Congratulations to Kathy Wallace and Joan Leotta both winners in the Mia Bella Baking Company “Celebrate Nonna” Contest. Both winners shared their heartfelt baking memories from their Nonna’s (Grandmothers) kitchens along with a wonderful family photo.. Both winners will receive a beautiful silver tray filled with Mia Bella Fine Italian Almond Cookies just in time for the #Holidays.
Thank you for sharing! We think Nonnas are the best!
Enjoy the beautiful stories below:
Our First Winner – Joan Leotta
So many memories of my beloved Nonna, my mother’s mother! My Dad’s Mom died when I was very young, as did both Nonni (grandfathers) so I only had my Nonna Cuda, but she more than made up for it!
The attached photo is at a 1950s celebration of HER March 20 birthday! I am the little girl on the right (her left) in the photo. My older cousin, Diane is the teen on the left (Nonna’s right)
Nonna’s kitchen was a place of wonder and delight. Whether she was up to her elbows in bread dough, using that little round wheel to cut ravioli, stir large pots of sauce or soup or best of all, frying dough for cookies or pulling a sheet of almond cookies out of the oven, everything in her kitchen was amazing. I loved spending the day with her— in the kitchen most of the time. She knew my favorite soup bowl and we often had soup for lunch, seated at her gray formica table sharing confidences. She would tell me of her “naughty “ youth (skipping chores to go to the movies with her friend, Jennie) and I would spill out my heart to her with the joys and sorrows of childhood—through teen years, into young adulthood.
The holidays were especially magical and the ramped up activity in her kitchen served twenty or thirty at holiday meals—our family and anyone who had no place else to go and people from other countries who wanted to see an “American” Thanksgiving or Christmas. Not sure if they ever realized not all “American” celebrations included ravioli and plates and plates of Italian cookies. Grandma’s house and heart were open to everyone. We try to keep that same tradition now—and at the dining room table, share Grandma’s love and laugh (still!) over her tales, and our own. I think of her, every time I eat a cookie.”
Our Second Winner – Kathy Wallace
“My grandmother, we called her Nana, lived well into her late 9o’s! I remember baking Mississippi Mud Pie with her and it was delicious! As no one would take me to see her at the nursing home on Mother’s Day, I took a taxi and asked the driver to wait. She passed at the end of July that year. My Dad and I go every year to put flowers on her grave. She once wrote me a note telling me “You Are the Wind Beneath My Wings”. Rest in peace Nana as you were my Nonna!”