Today I learned a unique story about a woman named Assunta Cantisano, an Italian immigrant who moved to the United States in the early 1900s and brought with her a family tradition that would soon be in the homes of people across the United States. It made me think about the power of traditions in my own family. Growing up with many aunts, uncles, cousins and family near by traditions were apart of life. Personally, I grew up loving those traditions because I think they help make use who we are. They help us learn about ourselves and connect us across generations. One of our families traditions includes getting everyone together for weekend reunions. In fact, we just had one this August up North. I loved watching Angeline hangout with all of her cousins and make some of the same memories I did.
As Angeline grows older and *gulp* gets ready to leave the nest these traditions will help strengthen her roots and give her something to come back too. Traditions are the type of roots that can be picked up and moved anywhere whether she ends up across the state or across the country. I think we, women, are experts at carrying our traditions with us – like making pasta with meatballs using Ragu pasta sauce on those busy weekday evenings. It’s the kind of down home, simple meal that my mom would make for us kids when we were young and had mountains of homework and crazy schedules, and now I make the same thing for Angeline and I when those days are so busy that I just don’t have time for extravagant meals.
People like Assunta Cantisano carried their traditions with them across oceans and through great depressions in order to see there family through. You may have never heard of her but you probably have heard of Ragu pasta sauce? In 1914 Assunta Cantisano and her family migrated from Italy to New York where she promptly created a garden in order to create her families homemade pasta sauce. Then, when the great depression hit she started bottling that sauce and selling it to neighbors in order to help her family survive. By the 1950’s the sauce was a staple in kitchens across the country and it all began with tradition.
Traditions are a funny thing though. While we want to hold onto them and pass them down we also have a desire to create our own. but I’m also looking forward to creating new traditions with her too. Do you think it would be too much to ask for her to still come home for dinner every night? Probably, but Sunday dinner might be a good compromise! This recipe is so simple – just take ground beef and form into tiny meatballs and cook over medium heat on the stove until they’re browned and cooked through. Cook a pasta of your choice according to package directions and add your prefered Ragu pasta sauce to the meatballs to warm. This literally takes me ten minutes from start to finish!
What are some of your family traditions?
Many thanks to Ragu for sponsoring today’s story and encouraging me to relive a family tradition!