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Sunday, May 18, 2008

Sundays at Nana's...........


I think that's where it all started for me. Those Sundays at my Nana's. Walking into her house after mass on Sunday morning meant meatballs frying, garlic sizzling and fresh basil wafting through the air. Nana in her full apron with her braided hair coiled at the nape of her neck. Her black laced shoes with the square heel. And, her big beautiful pot of sauce. My stomach would actually have butterflies....my excitement was so high. Eating Nana's Sunday pasta or lasagna or ravioli was probably one of my all time favorite activities. Add that to the fact that Sunday was also the day when most of my cousins would be at Nana's too and it was the highlight of my entire week. Papa would sit in his chair in his Sunday vest, smoking his cigar, yelling at all of his grandchildren in a language we didn't quite understand. The boy cousins would tease the girl cousins and the girl cousins would scream in mock misery. My sweet deaf mute aunt would set the table while keeping a watchful eye on us. She'd snicker at our antics and make faces at us...in her very special way..... as we agitated our dear grandfather. Aunts, uncles, older cousins with babies on their hips and assorted boyfriends and girlfriends of our 20-something cousins would be bustling about the house. All of it in preparation for another Sunday at Nana's with the pasta, the meatballs, the braicole, the roast, the bread and of course the best home made wine. Life could not be sweeter as far as I was concerned. We cousins would get hunks of crusty Italian bread and dip it in the sauce when Nana wasn't looking. We'd fight over who would be the one to test to see if the pasta was done just right. Nana would pull a few strands out of the boiling water, put a little sauce and cheese on it and then you'd get to decide if it was time to strain the pasta. Ah, that first taste of Nana's sauce was always the best.

Sunday at Nana's wasn't just about food. Although, at the time I didn't really understand that. Probably because it seemed as though it was just about food. The feeling I got from those Sundays was one that has stayed with me all of my life. And, so it was no wonder that I always equated food with feeling good and love. Of course, I'm not blaming my Nana! She'd hit me with her wooden spoon for that! I'm just saying that when I think of Sundays....I think of Sunday dinner. When I think of Sunday dinner, I think of massive amounts of food on a table surrounded with aunts and uncles and cousins and lots of love. And, I think of my Nana. And, her wonderful meatballs and sauce and lasagna and pasta. Wonderful memories. Wonderful times. Wonderful food.

2 comments:

Jbean frm CS said...

Judi, you just described my husband's childhood!! especially at Christmas. His grandparents lived in NYC and had a three story house with the staircase running right up the middle. His grandmother has FRESH eel swimming in the bathtub for Xmas Eve dinner!! But the family joke is when homemade sauce is being made and there is pepperoni in the sauce and if any are missing, it is my husband to blame!! He would always sneak into the kitchen and steal some!! So now we always have to make extra!! He misses that so much as we are all spread out now and nobody cooks as good as his dad's side of the family. They came over on the boat and his granddad ran the railroad yards.

Daffodil Hill said...

Beautiful post! Thanks for the memories!