Sunday, July 18, 2010

Everything You’ll Ever Need To Know You Will Learn From Your Grandmother.

I had a perfect childhood. I grew up with two parents who adored one another. We had a nice house in an first-rate block with perfect neighbors on an ideal street in Golden Valley, MN., USA.

For the most part, I got along remarkably well with my 7 brothers and sisters and we rarely fought. The 5 oldest attended catholic schools and all went off to do our own thing. We still get along. Getting through all of those years was so straightforward because we never knew anything but perfection as our role model. Life was good and still, for the most part, is!

My only dilemma? I didn’t grow up Italian. Growing up Italian would have made this almost perfect life totally perfect…and would have given me enormous bragging rights in the kitchen. I would have a Nona teaching me how to cook pizza, lasagna, spaghetti, manicotti, chicken parmigiana, and that oh so perfect mostaccioli. If nothing else, I certainly would have know how to cook Italian food by now.

Did my ancestors hate to cook? Drat… No double drat because I don’t remember any ethnic cooking coming out of our kitchen ever.

I do remember my Norwegian great-grandmother making cookies around the holidays- Sandkakor and Krumkake. She barely spoke a word of English and I was in 100% denial that I was ever anything but Irish so I never paid attention or cared…except when it was time to eat.

Granny’s cooking was incredible and I can still close my eyes and picture myself swimming through all of that butter. OK…so maybe I paid attention a little bit more than I thought I did.

Granny probably could have taught me more than I wanted to ever know back then and I regret that I was not there to take it all in and become skilled at every cooking challenge I could. One life lesson passed…and unfortunately she was the only living link I had to a real ethnic past.

So, if you are currently into your own perfect childhood and want to know what you can do to make it more perfect… pay attention to your grandmother.

Yes, as the old saying goes, everything you’ll ever need to know you will learn from your grandmother.

Swear to God and hope to die!

Bon Appetit!