Welcome from Maria Indelicato

Mary JacobsIn Sicilian, Cucina means kitchen.  Lucia was my mother.  I grew up in my mother’s kitchen cooking and baking with her ever since I was a little girl.  That is how I learned to cook and bake!  That’s how memories are made!

My mother, Lucia, was a fabulous cook and baker.  Her mother, Maria, my grandmother, also was.  My grandmother was illiterate and never wrote down any recipes for the foods she made.   Those recipes were in her memory.

My grandmother and my mother came to the United States, from Pozzalo, Sicily, when my mother was 6 years old.  My grandfather, Rosario, had come 6 years earlier when my grandmother was pregnant for my mother and later sent for them, as many people did during that time.  On August 12, 1927, my grandmother and mother boarded the Martha Washington at Palermo, Italy and arrived at Ellis Island in New York City on August 27.  The trip took 15 days. Finally, my mother met her father for the first time!

My father, Melchiore, came to the United States with his father, Vincenzo, when he was 16 years old.  They came from Siculiana, Sicily.  My grandfather sent for his wife, Mariantonia, and daughter, Francesca, in 1942.  Another daughter, Vincenzina, stayed behind in Sicily with her husband.

That is what makes me first generation Sicilian! 

Fast forward to 2015 when I turned 61years old on January 25th.  I realized that many of the recipes that I cooked and baked with my mother weren’t recipes at all!  Almost all of them were not written down.  I just made them, just like my mother did, and like her mother before her, from memory!  If I had not been making them with my mother all those years, I would not be able to make them now!

I wanted my children to have those recipes.  My kids cooked and baked with me but did not make all the things I made so they wouldn’t be able to make them in the future.  The recipes in my head would die with me and be gone forever!

This brings me to Cucina Lucia.  I started writing down the recipes while listing and then painstakingly measuring the ingredients, building the recipes one by one, and then explaining the directions in order to get them just right!  This was the first time making them with real recipes; recipes I was creating.  I wanted to do that for my children so they would be able to make all the Sicilian foods that I made my whole life.  I wanted the traditions to carry down to the next generation and creating the recipes was the only way I knew how.

I started to think about my memories making these recipes with my mother.  Every recipe has a story behind it and I wanted to also share those with my children. One idea led to another and I decided to start a blog!  I want to share those stories with you and that is exactly what I am doing!  I hope you enjoy them!