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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 www.amazon.com/creminelli and use code: FINEMEAT for a 20% holiday discount.


I spent over 10 years crafting messages, reaching audiences and connecting the dots between people, technology, and information. Now, I apply my passion and expertise to the people and places I love the most. I have worked for or consulted with Executive Leadership Group, Booz Allen Hamilton, Johns Hopkins Medicine, Johns Hopkins University, political candidates and many more. I appeared as a subject matter expert for the United Way Emerging Leaders, interviewed industry-wide thought leaders for my article in the Public Relations Journal: Twitter as a Public Relations Tool, and written captivating words for visionaries across business, academia, and politics. Most importantly, I built a reputation for developing personalized communications and marketing strategies. Embracing the core values of trust, excellence, and innovation, I received an innovation performance award from Booz Allen Hamilton, garnered the highest engagement score for Johns Hopkins Medicine and joined my team in accepting the 2014 Silver Stevie Award for Communications or PR Campaign/Program of the Year. I hold a Master of Arts in Communication from Johns Hopkins University and a Certificate in Marketing Strategy from Cornell University.
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