Homemade manicotti cooked in fine meat sauce baked with fresh mozzarella. I could eat this meal for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day, any day if only it did not register off the Weight Watcher Points system. In fact, the Weight Watchers point tracker balks when I attempt to register this meal. “Are you really serious with this meal?”, criticizes my point tracker. “Do you know I am Italian?” I retort to the counter.
I love to eat. I am sure you have heard this from me on more than one occasion. I blame my heritage and my maternal grandmother and aunts for being such exquisite cooks. They are the MacGyver’s of the kitchen – minus the mullet. They can make a delectable meal out of ingredients that would send me dialing for take out. In fact, I find it very difficult to whip together any meal when I return home from work and need to turn around to head to practice or a game or a rehearsal.
However, every so often, I pull off a meal just like the way my mother, grandmothers and aunts cooked it – relieved that I inherited their skills – despite my lack of use. There is nothing better than saying grace and sharing this meal at our table with my two children (who are blessed with very mature palates) and my very grateful hungry husband, as we devour and appreciate not only a delicious, but healthy meal. At this table, we find out which pito (Italian for fart) was the loudest at story time, the life cycle of the sunflower, what strategies are being discussed in the board room and what social obligations are on the horizon. This meal is loud. This meal is nourishing. This meal is a reflection of what I came from, who I have become and hopefully what my children will be.