We’re headed back to Connecticut today for the funeral of my paternal grandmother, Noni. She passed away on Sunday and was 97 years old. Her name was Adelia Meneguzzo and she was my last surviving grandparent. She lived in the same house for my entire life. It remained mostly unchanged in that time. Below you see photos I took of her home shortly after she had to be moved to an assisted living facility a few years ago. At the bottom is a clip of a home movie I shot in 1994. In it, Noni is making gnocchi in her kitchen with Patricia and my sister, Lisa.
Noni is the basis of my love of cooking and I endeavor continually to preserve it. Recently, I had thought what a gift she had given me throughout her life. This gift being an appreciation for cooking and the flavors that compose the basis of a family’s communal culinary soul. Often I will cook something and be startled by how closely it resembles, in every way, a meal that Noni had created in her kitchen while I, a young boy, stood dutifully by her side following instructions. Assuming she had learned from her mother and on down the line, I feel part of a flavor based heritage. I did not know personally the older generations of Noni’s family, but I know their flavors.