More Beautiful Writing from Ann Hood- the Girls

For those of you who didn’t catch Parade Magazine today …

For those of you who know me, you know that Ann Hood has fueled my writing inspiration for the last twenty-five years.  She still does.  She is a best-selling author from Rhode Island, taught at RIC and URI, and I was fortunate enough to take not one but two classes with her as instructor.  She’s phenomenal, and that voice she writes with that seems so easy to read is not so easy to replicate.  Believe me, I’ve tried.Ann is also from Italian American roots, so it’s a pleasure to compare her family’s culture to mine, and those of my friends.  She has a new book that’s just been published, The Obituary Writer, that sounds like a thrilling ride, as her books always are.

Families to be Thankful for

English: This is a 1910 postcard image of Prud...

English: This is a 1910 postcard image of Prudence Island, Rhode Island. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I love this story written by Dr. Ed Iannuccilli.  It captures what it feels like to be an Italian American on Thanksgiving.  It most likely speaks to all of us who have relatives that came here in search of something better and are so very thankful for what they have received.

Today I am home with my daughter, she is sick, and my husband is making the annual trek to Prudence Island to be with his family.  My very caring parents-in-law offered to stay with Julia so I could go, but I can’t have a good time anywhere if I know she is home sweating out a fever.

I am thankful that I have two sets of family traditions- the Testa/Fiore’s and the Mitchell/Naughton’s.   Both sets of families are full of laughter and love, along with the usual ‘unfun’ and difficult times that we all face.  But I wouldn’t chose to be part of any different families.  I am home with both.

Jeremy please be sure to bring us back some turkey.  Mom, save me a little stuffing.

Love to All



The Pizzelle Lesson

Pizzelle in a loose stack.

Pizzelle in a loose stack. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I spent Saturday afternoon with my mother making pizzelle.  I have always been fascinated with the pizzelle iron as a child.  My mother got her iron forty three years ago on her 25th wedding anniversary as a gift from her mother-in-law, my Grandma Jennie.  I told my mother that when she croaks I get the iron.  I talk in this ‘tough egg’ manner when I don’t want to confront the thought of ever losing her.  It beats the alternative of feeling weepy at the thought of my mother not being there when I call her, of no one to tell me when I’m acting ridiculous, or hugging me gently on the way out the door and calling me a scallywag, whatever that is. Continue reading

Reading the Voices of Rhode Island’s Italian Americans


English: (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Virginia Cotungo DiBiase told what happened to her and her two siblings when there were claimed by their father at Ellis Island. They had not seen their father in thirteen years. They did not recognize their father and he did not recognize them…”


“A woman from Thornton, Tribelli, I think. She was a mid-wife. She used to deliver all the babies. To prepare they used to boil water in the kitchen…They didn’t have cribs. They used to make a place with a pillow and put the pillows to the babies couldn’t move or fall. They kept the baby born with blankets. They had to watch out when the baby got big that it didn’t choose by putting the blanket in his mouth”


“Marolyn Senay absorbed the atmosphere of her grandmother’s village of Pugliano and her grandfather’s town of Sparanise…we drove into the town and it was like walking back in time. It was thrilling and more emotional than I thought it would be…”

Last night I had the pleasure of attending Voices, a dinner hosted by the Italian American Historical Society of Rhode Island celebrating the publishing debut of their newly compiled – Voices of Rhode Island Italian Americans

Continue reading

Wicked Good Eats for Columbus Day – Stuffed Peppers

Stuffed peppers

I have known Steve for over 40 years. We attended first grade, and all subseuent grades, together. He is not only an accomplished mechanical engineer and design manager, but he is, as we would say in our hometown of Johnston, Rhode Island, a wicked good cook. And a wicked good guy too.

His dad owned a restaurant and has passed on the talent. Check out all of his videos on youtube. And pay attention to Wolfie – he definitely reaps the benefits of Steve’s cooking!

Happy Columbus Day Everyone. 

Delicious Squid Salad with Ginger Sauce


Squid (Photo credit: Scott Beale)

Delicious Squid Salad with Ginger Sauce

As I posted on this blog, I want to add this to the family Christmas Eve feast. Take a look!