Introduction to Ma Bott
Dec. 5, 2011 12:08 pm
Updated: Jan. 1, 2012 8:42 pm
First, I am not Ma Bott. My name is Kristy Smith. Ma Bott was my Great Grandma Frabott and most of her grandchildren and great grandchildren called her by that name (or so she told me). This lady was an amazing woman and, above all, a phenomenal cook.
Her heritage goes back to Florence, Italy and food was the central theme. She is the one who taught me how to bake, the one who passed down her family recipes, and assured me that our family legacy would be passed through generations through "our" food.
Once, when I was seven or eight years old I remember asking for a roll at the dinner table and my mom asked me if I wanted butter on it and I had declined. Ma Bott spoke up and said, "Real Italians don't eat their bread with butter." Smiling, I felt so
proud. Now, she also said that because I didn't like spinach when I was a kid that it was very "un-Italian". Then when I told her my husband was allergic to tomatoes, she declared he was definitely not Italian. Of course, he isn't. He has an Irish and German
heritage, but I thought it was funny nonetheless. I'm pretty sure Ma Bott could have made a tasty dinner out of towel for an ingredient if she had to. She used what she had on hand to cook and did it well. Holiday dinners were always a feast and I heard tales
of fifteen to eighteen course meals that came with weddings. Not knowing we would be popping by for a visit, she always seemed to "whip up" fresh wedding soup, homemade cheese puffs (really more like strips), and a newly baked pie.
I miss her terribly, but I always seem to feel her presence when I'm in the kitchen. Now that I have a little girl I am more than happy to provide that same example, and pass down our recipes to her. Having been busy with settling into mommyhood and wifedom
along with a job it's been difficult to get back in the kitchen and create great, tasty homecooked meals. I am determined to get back into the habit and that is what this blog is about --cooking and baking with the zeal and essence that Ma Bott brought to
my family. Grandma, this blog is dedicated to you.