In the spirit of In Mama's Kitchen,
students from Mrs. Lopresti's and Mrs. Homenides' fifth grade class
at Nassakeag Elementary School in Setauket, New York, wrote essays and
submitted recipes honoring their favorite cooks or recounting their
favorite cooking memories. This effort was tied in with the current
school curriculum on immigration and heritage. And with the help of
the rest of the fifth grade classes at Nassakeag Elementary School,
they hosted a bake sale dedicated to their mothers and special cooks
in their lives. These amazing kids raised over $744 which they donated
a local soup kitchen, Our Daily Bread.
Here are the stories and recipes.
We hope that they warm your hearts as they did ours.
Nonna's Cooking - By
I've always been inspired by my
Nonna's cooking. She makes five different meals for any family get together.
I don't know how she does it all and still sits down to eat with us.
One of my favorite things that she
makes from scratch is zeppoles. Now, I'm not a big pastry eater, but
I can't resist the taste of them. Of course, I get full at one point
because zeppoles are very filling. Now, my Nonna makes them every time
I go to her house.
Daddy's Steak - By Sydney
My daddy makes the most delicious
steak I have ever tasted and every time I have it, it reminds me of
him and how much I love him.
My dad's name is David and my Mom's
name is Jacqui. My dad grew up in Wantagh, Long Island, and my grandmother
would cook for him often. Most of his love for food came from that kitchen.
And all of my love for food came from mine thanks to my wonderful parents!
My dad is a real estate agent and
also owns a restaurant called Fiddleheads N.Y. in Huntington which we
eat at quite a lot! My daddy is a hard-working man and enjoys everything
he does. I admire my daddy greatly and love him very much. We make this
great steak often for my birthday and special occasions.
The steak is Skirt Steak and a special
marinade sauce that my daddy got from my grandma. It has a lot of weird
ingredients like mustard and LOTS of ketchup and I mostly put them on
my hamburgers not my steak! But anything that will use this recipe I
will like no matter what even if it's liver and bladder.
This steak means a lot to me and
so does my dad. This recipe will be in my heart forever and ever! I
will also pass this on to my kids someday.
Skirt Steak Marinade
Grandma's Pancakes - By
Every time my Grandma comes I always
look forward to her making her special pancakes. One day I said to her,
"Grandma, there is something in your pancakes that no one else's
Then she smiled at me and said,
"One day when I was a little girl I was sitting in my grandmother's
kitchen while she was making me pancakes and she told me the secret
of making pancakes. All she
does is make the batter, follow the directions on the box, and then
let it sit for 10 minutes. This will make it very light and airy."
Now, I know the secret of making pancakes and I will pass it on.
Candlelight Dinners- By
About three years ago, my mom was
coming home a little late and my sister Megan and I knew she would be
tired from work. My dad was making her dinner so when he went outside,
my sister and I set up nice plates and wine glasses, shut the lights,
and lit some candles. When my dad came back in, he said, "Thanks,
let's eat when your mom comes in." We said, "No, it's just
for you." He said okay.
When my mom got home he served dinner
and my sister and I went to the bar to eat. We put the light on and
suddenly the candlelight didn't look so nice anymore. So we said we'll
eat later and my dad and mom said, "No, come join us." So
We had a very nice dinner and after
that we did it a few more times. We started having seafood eventually.
My dad made the best fish and lobster bisque and the most amazing Shrimp
Scampi. It was so good.
We've done it a lot in those three
years. It's like a family tradition. Sometimes, my sister and I drink
our water from the wine glasses, which is very fun to do. Every time
we do a toast to our family. Then after that we talk about our day.
Now we do this on any old day. On birthdays he makes the lobster bisque
soup, the shrimp scampi, and a special treat of lobster, which is so
Ever since that one night, we have
had many candlelight dinners and we will continue to have them.
My Mom's Cooking - By Lizzy
My mom was baking cookies one day
and I thought that it was really good. She told me that in all her baking
she put in a lot of love.
Irish Soda Bread - By Jen
Every year on St. Patrick's Day
my mom makes Irish Soda Bread.
My mom has been making it for 15 years. She got the recipe from her
Aunt Martha and her cousin Ronnie. This type of Irish Soda Bread has
a very good taste.
Pastiera - By Cristian
When I went on my vacation during
Easter break to Italy, there was so much delicious food. Cooking and
eating are a very important part of the day in Italy. The Italians cooks
big dinners practically everyday. Fast food is not common.
One special dessert in Italy is
Pastiera. My Aunt Antoinette and a lady that lived in the same apartment
got together one day before Easter and made a lot of these pies. Also,
when I would walk with my relatives, I would always see (in the pastry
shops window) this traditional Easter pie. I asked my grandparents why
Pastiera was traditional and my grandmother believed that it is because
it is made with a certain type of grain that grows in the springtime.
Since Easter is during this time, it has become traditional to make
and eat it as part of the holiday.
Besides the grain, some of the ingredients
of this pie are eggs, heavy cream, sugar, ricotta cheese and citron
fruit. Everyone that came over for Easter dinner seemed to like Pastiera,
but personally it wasn't my favorite dessert.
My Favorite Cooking Memory
- By Kenny
Every year, in the spring, I help
my dad clean out the vegetable garden and get it ready for planting
the new crop. My favorite thing to do is watch the zucchinis grow into
the size of baseball bats! When the zucchinis are ripe, I help my dad
pick them off of the vines and then bring them into my house.
The next step is helping my mom
peel all the zucchinis and then help her prepare to cook them. We mix
all the ingredients to bake the most delicious zucchini bread.
I feel the best part is that it
is truly a family effort. The second part is eating the delicious zucchini
As a side note, my sister makes
the best brownies and cakes!
Mom's Pizza - By James
Every year my Grandma comes to visit
from Florida. She's the greatest! Every time she comes over my Mom makes
her special pizza. My whole family loves it, including Grandma.
My mom makes a special marinara
sauce. Somehow, the pizza sets a great tone for Grandmas trip! We all
look forward to Grandma coming.
Sauce & pizza
Cooking Memories - By Ray
When I was in the library one day,
I found a Star Wars Cookbook. It had fun recipes in it. I brought it
home and we copied some recipes to try.
We made a special meal with some
of the recipes. We had Obi Won Pizza, Skywalker Smoothies and Java Jiggle.
The pizza was single serve pizza. My mom took my sister, brother, and
I to the supermarket and we got to pick our toppings from the salad
bar. Mine had sauce, olives, pineapple, ham and cheese.
We made the smoothie with banana,
strawberries, ice cream and milk. They were fun to eat. I like cooking
with my mom. The cookies I made for the sale are overnight meringues.
We make these cookies every Christmas. They are easy to make and are
so good. They are my brother Dan's favorite. We have to hide some from
- By Shannon
Every time my mom and I make cupcakes
we only get half of the actual cupcakes. We do what we're supposed to
do like put all the ingredients into a bowl and mix it. Then we just
eat the mix! We just go back and forth from the kitchen to the living
room. By the time we're full from all the mix, we only have half of
the cupcakes we're supposed to have!
Grandma's Gelatin Mold -
For Passover, my grandma and I were
making a gelatin mold. It's not moldy gelatin but it's gelatin you put
in a mold to shape it in a circle. You put fruit and other stuff in
it. We were making that and I was really, really hungry so I was sticking
my finger in it while she wasn't watching. We put it in the refrigerator.
The next day it was finally Passover.
I invited my friend Anisha over to celebrate. When the gelatin mold
was put on the table to eat, it had my fingerprint on it, but I did
not tell anyone. That was the first time I had ever made it. Next time
I make it, I will remember the first time my grandmother and I made
it together. (It came out really yummy!)
Cake - By Ryan
On my mom's birthday, my mom wanted
a cake. I ran to the closet and got out chocolate cake mix and chocolate
icing. Then I started a cake. When I was up to the eggs, my dad came
downstairs and helped. I think it took about 20 minutes to make it.
I licked all the extra batter on the mixing spoon. After dinner, we
celebrated her birthday and I gave her the cake. She was very happy.
It was the first cake I made by
Gingerbread House - By Bethany
It was almost Christmas. Sweet smells filled
the air. It was Friday, so my Dad was food shopping. When my dad came
home, he gave my siblings and I a gingerbread house kit. A few days
later we decided to make it. We poured the icing mix into a bag and
we added water. But little did we know that we added too much water.
We spent two hours on the house. Finally,
it was finished. My mom wanted to take a picture. As she pressed the
button, the house collapsed. Then we realized we added too much water.
What a surprise ending!