Happy Birthday Nonna!

Today my Nonna (which is Italian for grandmother) is 74 years old.  She is one truly a remarkable woman.  In the past 74 years she has loved, she has lost, and she has passed on her legacy to two children, nine grandchildren, and one great grandchild and counting. In honor of this momentous occasion, I've decided to share a few of my favorite memories of her.

When I was a kid each of us kids would take turns spending a week at Nonna and Nonno's house over the summer.  Nonno was still working at this time, and so it meant a lot of one on one time with Nonna. I had recently discovered gnocchi, a delicious Italian dish that is basically a small, delicate potato dumpling usually in a white sauce.  After experiencing these fluffy pillows from heaven Nonna and I decided to make them.  This is a theme of favorite Nonna memories, they usually occur in the kitchen.  We spent hours boiling the potatoes, mashing and mixing them with the right ingredients, rolling them off a fork to make them the proper size, and dropping them into a pot of boiling water.  While a little chewy, the end result was pretty good.  Though to be honest I had more fun making them then eating them!

Nonna is also the cannoli queen.  If you've ever had a cannoli, you know that it's an amazing Italian dessert comprised of sweetened ricotta in a flaky shell.  I love cannolis.  If I had to eat only one food for the rest of my life it would probably be a cannoli.  If you've ever gone to a restaurant or a cafe and have eaten one of these amazing treats you know that you're fantastic, but you don't know how fantastic they can be, probably because you've never had one of Nonna's.  She has perfected the recipe with the lightest, sweetest, creamiest ricotta filling you will ever taste.  She uses a baby spoon and fills up each one by hand, and then, perfection.

I was so blessed to live with my grandparents for my first year of college.  I constantly wish that I had stayed there all four years of college and really soaked up the knowledge and the love my grandparents had to offer me.  I wouldn't give up the time I had for anything in the world; and I look forward the many opportunities I have to continue to learn, love, and grow with my wonderful Nonna.

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