Tomato harvest brings Italian family memories back into her kitchen

Oct 22, 2019 898

BY: Sydney Craft Rozen

Last week I gathered most of the remaining tomatoes from the eight plants on our patio, leaving only enough on the vines for salads and sandwiches at summer’s end. I could have used the small harvest to add to stews, soup or baked vegetable dishes, but a memory of my great-grandmother drew me to a simpler magic.

Nonna and my great-grandfather arrived at Ellis Island in New York from Italy in the early 1900s. For the rest of their lives as naturalized American citizens, they spoke little English and clung to the familiar peasant ways of the Old Country. In Nonna’s kitchen, those ways centered on rustic, inexpensive meals.

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