"We are always the same age on the inside" Gertrude Stein
I just got back from the Hudson Valley as I took the kids to visit my two Great Aunts who are both in their nineties. They live alone and are very independent and feisty women. We had so much fun with them and enjoyed their snarky and yet loving personalities as they forced us to eat fruitcake. Christopher actually gagged on it but at least he tried it. Im still trying to figure out what fruit the big light green chunks were supposed to be. My aunts love fruit cake, my children not so much. I didn't even pretend to eat it.
The afternoon was comical. Most Italian people equate food with love so a visit means that they are going to want you to eat and eat and eat. It makes no difference if you are not hungry. It is insulting to them if you don't consume what is being offered to you and thus we ate too much today.
My son is a very moderate eater so they kept telling me that I don't feed him enough. "Shame on you, they said." I laughed asI grapped a cookie out of Giavanna's hand as she had eaten too much. They were shocked and again- Shame on me again for not letting my children overeat.
Oh yes, my children are so deprived- I starve them with a purpose in mind. Just kidding- Nowadays we are bombarded with the message to stop indulging, to lose weight and to NOT eat whenever we want to. They clearly come from a different mindset and believe it not they are both very trim. It's just an Italian thing and it's in our blood.
Certain cultures love to eat and more importantly they love to feed. Im guilty as charged and I enjoy feeding the masses. I love having an audience that I can satisfy with delicious creations. I too have expressed love with the preparation of food so I suspect when Im in my nineties, I shall be the same way. I won't insist on the fruit cake but rather a ricotta pie. It's the same expression of love no matter what the ingredients are.
Im so happy that we went to visit them today. I often express to my children the gratitude that they should have to have beautiful opportunity to spend time with their great great aunts. It is an unusual blessing and my aunts truly enjoyed our company. We will definitely go back very soon.
Take the time to visit your elderly relatives and friends. It gives them such pleasure and the satisfaction is a two way street. Mary and Gilda, you two continue to amaze me. Thanks for the laughter, the stories and the fruit cake, it looked delicious. xo