I'm still on Sunday!

This Sunday we celebrated my Dad's 72'nd birthday.

For anyone who has parents over the age of 68 I think you'll agree that they have about everything they could want or need so buying gifts is just a challenge....at least MY dad is a challenge. If he wants a new book, he goes and gets it, good wine, he's right there paying for it, cloths, shoes, after-shave, tools....the list goes on and on.

So, what is near and dear to my Dad is traditional Italian meals that his Mom made for years so this birthday I had the whole family join in for an old fashion Mecca family meal! Of course it consisted of sauce, meatballs a great cake and homemade pasta. When I little my grandmother, as I have said before, would spend an entire day in her kitchen making pasta and this machine above was a huge part of that process. The funny thing about this piece of equipment, like most of the items I have from her is that besides the box looking old and worn, the machine looks brand new! If you can read the words on the inside sleeve of the box, you'll know why! I believe she got this machine when I was a baby and she had some cousins of hers bring it straight back from Italy so it was like her most prized toy.

Once my grandmother found out that my husband liked to cook and was really good at it, my name went on the box and that meant that when she finally passed away...the item was mine! As some of you know my grandmother passed away last year at the age of 98 and even at 97, she was in the kitchen one weekend running the show while Joey tried to make sauce and pasta for us. I can still see her with her walker barking orders at him while she stirred the sauce.

When we got it out this weekend Joey and had a good chuckle about the fact that even from the grave my grandmother is still running the show. Here is note she tucked into the box way back in the 70's/80's we think telling "who ever" got this machine....that they needed to take good care of it.

While I made the sauce, Joey was busy with the kids cranking out the pasta and meatballs. We even followed her recipes.
The final item was the cake, which I allowed the girls to decorate. What do you think? Could this make on "Cake Boss"?

We had a great time with my parents and the food was awesome. Of course the whole thing took all day to make and once again I had a greater appreciation for the women of my grandmothers generation who took such pride and care with food, house keeping and taking care of something for a lifetime.

And on that note...I was happy to see my cleaning lady today!


cookingwithgas said...

Bravo! A beautiful cake made with love- a great story Jen!

Kari Weaver said...

What a great story to have to go with the pasta machine. The cake looks delicious!

Tracey Broome said...

Since I have started buying only fresh food at the Farmer's market and making my own bread and doughs, Wesley commented that I should start making pasta. I have never tried making it before but I bet there is a big difference in taste. The meal looks yummy! I loved the note from your grandmother, what a treasure to have. Your dad is very lucky :)

jim said...

hi jen, this post brought back memories for me too. my dad and i used to spend all day making gnocchi or raviolis from scratch and of course that meant that every table top and chair top were covered with drying pasta by the end of the afternoon as we had 5 kids. i really enjoyed spending the day with my dad doing this. his mom, my grandmother was a legendary cook (at least within the family) and my family still tells stories about her cooking.

Jen Mecca said...

If only I could send taste samples via the internet!
Glad you all enjoyed the story.
Jim, there is nothing like a good gnocchi to make to pass out on the couch after dinner. Those were the days!