Weirdly, memories of my Nana keep popping up this week. She seems to want to be written about, so that’s what I shall do.
When my mom was growing up, she and my grandparents lived next door to a family from Italy. Mary, the matriarch, and Pauline, my nana were the best of friends- because they both had backgrounds in cooking A LOT of food for their families. They were true 1950s housewives who shared cups of sugar and lots of recipes in their shared driveway.
One of the foods my grandmother learned to make from Mary was pizzelles. My mother still has the (now ancient looking) pizzelle iron. These cookies were a staple around the holidays. I remember watching her use the iron to make the pizzelles, I was never allowed to do it myself even though I desperately wanted to- not because I might burn myself, but because I might mess up the pizzelle! (If you’ve never had them, they are so delicious, but they are really thin and look kind of like a lace doily. The batter looks like pancake batter and you pour it into the mold on the iron. You can’t leave it on for too long or it burns or crumbles. Very difficult to cook)
I haven’t had a homemade pizzelle since my grandmother passed in 2009. My mom has the iron but she says she wasn’t ever allowed to make them either- only Nana could do that- and she kind of feels like an attempt could lead to disaster.
So the other night, the same night of the Christmas lights, I noticed a box of -gasp- STORE BOUGHT pizzelles on the counter. I looked at my mother in shock. We laughed at the idea my Nana and Mary were up in Heaven having a conniption fit- you do NOT feed your family cookies that came from a STORE! But my mom said she was in the mood for them and didn’t feel like she could make them herself. I guiltily ate one (Sorry, Nana. Sorry Mary.) and it wasn’t that bad. But it wasn’t a real deal either.
I may have convinced my mother that we should get the iron out and try to make pizzelles ourselves…so stay tuned for what will likely lead to disaster!