two weekends ago, the guy and i got to fly home and visit my family. this only happens twice or three times a year. the older i get the more i appreciate them and everything they’ve done for me – and the more fun i have hanging out with them. i hadn’t been home in the summer in two years i think – i typically go at christmas and easter – and i had forgotten how nice it is. the winters up there are long (really long), and grey and completely fridgid. anyone who is from my home town knows, you haven’t experienced winter until you’re standing on beside 10 feet of snow and it’s -52 degrees. so, it was a lovely change seeing everything in bloom.we were lucky it was so warm, we got to spend a night out at the camp – bbqing and drinking beers with my dad, watching the sun set over the water, and breathing in lung-fulls of clean, fresh air. we sat around the fire as the sun set, and i ate at least 5 s’mores, and enjoyed the heat on my face as my eyes started to get heavy. there’s something serene about being in the middle of the woods, no cell service, only having to worry about finding the perfect coal to roast your marshmallow over. my favourite thing about going home is the food. from the second i walk in the door to the very second it’s time for me to leave i’m being fed. and being fed the most delicious food. as soon as i got off the plane i headed to my nona’s where she made risotto with fresh tomato sauce, zucchini blossom fritters, spicy salami and cheeses and homemade bread and these pickled spicy vegetables in oil that i love. i eat myself into a happy carb-coma every couple of hours. and the blissful topping to the carb coma is that every meal is followed with espresso and cookies. italians know how to do it right.i’ve also always been thankful that i’m from an italian family because i was raised having big family suppers every week. my dad, step-mom, sister, and my little brother once he was born, my aunt, uncle, and cousin would all gather at my nona and nono’s house to have dinner. there would be a big pot of sauce simmering on the stove and the smell of fresh bread, and i’d always sneak a couple of slices of salami or homemade saussage before we all sat down. food was always warm and comforting, and everyone laughed and shared what was going on in their lives. i think dinners like that are important in kids lives – food is kind of one grounded thing a whole family can come together around. especially in the day and age of everyone being glued to their phones (oh my god, stop me now – i turn 24 and sound like a grandma apparently), having that interaction with your family is important. i did this every night while i was home – sitting outside in my nona’s backyard, no phones allowed, the sound of laughing and tinkling of cutlery and the wind chime, feeling warm and content. it’s my favourite thing to be doing besides actually cooking. my nona’s back yard is one of my other favourite things about going home. so many beautiful flowers, and her garden blooming with bright yellow zucchini blossoms, the crap apple trees and green, green grass. it smells amazing back there, with sun streaming everywhere and the sound of her wind chimes. the best thing in life is having afternoon espresso and pizzels and gossiping with her.
i’m happy to be back in the big city, but where my family is will always be my home.