My mom was Italian. She grew up in East Boston and Dorchester, Mass. and spoke Italian until she was about 5, when she had to learn English. As a result of being Italian, my mom was an excellent cook. She loved to cook and bake.
Keep in mind that when I was growing up in the 60s and 70s, usually for the holidays there would only be mom and dad, myself and 2 brothers, and my grandmother (my dad's mother) - so that was a LOT of food for 6 people.
Mom would also have us help set the table in the dining room, which was a treat, because no one EVER went into the dining room or living room unless it was a special occasion. In fact, the very same wall-to-wall carpeting that was installed when the house was built in 1962 still stands today, and almost entirely in perfect condition.
One Thanksgiving in the early 70s. after the homemade chicken noodle soup and salad and the homemade lasagne was served, it was time for turkey. Mom was serving everyone. That's when my grandmother said to my dad, "Can you pass the cranberry sauce, it's the BEST THING ON THE TABLE." The cranberry sauce was the jelled cranberry that came directly out of a can!
|"Best thing on the table?!?"|
Anyway, my brother Doug and I would later say that during any dinner, as a joke, and we'd laugh about it. Mom also learned to laugh about it, too. "Pass the cranberry, that's the best thing on the table" became a running joke in our family for decades. In fact, it's still funny today. :)