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Foods and Growing Up Italian

            I believe that eating my mother's lasagna taught me how to appreciate the small things in life. I believe in appreciation of one's family and the time spent together. I believe in perfecting recipes and taking time to get to know the little secrets found in someone else's imperfection.
             I have always enjoyed Italian food, from pizza to veal meatballs. My family heritage does not contain a trace of Italian. We are German and Irish, but that doesn't change our taste buds. Every Sunday evening I would walk into the kitchen and smell the sweet tomatoes boiling in my grandmother's giant sauce pot, with oregano, basil, and spices my nose couldn't decipher. My mouth watered at the thought of what would be arranged on our dinner table that night. Grandma's was a special place to eat our dinners when I was growing up it was at home where the protests were made.
             Growing up my mother was the head chef in our household. She would play outside with us all day long, and then come in early to get dinner started for my family. I remember our summer nights the best, when we would be playing kickball in the middle of our court. My mother, brother, and I would be squealing with joy as we raced from one base to the next. We could have played all night long and completely forgotten about our dinner. Although, my father would not have been pleased after working all day, and coming home famished. Like the wonder women she was, there she went racing inside as we pleaded with her to stay, to cook family dinner. My mother was very talented at a lot of things, teaching, sports, writing, but cooking was just not her forte. Her fallbacks were usually spaghetti and frozen meatballs, or lasagna. Her lasagna was infamous, she made it for all of our dinner guests. Whether they enjoyed it or not, only the trashcan could tell. She felt as if she had it perfected, although it wasn't perfect at all. It was the only dish she could make without burning the kitchen down, and with minor incidents of the smoke detector going off.

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