Uncle Richard and his son, Rich, in their fully equipped basement kitchen – because what’s an Italian home without two kitchens?
Today is my Uncle Richard’s 89th Birthday. To honor him, I’m posting my most prized possession, my video of him showing me how to make meatballs and sauce. (It’s at the end of this post.) It was the highlight of my year!
Most people’s bucket lists are filled with things like: Stay in a Scottish castle, or dance in the sand in Greece. But at the top of my list has always been: Cook with Uncle Richard and learn the secret to his meatballs and sauce. The opportunity has eluded me for years, but every time I’d visit Pennsylvania, I went in hope it would happen. Continue reading →
My Aunt Blanche just turned 90. She’s outlived everyone in her immediate family, including her parents, which is amazing because she was the one with the most health problems. She is mostly blind, mostly deaf, suffers from asthma and sinus troubles, yet still motors on like the energizer bunny – some days. Some days are not so great. But, from what I hear that’s what life can be like at 90.
Aunt Blanche gets a little tired now, but she never seemed to when I was young. My cousin and I would take turns staying overnight at each other’s houses and I always marveled at Aunt Blanche’s energy. She was always painting something around the house, or cleaning or cooking. She was a great cook, but didn’t seem to love cooking the way my mother did.
Sometimes I’d see her in the kitchen muttering to herself. She’d see me watching her and say, “Francy, You wanna see cooking with love?” Then she’d pick up the raw chicken she was dealing with and slam it down on the counter, slap it around a few times and look back at me. “Now that’s cooking with love,” she’d say with a smirk. Continue reading →
My Uncle Richard called me today. He’s one of my favorite people on earth. Not just because he’s my father’s brother and a wonderful family man, but also because he’s not afraid to be silly.
He does a version of the Tarantella, an Italian dance they do at weddings (Tarantella means tarantula in Italian) where he bends his knees and dances around hunched over, looking more like a rooster than a tarantula. Then he grabs you, looks you straight in the eye, and locks your arm in his as you twirl around the dance floor. He dances ferociously, like he does most things in life and I love him more every time I talk to him. Continue reading →