I was taught by the best!

I just got off the phone – my grandparents called me. Firstly, my Nonno wanted me to know that he had some figs for me (they grow all their own fruit and veggies), but the “bastard rats” got to them. Nonno hates the “bloody bastards.” Then Nonna got on the phone to tell me she loved the orange polenta biscuits I made her last week.

I laughed as I hung up, and thought about how so many of my conversations with them revolve around food… They almost always start with “Have you eaten yet? What did you have?”

Anyway, I was flicking through some photos on my phone and found this one..


This was at, I think, my uncle’s 50th, which was a massive family event at grandparents’ place. Nonna was giggling like a school girl after being busted taking a piece out of the cake – her defense was that she just wanted to try it before it was served! She laughed hysterically for a few minutes, before getting back to the task of hosting her 50+ guests.

This attitude of happiness, excitement, and the pure, unadulterated pleasure of hosting and feeding her family and friends is what keeps her young! She has the most amazing, can-do attitude, you’ll never ever hear her complain about anything, not even a trip to hospital, and has little patience for those who wallow in self-pity and refuse to help themselves. She’s no-nonsense, DIY, waste nothing, make everything from scratch (I was over at their house last weekend and she was baking a loaf of bread, because the local bakeries just don’t make them right apparently).

She’s taught me so much about being self-sufficient, about being a strong woman, about cooking and about taking pride in my home without stressing about little things. Like my other three grandparents, I owe her an eternal debt of gratitude and all my love.


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