Randi Driscoll

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"Dinner at Nana's"

Wednesday night was a particularly strange night, full of nightmares, and restless sleep. 

The next day I was in a total funk. I was really missing my Nana, and running on empty to just make it through the day.

After several failed attempts at distracting myself with work, I thought about what might get me out of my misery. 
I tried to remember some of my "comfort" places, sights, sounds and smells,  so I ran off to the store and purchased all the makings of real “Nana" dinner. 

I started cooking the year she passed away. Slowly at first, a few things here and there, 
nothing too adventurous. Year after year I’d add a few dishes, some hers, some I picked up along the way. 
I purchased a crock pot,  printed a few newish recipes off  of the internet, and started engaging with my more domestic side, who’d been tucked away for a long time.

So yesterday I decided to once and for all jump into the mother-load - Nana’s homemade red sauce. 

I like to call it “Everybody’s Jersey -Italian Tomato Sauce” 

No recipe, 'cause, well, you didn’t need one. No measurements, no ingredients list or fine print, just your memory and one big pot of love. 

I grabbed a slew of the ingredients I’d shopped for at least three hundred  times, and I dove in head first, from memory.  I guess watching Nana make her magic for thirty years, counts for something. 

While cooking the sauce I also put a pot of coffee on, and when I entered the house, from being out, it smelled JUST like Nana’s…..
All of my memories came flooding back, and I was again, in my happy place. 

So tonight for dinner, I whipped up a famous batch of chicken parmesan, complete with Nana’s Jersey sauce. 
It was a beautiful reminder of the woman who raised me. Skyler and I sat at our very fancy dinner table, and shared stories about Nana. I even pulled out some pictures, of some of her favorite people, eating "Nana’s" food. 

This trip down memory lane was one of the best. Comfort food to comfort my soul. 
So, here’s to memories, sharing traditions, celebrating life, and a sink full of dirty dishes, Nana would be thrilled. 
xoxoxo 
#nana #love #jerseyitalianfoodforever