Lessons from an Italian grandmother


Nonna with The Bug last month.

My sweet Nonna passed away this weekend but left behind 81 years of memories, recipes and advice. I am grateful for the courage she found to take the six week journey from Italy to the US alone at 20-years-old. I am encouraged each day to strive for love in my home and a delicious dinner on my table each night. 

So, Nonna, thank you for teaching me:

— To marry my best friend and never look back. Don’t ever let the “d” word worm it’s way into life. My husband is my family and family is the only thing that matters.

— To love with abandon.

— The secret to a 60-year successful marriage — making sure the dishes are done by the person who didn’t cook.


Yeah, we both wear our hearts on our sleeves.

— The recipe for a good batch of salsa con carne is not written down

— Drink good coffee and eat good parmigiano reggiano.

— Eat more.

— That Benito Mussolini didn’t give candy to kids whose parents fought for the US in the first World War. And it’s OK to still be bitter about it.

— That Sundays are for pancakes.

— To kiss my baby girl twice – once from me and once from you.


Natalie Feulner

About Natalie Feulner

Natalie Feulner is a journalist and “semi-crunchy” cloth diapering momma to a rambunctious toddler named after a county in California. She drinks too much tea and loves to climb rocks but not at the same time.