The Ingredients of Two Cultures~ My mother’s family came from Italy. My father’s family came from Scotland. The Rosa’s left their native land, crossed icy winter oceans, and got their first taste of America at Ellis Island. A few years after marrying, my grandparents headed to Southern California. My father’s family crossed the rugged plains with early Mormon pioneers and, after a generation or two, also settled in California. I grew up with a unique blend of traditions and cultures, especially given my mother’s conversion to the LDS faith as teenager. As a full blooded Italian born of Roman Catholic parents, she brought a special vitality to our family and to all those who knew her. I had the best of two worlds and cultures, the prudent Scottish influence of my father’s family and the zesty Italian ancestry of my mother. I’ve been deeply influenced by both sides of my family and I am grateful for my rich heritage. When it came to cooking, the Italian side of our family reigned. Italians don’t typically write down their recipes, but I watched, learned and embraced all those kitchen experiences. Finally, after a long labor of love, several of our family recipes were discovered and documented. I share them with you. Though both my mother and grandmother have since passed on, I believe in the power of scent. When preparing their recipes I am quickly taken back to my childhood. You’ll find super-simple recipes and those requiring a little more time and effort, plus everything in between. From my Nona’s kitchen to yours, buon appetito!