Recipes from my Grandmother’s Kitchen

Can a book of recipes capture a lifetime? My grandmother Louise, known as Ma to her family and friends, kept her recipes in a leather bound book. She hand wrote each one. She added recipe clippings from magazines which she’d take and make her own. During my last visit to Boston, I read each page, overcome by delicious memories of food, family and laughter – Sunday lunches under the grapevine with my cousins, Christmas Eve dinner for 40+ guests and beach BBQs are just a few. Her kitchen was a magical place where simple fresh ingredients were melded into my favorite dishes.CookbookWhen I moved to Italy seven years ago my mom gave me a book of Ma’s signature recipes. My mom hand wrote each entry. It is the most thoughtful gift that I’ve ever received. I add more family recipes to the book each season as well as my own. It is a tribute to my Italian heritage intertwined with American ingredients and Ma’s love of cooking.

IMG_3834Ma passed away more than 15 years ago. Cooking brings her into my kitchen. The smell of bubbling tomato sauce and freshly torn basil fill the air and I smile at my reverse journey from the U.S. to Italy, taking Italian-American recipes handed down from generation to generation and making them my own testing, tasting and retesting with authentic Italian ingredients. I am lucky.

I’ve shared her pasta and beans, biscotti and date nut bread recipes here and I look forward to sharing more memories with you from my kitchen.

DSC_3537

biscottiSlice

DSC_3582

 

, , , , ,

12 Responses to Recipes from my Grandmother’s Kitchen

  1. Jane Pompeo June 20, 2014 at 1:00 pm #

    Thank you Gina. Your Ma and my Aunt Louise will live on and on in these recipes. I am lucky to have experienced her delicious meals she so generously and lovingly made. The minute I would come in to the house she would say “eat, eat” and of course I could not refuse. It was her passion, her joy , thank you for sharing. I think of her always.
    Love, Janie

    • Gina June 20, 2014 at 1:06 pm #

      Thank you Jane. I miss Ma and think of her often. I dream of her dishes. I’m happy to recreate and share her recipes here. Strawberry shortcake next week : ) Love G

  2. Eleonora June 20, 2014 at 3:04 pm #

    Gina,
    this is a beautiful tribute to Ma. As you say, she comes alive with every aroma and flavor produced thanks to her recipes, and in this way she will stay with you forever.

    I have a similar book handed down by my own nonna, filled with notes, clippings, handwritten recipes, spattered with sauce and memories. It is, like this one for you, one of my most precious belongings.

    Touching and heartfelt.
    Ma would be very proud of you…

    • Gina June 20, 2014 at 8:21 pm #

      Thanks Eleonora. Her love of food & family is part of the reason I’m here in Italy. We’re fortunate to have had nonne like ours.

  3. Elizabeth Minchilli June 20, 2014 at 3:08 pm #

    I love those kinds of family notebooks, all bulging with cut out recipes and memories!

    • Gina June 20, 2014 at 8:22 pm #

      Thanks Elizabeth. There’s nothing like them. Every recipe tells a story. Looking forward to creating my own.

  4. Anne June 20, 2014 at 11:21 pm #

    Such lovely memories. Thank you for sharing

    • Gina June 22, 2014 at 10:04 pm #

      Thank you for reading & posting. Looking forward to sharing more recipes soon.

  5. Mary Ann July 3, 2014 at 5:20 pm #

    Gina, Thank you for bringing me back to her kitchen, a place where she shared her love with us. I miss her a lot. Love, your Cousin Mary Ann

  6. Mary Ann Hallahan July 10, 2014 at 2:26 pm #

    Thank you. I enjoyed this very much. I think of my Aunt Louise so often, my memories are cherished and precious. Keep up the good work! Your cousin Mary Ann

    • Gina July 10, 2014 at 6:37 pm #

      You’re welcome! I’m glad that you cherish memories at 552 Main St as much as I do. I hope to be able to cook as well as her someday.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Bean-Potato Stew from Ma's Kitchen - GT Food & Travel - March 3, 2016

    […] lovely, how I still dream of her. I’m happy to meet Ma in my dreams and celery cut in uniform miniscule squares on a well-worn wooden board and any […]

Leave a Reply

X