Making Memories Around the Table: Growing Up Italian

I grew up in a big Italian family, and so many of my childhood memories involve food.  I remember my mom’s delicious gravy served over yummy Thanksgiving side dishes.  It calls to mind the love, chats, and laughs had around the table that day.


I love looking at old recipes written by my mom or grandmother.  It feels like the special memories are hidden somewhere in the paper and ink.  My mind wanders when I see the small stains across the 3 x 5 card.  Was she making the rolls for Christmas or the cookies for a dear friend recovering from an illness?  So many special moments wrapped up in such a simple memento.


It is a dream come true to finally be able to share my love of cooking with my little ones.  I admit I shy away from it sometimes because of the huge mess I have to clean up after all the fun.  But, I keep reminding myself the memories are so worth the mess.


Every year, we gather around the big kitchen island, carefully choose our favorite Christmas cookie cutters, and decorate dozens of delicious sugar cookies to hand out to the elderly at our church.  It is such a special memory filled with fun and giving.  I can only hope my babies will hold the memory as close as I do when they grow up.


As we travel around the country, and hopefully, one day, the world, I’m really looking forward to learning about the food-related traditions everyone else holds dear.  What is your favorite holiday meal tradition?  I’d love the recipe if it isn’t too secret to share!

Thank you, Elisabeth Bryson Photography for these beautiful photos of my family around our table.  We’ll cherish these memories.

Thank you, Creminelli for sponsoring this post.  Visit and use code: FINEMEAT for a 20% holiday discount.

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