our hope is to inspire you .....

Hello and welcome to “Nonna’s Way-The Story of our Food“.

 

My name is Angela DeSalvo and I am a professional photographer, wife and mother of two young children.

And I am Anna Romano , a community pharmacist, wife and mother of twins.

You are probably wondering what brought together this odd combination of characters to start a blog? Well, we met as volunteers on a local Italian cultural committee. Once we had a chance to chat one on one, we discovered that we had a passion and common desire to document and share stories and recipes from our parents’ and grandparents’ past.

Inspired by Anna’s dear friend, Anju, we collaborated on a cookbook entitled “A Little Bit of This, A Little Bit of That from Nonna’s Kitchen”. The response was tremendous and we sold out of two printings very quickly. We both had an incredible time working on this project (as did all of the nonnas involved) and we have had this blog on our minds ever since. 

It is a common occurrence to learn from our mothers or nonnas that the recipes to our favorite dishes are in their heads! Nothing is written down. They just know how to prepare food and adjust ingredients accordingly because they have done it over and over again throughout their years.

With this in mind, we decided to pursue this desire to capture and record these precious family recipes and and the stories behind  the recipes in order to preserve them for future generations. Most importantly, we want to inspire others to do the same so join us on our journey!

Angela DeSalvo

I am a first generation Canadian born to two Calabrese parents. I spent most of my childhood growing up on a vegetable farm so from April until October, you never dared say you have nothing to do. Seeding, planting, weeding, picking and preserving kept us very busy. My mother had a peculiar way of making work seem fun so I never dreaded it. Long work days were followed by great meals and on weekends the table usually grew to include many friends and family! I missed being on the farm immensely when we left.

On a trip to Italy as a teenager, I realized how at home I felt there and turned a one month trip into a two year stay. It was, in fact, very much like the days on the farm but with the added uniqueness of daily life in Italy - truly amazing! I had been many times but this time I was in love.

The prolonged stay allowed me to see the ways of my grandparents and extended family, experience their way of life beyond just being `the visitor`. All of a sudden I understood why I do the things I do and think the way I think.

I have been back many times since and each time I notice many changes. I have come to realize that my parents, and all the others that left Italy, continue valuable traditions and have a wealth of knowledge that need to be passed on. It seems that immigrants long to remain true to their hearts and home and carry on their original Italian way of life living in Canada. I am grateful for this and make it a daily mission to soak in what I can and pass it on to my own children.

Anna Romano

I also am a first generation Italian. My parents were born in Pofi, Frosinone, Italy. Growing up, I had the great fortune to be able to spend a lot of time with my Nonna. I was the youngest of 6 grandchildren (I self-profess to be her favorite!) and Nonna looked after me while my parents were at work. Of course, she would spoil me and always prepare me my favorite foods and treats. She did not learn the English language well so I was forced to speak Italian. Best thing that could have happened to me.
With both nonna and mom being fantastic cooks, I acquired a great appreciation for the Italian kitchen and have always been mindful of preserving our traditions and culturally favorite things.
My fondest memories growing up, were the endless get togethers with family and friends around the holidays and weekend picnics at the beach. Food was always an important part of these moments so we couldn’t help but grow up loving all things Italian.

I am so happy and proud of the fact that my parents and in-laws have maintained their Italian ways because these priceless traditions have been passed on to my children.
As is the case with most immigrants here, they continue to bake and cook the foods they enjoyed while in Italy, grow and propagate incredible gardens and even do their own sewing, knitting, crochet and embroidery (like the dress I am wearing in the photo. I loved that dress that mom made for me!)
As we grow together through this blog, our hope is to share the stories associated with our Italian kitchen as well as share the recipes to the wonderful foods we enjoy. Many of these recipes have been passed down through generations and made their way over from Italy with all the brave immigrants that left their homeland to make a better life for their families. We want to make sure they are captured for future generations to enjoy.

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