Greetings from Pennsylvania! I know, not exactly top of the list for vacation destinations, but this is where I grew up and the place I call home. It's been nearly eight months since I've seen my Keystone State, and truth be told I had started to miss it. Most of my family still lives in my hometown, or within a few hours drive of it.
If you didn't know, I come from a big, Italian family - hard to tell with my blue eyes and fair complexion. My mother's side is full-blooded Italian hailing from northern Italy and Sicily. This was the side I was raised to; you kind of married into the Family if you know what I mean! I often joke about the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding, and how all you'd have to do is replace "Greek" with "Italian" and you'd have my family. Most of my aunts, uncles and first cousins drove or flew in to spend time with me over my birthday - I was really taken aback! Part of me thinks it may have been more so to sample my sisters' cuisine.
Just about everyone in my family is adept cooks, but my sisters are something special. Even from a very young age we knew they had a culinary gift. Witnessing them grow and mature through culinary school, becoming Certified Culinarians, cooking for one of the most prestigious resorts in the Northeast to now being Executive Chefs operating their own business has truly been a great privilege and pleasure of mine. I can honestly say when visit my home I have my very own personal chefs at my disposal!
Time spent with my family is invaluable and I treasure every minute I can with them, but I can already feel myself starting to miss the small subtleties of Oklahoma. It truly is a beautiful state filled with wonderful people; this coming from an outsider that has called the Sooner State home for five years now. Perhaps I can convince my family to move to Oklahoma in the next few years, and I can finally have the best of both worlds!