Posts categorized as Family

Did last week happen?

You-have-to-keep-a-sense-of-humor-in-situations-like-this

The day started as most of my Thursdays do. I hit the gym, got showered and headed to Long Island to visit my mother. She had a doctor’s appointment, then we were going to get lunch at our favorite diner. As we were leaving the medical complex, my mother and I noticed a car double parked in front of ours. Annoyed, mom said, “Look at this guy, we have to sit and wait now. I’m hungry!” We were both distracted by the inconvenience. Then, in a split second my mother […]

Keep Calm, It’s The Holiday Season

Lipper & Mann 1956 drunken elves

There’s a party every weekend. Friday and Saturday nights I’m trying to find a sparkly shirt or dress to wear. Preferably not the one I wore last week. I’ve eaten more cheese and antipasto than normal, not to mention cookies and chocolate, which I don’t even really like. I had my own “kick-off to Christmas” party the first week of December, which was a shining success. Balancing the parties, decorating and shopping with my increased seasonal workload is tough when you’re a freelancer working from home. Should I? A: Wrap […]

tagged in christmas, grandmother

Basil Behind the Ear

Raphael-Sanfilippo-my-grandfather

I’m outfront weeding the garden and a neighbor passes by, “Oh! You have something stuck in your hair, let me get it.” “Nope!” I quickly replied, placing my hand by my ear. “That’s supposed to be there, its basil!” Across the street at the Beach 91st St. Community Garden is where I gather my basil leaves*, and when doing so, think of my grandfather Ralph, who always in the summertime had a piece of basil behind his ear. I have this image in my mind like a still photograph, of […]

tagged in basil, family, grandpa

Dignify the Occasion

turkey

About two months ago I received my Mother’s blessing – I was allowed to have Easter. This is now my official holiday. Christmas Eve is actually my favorite celebration. I start listening to Christmas music in October, and I don’t take down the tree until mid-February. Unfortunately, my older sisters, have already been awarded the Christmas festivities. Don’t get me wrong, I’m honored to host the holiest of Christian holidays, but I can’t get dressed up in a gold-glittered jumper and dance to the hymn, Were You There When They […]

Grandma Mary’s Artichoke “Pie”

artichoke-pie2

My Grandmother Mary worked at the A&P on Jamaica Ave. at 241st street in Bellerose for 23 years. By the time she retired in the early 90’s, Grandma was making about $13 an hour – we used to call her money-bags! She was a hard worker, taking much pride in her position at the A&P. And people took notice. Grandma had a reputation as the best bag-packer in the whole store. Her line was always longer than the others because shoppers preferred to wait for her service. She made many […]

tagged in grandma, quiche

Rockaway St. Paddy’s Day Traditions

photo-5-small

Previously published in The Wave “Everyone’s Irish on Rockaway St. Paddy’s Day,” says everyone, or at least those of us that aren’t actually Irish. But that’s okay — St. Patrick himself wasn’t even Irish. He was born in Scotland and his parents were Roman. So who knows —  maybe St. Patrick’s Day should really be thought of as an Italian holiday (yikes!).  At any rate, I can at least use this as a justification for this Mediterranean girl’s enthusiasm for Rockaway St. Patrick’s Day, which has become a highly-anticipated ritual […]

tagged in holiday, rockaway

The Trifecta Moment

Grandpa-and-myself-around-the-age-I-started-betting-w_-him

Previously published in The Wave My Grandpa Ralph loved to gamble. One vivid memory I have of us, is when we’d go to OTB.  He used to take me to the one in Bellerose, back when they had brick and mortar locations in the city.  I was around 15 years old, and I would place bets for him. He couldn’t see the racetrack program very well  because his diabetes affected his vision. This was also a good way for me to learn. Grandpa Ralph was teaching me how to bet […]

tagged in cooking, family, queens, rockaway

the drop in

rockaway

Last summer we were so busy with renovations, it wasn’t even a summer for us. With most of the construction complete, this year is different. It’s only hitting me now… we have a beach house in Rockaway.  Friends, friends of friends, Great Aunt Mary’s second cousin, my co-workers and everyone in-between is dropping in. Text message: “Hey Paula, I’m down in Rockaway, can I park in your driveway? Oh, lets get drinks at Connolly’s too!” After two weekends of random drop-ins, it clicked. “This is going to happen every weekend, isn’t it? I need to […]

New Motherhood cooking

Ohh hey GT fans! Long time no speak. As most of you know, I had a baby girl this past April, Annie Cassidy Gehrhardt. Yes, she is the cutest baby you have ever encountered. Here she is rocking a Queens onsie. Being a mother is the best job I have ever had and I am loving every minute of it. Since pregnancy, I haven’t been cooking as much. While I was pregnant, I was working the same hours I had been prior to pregnancy and making dinner at night was […]

tagged in comfort foods, cooking, meat

Tin Foil Sailing

Sailing a tin foil boat in Rockaway Queens

My sister Maria and I were creative kids. I know everyone says they were too, but we were really out there. We didn’t need toys to play with – gosh, the thought of having an ipad would be unworldly to us. When we did receive a new toy, it wouldn’t last a week. It’s hair would be chopped off or the board game pieces would be sacrificed for a secret time capsule burial ceremony in the backyard (just two examples off the top of my head). I recall playing “tent world” – making a massive tent structure […]