I was having a conversation the other day about mothers. My friend was telling me about a little mishap she had with her laptop (tip – yogurt and laptops don’t mix) and how her mum without a second thought cleaned it all up. I then started thinking about my mum and nonnas. They really are the most selfless individuals I have ever come across.
Mum is someone who I have learnt a lot off. I often find myself doing something or saying something and thinking, “oh my god I sound like mum.” It is so incredible how many traits you can pick up from another person without even thinking about it. I am very blessed to have a really close connection with my mum (sometimes too close). She really is so approachable and regardless of what she is doing always has time for me.
Time management can be something I really struggle with at times. As much as I try and balance out everything in my life the reality is that some things just have to give. A lot of what mum has taught me about in my life is prioritising. She always has put her husband and our family first before anything else. It didn’t matter if she had work to do, she would drop absolutely anything for us. This is something that I really admire. One thing that she would never compromise was making sure that we were always fed. It didn’t matter what time we would get home from dance rehearsals, swimming, school, footy or even long days out she would always take the time in the kitchen to prepare food for us.
My mum’s relationship with food is absolutely incredible. When she eats she does it to nourish her body, to feed her soul and her cravings. She doesn’t stress about what she is eating or what it might do to her body. She eats because it makes her happy. This is something I think she learnt from my nonna.
Nonna was born in Naples, Italy, and migrated to Australia when she was 17 years old. She has always possessed an undeniable love and passion for all things food. My earliest childhood memories are being by her side at the stove tasting the pasta and sitting around her giant table with all of my aunties, uncles and cousins eating copious amounts of food and dessert. Much of how I eat has been influenced from nonna because she was the one who taught my mum to cook. Today all of our major family celebrations are centered around food and Mother’s Day is no exception (the food coma is so real).
Growing up I was never really a fussy eater. I was introduced to pureed vegetables and vegetable broths with small pasta (pastina) when I started solids. My mum loved preparing everything from scratch and so did both my nonnas. This is something I have definitely taken from them. Nonna is someone who can eat something and then recreate it. She has an incredible gift. Everything she creates in the kitchen is without a recipe. She knows how things are meant to feel, look and taste.
Both mum and nonna get pleasure in feeding others. It isn’t about calories or counting. They just want to give their families the best food they can so that they may be nourished and grow. Before I knew what a ‘diet’ was, this is what I knew. You eat what is in season and you prepare it at home. Simple. No food was labelled ‘good’ or ‘bad’. Food is food. This positive relationship is something I have only now just come back to. Straying away from the basics got me so confused. It doesn’t need to be complicated.
Food was something that was always presented in abundance and something that should be shared. I remember always sitting around the table at night time to eat dinner as a family. My nonna’s philosophy of meal times, particularly dinner, being a time of sharing is something that has been held in high esteem. Dinner at nonna’s is always at six o’clock and not a minute later. I always was so excited for our Tuesday night family dinners at her house to see what she would cook and to see my family. As time has gone on and the family has grown it has become more challenging to always come together. When occasions like Mother’s Day come around I am always reminded of just how much of a blessing it is to have such a wonderful family. To me, it is so important to cherish the little moments when you look around and see everyone smiling. Seeing nonna looking around at the family she has created and how proud she is really melts my heart.
When everyone is all in the same room there really is some kind of magic in the air. The way that mum and nonna can bring people together is so special. They know the importance of family and connection and have facilitated that with their loving husbands. I really hope that one day to be as strong as these amazing role models and wish them the happiest Mother’s Day.
My Mother’s Day 2018
My sister and I started the day really early. We woke up at quarter to seven to go to mum’s
favourite florist to get her flowers. She was so excited when we came into her room flowers and present in hand.
After I dropped my sister off at work I came home and made mum pancakes as she finished setting the table for lunch. Dad fired up the pizza oven to slow cook the lamb and then we all went on a walk. It was such a gorgeous morning and it was such a blessing to have time to spend outside chatting to mum and dad.
Yesterday we had Mother’s Day at our house for lunch. Mum set the table so beautifully with the beautiful flowers we got her as the centre piece. The family all came over around half past twelve and we all started catching up. We all enjoyed nonna’s pasta forno, lamb shoulder, pork ribs and rice. This was followed by chestnuts, nonnas biscotti and my Nutella tarts for dessert. We laughed at old photos, reminisced about family holidays and just enjoyed being in each other’s company.
I felt so blessed that I had another family to see that night. This was the first Mother’s Day I got to share with Bruno’s family. I love that his family share the same love and appreciation for time spent with family. Like us, it is often centred around food and quality conversation. We had cannelloni, pork, breadcrumbed eggplant and peppers. We they enjoyed his zia’s cheesecake for dessert and a few more chestnuts (the obsession is so real). It’s safe to say that after dinner yesterday mine and Bruno’s stomachs were definitely filled to the brim.
It was one of the most memorable Mother’s Days for me. I felt so much love in the air all day and am so grateful to have so many amazing mums in my life.
“You don’t choose your family. They are God’s gift to you, as you are to them.” – Desmond Tutu.