I love being able to say Im Italian. Its amazing to hear the story of family "coming over" and building a life in New York and other places.
My grandparents both grew up in New York. My grandpa was 10 years older and he lied about his age....they had been a blind date. Shortly after they met, my grandma's mom was dying, so to make sure she could be at the wedding, they got married quickly.
My dad was their first of 5 children, and being a Gallucci, he was raised on some of the best food you could ask for. I know, because I have had the luxury of eating some of it during my lifetime too.
Going to visit New York when I was little, introduced me to fine cannolis, and other pastries we would get and bring home. To this day they are my favorite.
I remember the cheesecake downtown.
I remember going to the top of the Statue of Liberty.
I remember her house with the wrap-around porch, and shag carpet upstairs...the seltzer that was delivered on the porch, and the mature trees that lined the street. The beautiful deck and "little house" that was more like my grandpa's version of a workshop (he was a wood craftsman).
If I ever won the lottery, I would go to NY, find that house and buy it back.
Luckily, I can still call my grandma when I need help with a recipe. She calls pasta sauce "gravy" and from our phone call, I learned a couple of key things about making gravy that I thought I should share:
From the mouth of Grandma Gallucci:
1. If using a fork, turn your meatballs over from the bottom. Use a spoon otherwise.
2. The meat flavors the sauce. Choose good quality meat.
3. When simmering, leave the lid only on half-way. Otherwise, condensation will build up and make your sauce watery.
4. Top your spaghetti with real cheese, not fake stuff from a container. You don't have to settle for Parmesan all of the time. Step out of your comfort zone and try other Italian cheeses.
Well, I made homemade spaghetti last night and it turned out great! I was excited for Levi to come home and eat it.
Sadly, he came home and told me his work had fed everyone a free spaghetti lunch that day! I was pretty frustrated, but thankful he ate it anyway and told me mine was better.