One of my co-workers in my 9-5 job decided to post some inspirational sayings around the room…
With all the photography work I’ve been doing lately, this quote seems well suited. I’m excited to see where all this goes. Much to my delight, I came home to this:
Yay! My new business cards arrived early!!! Whoo-hoo! (It’s all about the small things.)
Hope you had a good day!
This week brought a number of things… A first mother’s day for many close friends, a 10-year college reunion invitation, and a bittersweet anniversary – I lost my grandmother 10 years ago this week. My grandmother struggled towards the end of her life. She was weakened by several heart attacks and congestive heart failure. Mama fought to stay alive – she saw me get my first professional television production job in early 2002, and clung on just long enough to learn I graduated college. Once she learned that I received my degree, she started to slip away. Two days following graduation, she left this world.
I’m not one to think about anniversaries too often, especially sad ones like this. I choose to celebrate her life whenever I can and remember so many wonderful things we were able to share together. The smell of meatballs and gravy in her kitchen, exploring the pantry, and trying to figure out where those delicious smells originated from… Listening to my dad and uncle rave about her stuffed mushrooms, but being a stubborn and picky child and refusing to try one. But the smell… The scent of garlic, basil, and olive oil permeated throughout the house and took at least two days to disappear!
I never asked her how she made them. I never watched her make them. All I knew was that Mama’s stuffed mushrooms were a staple on my family’s holiday table – my dad and uncle would bicker for first dibs, my great-aunt wondered why hers never came out as good, and the rest of us hungry Italians patiently waited for the dish to be passed around the table. Except for me, of course, the former Ms. Picky Eater. But I could not let that tradition go after Mama died. It was too precious, and I wanted to carry it on in her memory. Before our first Thanksgiving without Mama, I called my great-aunt for the recipe.
Naturally, it was an ingredient list without measurements! How else would my Italian grandmother make something? I remember my great-aunt Lola saying, “Good luck with that! No one ever made them as good as Mama’s!”. Little by little, I tossed the stuffing ingredients into a bowl. A little bit of bread, a little olive oil, a bit of garlic, and a few other seasonings… Mix, taste, add more, repeat. This went on until the mixture smelled and tasted familiar. I spooned the mixture into the mushrooms, and baked them until my crappy basement apartment suddenly smelled like my grandmother’s kitchen. And my family loved them.
It’s 10 years later, and a lot has changed since then. Thankfully I’m no longer in that crappy basement apartment. But every holiday, my kitchen transforms into Mama’s – her stuffed mushroom recipe and family tradition lives on. I received the biggest complement last holiday season from my family – my uncle and mom said that my stuffed mushrooms were better than my grandmother’s. And then something she always said to me rang though my head, as it does in so many different situations: “My beauty-ful Alicia… You can do anything you want to do!”.
A post about Mama’s Stuffed Mushrooms will come either around Father’s Day, or during the holiday season!
Thanks to the Red Sox for letting around 50,000 fans check out Fenway Park yesterday! I got there pretty late in the day, so I was disappointed to miss checking out the press box, taking a peek inside of the Green Monster, and see other areas of the park normally closed off to the public. But walking along the warning track is an incredibly special experience! I really, really hope the Red Sox organization has another open house this season to celebrate Fenway’s 100th birthday. I would love to take my time photographing everything Fenway has to offer.
Launching a new photography website is somewhat similar to moving into a new home or buying a new car. It’s filled with all sorts of possibilities – it’s exciting to think of what will happen, and what adventures lie ahead. I took a little hiatus from photography (or at least a hiatus from showing my work to the world) because I fell into a creative rut. Tired of photographing the same things in the same way, I looked to other sources of inspiration – the things that surround me every day, but never considered photographing. I’m launching this new site with renewed passion for visual storytelling and a focus on nourishment – the fuel we receive through food, and the energy exchanged between our families, our furry friends, and the rest of the world around us.