This I Believe

Nicole - Muskegon, Michigan
Entered on February 5, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: family
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I believe that My Italian Roots will prevail

For as long as I can remember my family has always been brought together by food. Now, even though all the grandchildren are grown, we still get together every Sunday for dinner with Grammy. But I will never forget the good old days with my great-grandma when she used to make authentic Italian food for the entire family.

Ever since I was a little girl I have wanted to learn to cook and I have always wanted to go to Italy. As of right now, I can cook a little, mainly because of lack of time, and I have yet to go to Italy and see where my family is from. My great-grandmother was born and raised in Italy and came to the United States when she was eleven all alone. But before she came here, her grandmother taught her everything she knew about cooking and making the perfect meals without recipes.

My family feasted on her wonderful food for a very long time, but after a while she got sick and could not cook as much as she could when she was healthy. Although her cooking brought us together, I think that her not cooking brought my family even closer together because we made sure that we were cooking for her and making her feel like she was being taken care of. When she died, everyone in my family felt a huge loss to our lives, and it took a long time to get over that, but the one thing that we wanted to keep in our family was her amazing cooking. The problem was that she, like her grandmother, never wrote anything down.

Grammy tried for years to make her famous gnocchi, but we could never get the potato pasta to the same consistency, and the sauce just never tasted the same, and we have yet to attempt her coleslaw. One day not to long ago, when the family got together for our famous Sunday dinner, Grammy surprised us by trying to make gnocchi. The weird thing is, that after all the failures, we finally found the recipe that tasted the most like the gnocchi we knew and love from so long ago. Now my mom, aunt, uncles and grandma know the recipe, because we wrote it down to pass to our children, and we have something to remember my great-grandmother by, because we have finally perfected her cooking. We can remember the great days of beef and pork roast, coleslaw, gnocchi, sugar cookies, and chocolate malts with the one person who could bring the whole family together without fighting to have a great meal.