Thursday, May 2, 2013

17637. Mary Galluzzo

And nearby lies my grandmother, or as we knew her, Nona.

Yes, my grandparents are not buried together. Yes, they were divorced. It happens.

I'll always have very fond memories of Nona. While she always had an determined edge about her, as many Italian women do at that age, being in complete command of all things domestic, she also was constantly on the bake. Be it pizzelles or anisette cookies, there always seemed to be something cooking with her.

Toward that end, I can link some of the recipes I use today back to her. She taught my mother how to cook certain meals (my dad practically demanded it, insulting my mom's cooking and telling her it was nothing like his mother's), and my mother taught me. The next time you taste my pasta e fagioli, you'll be eating my grandmother's recipe.

But the family went farther than that, gathering recipes from her and all the other women in the family tree, putting them together in a book called Everybody and their Mother's Cookbook. Every member of the family received one as a gift. I cherish mine.

And did I mention that when I was a kid I thought she looked like Mama Celeste, from the frozen pizza-for-one packages?

So my paternal grandparents left me a lot of things, but not a word of advice as to what I should put on my tombstone. Oh well.

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