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Friday, June 13, 2014

It's a lucky day!!!!

Yes, I know it's Friday the 13th but you will forget all about now that you are here visiting Stories from the Road!  
There's no bad luck today.....!
The Italian horn....for good luck!

In honor of my mother's 95th Birthday,  I am going to go all Italian on you.
I know I've told you before....but it's worth mother was an amazing Italian mother, daughter, wife, aunt, sister, friend and neighbor.  She was a one-of-a-kind. 
She would have been an equally amazing mother-in-law and Nana  if she would have had those opportunities.  But, God said she was needed in heaven more than she was needed on earth so he called her home 40+ years ago---leaving behind 3 very sad little girls, a devastated husband and an entire boatload of shocked and saddened family and friends.  Even though we all disagreed with God's handling of the situation, we have managed to live in a world without her in it.  So, God knew that in her short time on earth, she gave us all what we needed to carry on long after she was gone.   Yes, God was kinda right.  But, I can't tell you that there aren't days that having a mom would come in pretty handy.  Even so, we don't always get our own  way.  We get what we need to make our own way. God knew that we would be okay and that she would live on in each of us forever.
So....yes... we are okay.  Even better than okay......even though we always, always miss her.  
Thankfully she left pieces of herself.....
A piece of my mother that lives on in me is my love of cooking, feeding my family and friends and making meals an event.  And, good Italian food.  
Sometimes this love of food and cooking drives me crazy and exhausts the hell out of me.  
But, each time I go through the process and the presentation and see the fruits of my labor being savored, I'm back to a place of love....
No, I look nothing like this......

Growing up, food took center stage.  My mother and her sisters and my Nana were always cooking and serving these amazing meals.  Every holiday or gathering came fully loaded with beautiful displays of their specialties.....from eggplant parmiagiano to lasagna to sausage to meatballs to manicotti and pastas to huge platters of  homemade cookies and cakes name it...they made it. Brilliantly.
Even on an ordinary day, the meals were touched with their magic.
My mother spent hours in the kitchen whipping up daily meals with the same devotion as she gave to Sunday dinners.  Food.  Beautiful, crazy delicious food.  Everyday.
 My taste buds have memories all of their own..... 

Today, as I think of my mother, there are no tears.
There is joy.
A thankful joy that I am her daughter.
And, an acknowledgement of the many hours of joy that she gave to my life in the kitchen and around the dinner table......for those 14 years of my life that she stood beside me and now, as  she sits in heaven and looks down upon me.
Gifts she gives to me.
And, so, today on this her 95th Birthday--in honor of her love to sharing good Italian food.... I am giving you the gift of Italian food.
As you know, I am a huge Proud Italian Cook fan.....her recipes, her advice, her presentation, her generous sharing and her no-nonsense, loving approach to it all aligns perfectly with  what I seek out when I am looking for good Italian food......
Thankfully, she came out with this blog post right in the nick of time as I was planning a small, mid-evening Fathers' Day gathering. This past week, my planning was going back and forth on whether I wanted to do to the traditional Fathers' Day manly meal of steaks and potatoes or if I wanted to shake things up a bit and try a few new things.  Enter Proud Italian Cook  with her reminder of a fabulous recipe for Grilled Clams with Tomato, Wine and Sausage Sauce she shared in 2009.   
With Carmen traveling this past week and then having to work a portion of Sunday, I really wanted to make things evening to kick back on the deck with a cocktail and some great summer food.  That recipe certainly fits that desire.  And, with the other wonderful recipes to pick from, things are easily coming together. 
Leave it to a good Italian woman to save the day.
Thank you,  Proud Italian Cook.

Happy 95th Birthday to my beloved mother...... 

A lucky day indeed!!!!

P.S.--MOM....if you happen to read my blog in heaven.....if you do...forgive me for a few things...welll...forgive me lots of things!!! 
Let's keep this lucky day going!!
BTW...HAPPY BIRTHDAY....sorry I can't be there for the party...well...I guess I am sort of know I'm not heaven-ready quite yet...!  But, I would so love to have a high ball....
Anyway, could you please take a break from your high-balling birthday celebration to help your girls out. 
As I am sure you know, your next-to-the youngest, uber smart, amazingly handsome, super talented, engineering-bound grandson....Brett graduating tonight.  And,....if it's not too much to ask and if you aren't too busy dancing on tables...I have a bit a favor to ask.  If you have any influence on the weather at all or if you know anyone who can do anything about weather conditions..could you possibly roll a few meatballs and mix up a few whiskey sours in exchange for no rain, no storms and no tornado warnings in the North Hills of Pittsburgh?  
If you can't , we understand.   
We know it's your birthday and we know you would hate to break away from a good party! 
 BUT....we are so needing you tonight!!!  They are calling for more storms...
If it's all possible.....PLEASE!!! Stop the storms!!!!
BTW, Mom...if you need any extra incentive....Brett took a 100% Italian girl to the prom!

Our boy Brett and his beautiful Italian girl....

No pressure or anything, Mom....


Debbie said...

Happy Birthday Mrs. Carr ❤️

Jody V said...

Happy Birthday from Jersey Mrs Carr! Thanks for your legacy.

Proud Italian Cook said...

Happy Birthday to your wonderful mother, she would be so proud of you! Such a touching post and it hit home with me because I too lost my mother very young when I was nine and my aunts kept all her recipes alive for me and I'm forever grateful and I know she's smiling down on me too. xox