As Mothers Day approaches I think about my mom and grandma and the effect they have had on my career. I’m a Chef and I owe a lot of my love of cooking to them.
My mom and dad got married when they were 18 and 19 years old respectfully. My mom did not know how to cook, so my dad’s mom came to live with them for a bit to teach my mother how to cook. My grandmother was very large Italian women whose love of food and cooking was her life. My mom is a petite woman, just a kid when she married my dad. Quite a contrast. Two women from two different worlds getting together through marriage and “food”.
My grandmother taught my mom everything she knew when it came to food. In turn my mom became an incredible cook in her own right.
Growing up I remember when my grandmother and my mother would come together for holiday meals. We always had pasta at just about every meal, especially on the holidays. My grandmother would clear off the kitchen table, throw out the flour, eggs, and olive oil and start to make her famous homemade raviolis. She was fun to watch. Everything she did was by hand, no electric mixers or pasta making machines or fancy rolling pins, just plain old “from scratch” pasta making. She would mix the dough, kneading the dough with her very large hands and rolling out the dough with a long wooden poll. It was like watching an artist at work. I was quite young then, but I remember it like yesterday. The meatballs, the stuffed cabbage, the meat and spinach pies and the list goes on. Luckily, my mom was writing all these recipes down, goodness knows, gram had them all in her head, not on paper.
As I have said in a previous article, growing up we ate most of our family meals at the dinner table in our home as a family. And my mother was not opening frozen dinners or making dinners out of a box. They were homemade. Thus, my love of food began. I liked hanging out in the kitchen with my mom, watching her cook. During the holidays I always helped my mother with the cookies from a very young age. It was great. Food is something my mom and I talk about all the time to this day. She taught me how to make all those recipes from my grandmother. Recipes that I use today when I’m teaching my cooking classes.
When I’m doing my cooking classes I always talk about the history behind these recipes and how they have been handed down from gram to mom to me. I talk about my very large Italian grandmother making these same homemade raviolis on the kitchen table at moms house, its great. My clients love the stories. I tell these stories to my 12 year old daughter when she helps me in the kitchen. She loves it.
Cooking is my life and there’s a long history of food in my family and I plan to carry that love of food on!
To my mom and my late grandmother….
Happy Mothers Day, I Love You and Thank You!