Recipe Drawings

Relationship: Child of im/migrant

I come from a family of immigrants. I am paternally first generation, but on my mother’s side, well, it gets more complicated. Therefore, I’m going to focus on an object given to my father by his mother, my nonna. The object is simple: three recipes and some pictures on paper framed by Plexiglas. These framed recipes carry a lot of meaning for my family. One of the recipes is a traditional Italian rice dish, risotto (pronounced ree-soht-oh, not riz-oh-toe), which is a dish that is simple and complicated at the same time. To make risotto all you need is milk, Parmigiano-Reggiano, white wine, onions, chicken stock, rice, saffron, and butter. The difficult part is knowing when, how long, and how fast to stir it while cooking. The other recipes are for roast chicken and roasted potatoes, more classic American dishes. Back in the ‘80s, when my dad was just out of college, he would call my nonna every night for recipes and culinary tips. So, she made this object so he would stop calling her every night. Food has always been important to my family. My nonni (grandparents) grew up in fascist wartime Italy, where the ingredients were limited. From grapeseed coffee to torta di guerra, ma bouna (war cake, but good), anything they made had to be improvised. The reason why this object is so important to my family is that it reminds us of our close bonds to each other.

Place(s): New York City
Year: 1966

– GB

Relationship:  Child of im/migrant Child of im/migrant