One of the reasons why I started this blog was to give tribute to my Nonna (Grandma) Nella’s infinite love for life and for me. It’s her 100th birthday, today! Some of the family came from all over Italy, from England – from all over the world, I should say, as I flew back from Houston! Everybody was there to celebrate, and my mom & aunties got together again with cousins they haven’t seen for more than 30 years (some more than 50!). It was SO WONDERFUL to meet the people I’ve always only heard about, SO AMAZING to see all these 60- 70- even 80-year-old nieces and nephews traveling or flying or driving from all over, overcoming their own ailments to celebrate my dear Nonna.
A Tribute to Love, Passion and Good Food
Nonna Nella is a wonderful woman, and I must say I am the luckiest of the family. I am the little one, the one grandchild she pampered and she could spend more time with. She cooked for me, she sang with me, she played with me, she raised me, she taught me life. We would spend entire afternoons together. I grew up with her and she really IS a mother to me. She’s one of the people who most deeply marked my life with hers. I’m the one she shared most of her memories, stories, songs, sayings, and tales with. Her secret? LOVE. Black coffee. And a glass of water and lemon, every day.
She loves history, she adores reading (she still reads WITHOUT glasses!) and she is VERY sharp-witted. She remembers EVERYTHING. And after a couple of calendars and a 10-feet long family tree, it was time to give her a good read. I asked for one recipe and one story from each and every one of my aunts, uncles, and cousins and I mixed them with the most beautiful family shots I could find, from the end of the 1800 till today.
It really was a MASSIVE job – and I couldn’t have done without one of my best friend, designer Chiara Occhipinti (www.chiaraocchipinti.com), who prepared the art, talked with the printer, and handled all the final details. Thank You!!
The title has it all: Raccontami. Cento Anni di Nonna Nella that means “Tell me. One hundred years with Nonna Nella.”
And this is she while she was looking into it. And it’s worth all the sleepless nights.
And this is all of us there!
Happy Birthday Nonna Nella!