had cooking in the kitchen and it hit you immediately when you walked through the door.
My most vivid memories are watching her in the kitchen, whether it was forming meatballs or making her incredible marinara sauce, her liveliness in the kitchen is what convinced me that food is my passion and that it was something that I wanted to pursue in life.
I lost my grandmother over 10 years ago, and today would have been her birthday. Not a day has passed that I haven’t wished I could see her again. I can’t help but think, if I could go back in time and just share one more meal with her, have an adult conversation that I wasn’t able to have at the age of 13, I’d feel more complete. I want to know her secrets, I want to know what she put in those stuffed artichokes that made them so irresistible, I want to hear her laugh.
The reason I’m writing this is not to be sappy or dramatic, but rather to inspire you the way my grandmother inspired and still inspires me. For me, it’s never been about success or glory. It’s about the smile I see on peoples’ faces as they eat something they really enjoy. Whether it’s my cooking or not, I love the emotions food brings out of people. Happy Birthday Grandma! I love you and miss you.