I recently had the pleasure of working with a mom who was gifting her daughter a recipe book for her bridal shower. The mother, Lisa, had received a recipe book as a gift from an aunt and in turn was dedicating a brand new one to Lauren before her wedding.

The recipe book project got me thinking about my southern Italian grandmother and all the homemade seafood dishes, sauces and other delectable recipes she used to make completely from scratch in her apartment in Brooklyn.  My Nanny, Maria Rosaria, passed away when I was 6 years old, so the memories of her cooking live on only in my mother’s holiday fare. Meatball-vegetable soup made from a beef broth base on Thanksgiving, a special baked tomato sauce and some everyday hot meals of Mediterranean beans and leafy greens are some of my personal favorites. My mom and I spend hours on the phone going over the recipes each time I want to make one, but how perfect would it have been to have them in Nanny’s own handwriting?

Now that the holidays are almost here, what are some of your favorite family recipes? Do you have them written down from years past?