Posts Tagged ‘grandmother’

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

Grandma Mary’s Artichoke “Pie”


Previously published in The Wave. Grandma Mary’s Artichoke Pie is actually quiche. I don’t know why we call it pie, we just do. I never thought twice about it until I asked my Grandmother about the recipe. Grandma Mary worked at the A&P on Jamaica Ave in Belrose for 23 years. By the time she retired, Grandma was making about $20 an hour which was a lot back then. We called her money bags!  She seemed to enjoy her work – she was known as a great bag-packer. She new about the sales […]

old school remedies – salt for a sore throat


It’s winter and we may get sick – ugh. Here’s a tip we all forget about, and it’s a cheap alternative to all the drug store stuff. If I feel like I’m getting a sore throat, I immediately grab for the salt. As a kid, I remember my Mom making me gargle with warm water and salt when I complained of  a sore throat or ear pain. And like magic, it absolutely soothed my discomfort. My Grandma Pauline actually rinsed her mouth with warm salt water once a day. I remember her […]

these are a few of my favorite things

Guardian Roasting Pan

I have three favorite cooking pots. I use them often because they’re reliable and versatile. More importantly, these items have sentimental value and when I use them, I think of the people that used them before me and what those people have meant in my life. My sister Maria gave me this sturdy cast iron pan. I remember her shock when I told her I didn’t have one. She thoughtfully remembered and purchased this for me a few years back for Christmas. From quiche to cornbread, I use this pan for so many […]

The fake flower gardens of Ridgewood queens

Fake Flower Garden, Ridgewood Queens

I remember my Grandma Pauline having a beautiful fake flower garden in her backyard in Bellerose, Queens. Here arrangements surrounded a statue of the Blessed Mother and around that was a large lot of white gravel. Sometimes my sisters and I would pick out the weeds between the gravel for fun and to surprise Grandma. She loved our efforts and rewarded us with sandwiches on white bread. Whenever I pass by a fake flower garden in my neighborhood, I always stop and think of Grams standing in her driveway, peeking at us playing […]

Origins of Iavarone brothers in Bushwick “the old neighborhood”


  I grew up with Iavarone’s as one of my family’s go-to Italian markets. Located on Union Turnpike, Iavarone’s is a 5 minute drive from our house in New Hyde Park. I remember my Mom saying, “That’s were you get the good stuff”. Iavarone’s market sells imported olive oil and vinegars, picked goods,  fresh deli cut meats and specialty cheeses, prepared foods, stuffed peppers with prosciutto, antipasto salad – all the Italian culinary staples. When I moved to Ridgewood, I came across the Iavarone Brothers on Grand Ave in Maspeth. Were these the […]

Ambrosia: Food for the Gods (and the DiGioias)

Grandma Pauline dressed to impress!

This is the first of our 5 part feature “Old School Foods”.  We want to explore nostalgic and forgotten foods – meals that mean something to us. For many who love food, you know food is a connection to so many memories and milestones in life. For many reasons ambrosia falls under this category. First off, it dates back to ancient Greek mythology: In ancient Greek mythology, ambrosia (Greek: ἀμβροσία) is sometimes the food or drink of the Greek gods (or demigods), often depicted as conferring ageless immortality upon whomever consumed […]


Grandma Mary

My Grandma Mary passed away on Saturday. Grandma and my Grandpa Ralph were always around, helping my mom with us kids– my sisters and I were very close with her. She worked hard her whole life and it wasn’t always peaches and cream back then. There are many stories she told me that I will share about her life in Ridgewood and Bushwick but those stories deserve their own entries. Grandma Mary and Grandpa, Bushwick Brooklyn Grandma showed her love and kindness in many ways, one of which was cooking for […]

tagged in family, grandmother

Pasta with Cauliflower Recipe

Pasta with Cauliflower Recipe

Some people say they love rock ‘n roll –  but I say, I love olive oil!  I think most Italians do and have had a kind of romance with olive oil that dates back centuries. We always seem to have this glistening golden liquid in our kitchens. It’s usually the first thing I grab when I begin to prepare a meal for my family. I love the way it tastes and the way it enhances the flavors of other foods.  I love the scent – it has a fruity, earthy […]