Tag Archives: Sisters family traditions ravioli




L-R Joan, Margie, Jeanne, Christine

Isadora Duncan is quoted as saying,

“A sister is a gift to the heart, a friend to the spirit, a golden thread to the meaning of life.”

I have been blessed with three such gifts and my heart is full as I share a recent story with you.  We are separated by many miles and the there are 15 years separating the oldest from the youngest, but one would never know when you witness us together laughing, telling stories and picking up where we left off.  Our husbands often remark that they can’t figure out why we never run out of things to talk about.  It is not unusual for phone calls and conversations to last for a couple of hours.  We all know before deciding to call, we must have an abundance of free time.  I believe it is our shared history that binds us and having experienced our youth at various times in history, we have both common and varied stories.  All of my siblings still reside in Pennsylvania, our home state, so that is where most family get togethers take place. Although I haven’t lived there myself for over 40 years and my parents and childhood home are long gone, a trip there always feels like coming home.  During this visit I was fortunate to spend several days with my sisters, one of whom asked if I would teach them one of our mother and grandmother’s traditions, making ravioli.  The oldest of the four was in possession of the original ravioli machine and accoutrements used by our family and we had all witnessed the process, I was the only one of us that had ever made them.  I was delighted to show them what I had learned over the years.  Thinking back, I am not sure what was more fun, making them or eating them but we glided through the process talking, laughing and reminiscing.  Everyone at the dinner table seemed to enjoy the fruits of our labor as we gobled up the little pillows dressed in my homemade tomato sauce.

My older sister, Margie, has been talking about purchasing a food processor for quite some time so since that is the method I use to make the dough, we used this opportunity to go shopping.  We discussed the pros and cons of the different models and returned home machine in hand.  I consider this piece of equipment essential in my kitchen so I know she will be pleased as it gets more use.  I believe my mother and grandmother mixed their dough by hand but the food processor method is one I learned from a book called Pasta Tecnica by Pasquale Bruno, Jr.  I quickly ordered them each a copy when I returned home.  Can’t wait for them to share their knowledge and experiences with the younger generations.

Hanging in some of our kitchens is a photo my sister, Christine, took during college for a photography class.  It show only the hands of our mother and grandmother (left) as they made their way through this process.  We all agreed we wanted to try and duplicate this with just our hands (right).  Her is how it turned out.  Wouldn’t it be fun to shoot it again with our offspring?  I think I feel another family tradition brewing.

Around the family table.

All in all, I returned home knowing I assisted in making lasting memories and reminded that my heart is full because of the love I have known my entire life.  I cherish all of the memories I share with my siblings and pray they live on after we are gone.  Our parents gave us the best gift of all by teaching us the importance of spreading the love, one dish at a time.  I urge you to take the time to do the same for those you hold closest in your heart.  It is a gift that keeps on giving.  Sending my love to all of you,  Jeanne

“Sisters function as safety nets in a chaotic world simply by being there for each other.”            Carol Saline