Love + Laughter + Food = A Happy Family. At least that's how my family operates. Once a year we get together on a February day where we clear our calendars, roll up our sleeves, and get a little flour on our clothes. We may not be Emeril, Rachael Ray, or Giada, but we are a family that sticks together, and there is no truer story to tell.
It all began with my great grandmother in the high-rises of NYC. It later spread to my Nana's house where us kids spent most of the day chasing each other, playing games, and taking turns swatting each other with the rolling pin. In fact, in my early years I guffawed at the idea of eating spinach and swiss cheese ravs and instead opted for "making my own" out of left over dry dough and meatball scraps.
Ravioli day is so different than Christmas, Thanksgiving, or any other holiday. There's no competition for the day. When it's booked, you're there! It's also the optimal time to bring significant others to meet the family. Just ask my sister-in-law whose first time was when she and Brian got engaged. Or how about my own husband's first family encounter? Nothing like meeting 15 great people all at once. Ravioli day is about the breaks between the dough kneading where stories are told, the wine is flowing, and bonds are made.
I think my favorite part has been watching my mom transform from "mom" to "nana." She's still the same to me, but has become so much more to Brielle, Colton, and Gianni. They hug her legs when she's at the sink, beg to help, jump at the chance to sit at her lap. She's truly transformed before my eyes, from the crinkle in her knuckles when kneading the dough, to the cracking of the eggs, and the shouts of "darn it" when the dough just isn't right. Here's to my mom and her continued devotion to keeping family traditions alive. You rock mom, I know Nana's proud.