25 Signs You Grew Up in an Italian Household

25 Signs You Grew Up in an Italian Household

"Mangia!"
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I grew up in Middletown, Connecticut, the official sister city of Melili, Sicily, in Italy. I grew up living with my grandparents and my mother, all of whom are mostly Italian. These are the telltale signs you grew up in a traditional Italian household like I did.

1. Your last name ends in a vowel.

My family name is Talevi. My best friend's is Bibisi. You get the idea.

2. You talk with your hands.

Are you even Italian if you don't use hand gestures for every sentence that comes out of your mouth?

3. You never say no to food.

Even if you’re not hungry, you eat anyways. Italians hold the value that when a guest enters the house, he or she must eat. If you reject food when it is offered to you, it is perceived as rude. This means that even if you don’t come into the house hungry, when Nonna offers you a home cooked meal, you eat it. And if you are offered seconds, you better take that too. You never leave an Italian household hungry. The interaction will go something like this.

4. Everyone yells in your house.

No one is angry. That's just how we talk.

5. Dinner discussions revolve around food.

You talk about what you ate earlier that day, and what your next meal is going to be. It's disgusting, really.

6. Everyone talks at the same time.

There is never a quiet moment at your family dinner table. Everyone just talks over each other, and everyone tries to be the loudest. You really have to shout if you want to get a word in.

7. You literally have two thousand cousins.

And aunts, and uncles, etc. How are there so many?

8. Family gatherings are a circus.

When you get the family together for reunions or holidays, it's so loud that you can't even hear yourself think. You're better off stuffing your face with food than trying to yell over everyone else.

9. There are at least four men named Joe in the family.

10. "Mangia!"

"Eat!" You're not leaving this table until you finish your plate, so you better "mangia!"

11. Bread is acceptable for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Italian bread is part of every meal: toast for breakfast, meatball grinder for lunch, and pasta with bread dipped in sauce for dinner. Bonus points if it's garlic bread.

12. Parmesan cheese goes on everything.

13. Wednesday is Prince Spaghetti night.

On Wednesdays, we don't wear white.

14. Everyone in the family has dark hair and eyes.

If not, you're accused of being the mailman's child.

15. Pastina cures all.

Pastina is Italian penicillin! Sick? Eat pastina. Headache? Eat pastina. Going into labor? Eat pastina.

16. Your family pet likes pasta.

There's nothing like Nonna's homemade sauce! She wants everyone to eat her homecooked meals, even the dog.

17. Don't even think about bringing home a boy who's not Italian.

We don't call ourselves thick-headed guineas for nothing.

18. You were taught to leave the house lights on it so it looks like someone is home in order to deter robbers.

Bulletproof logic right there. Have you ever met an Italian with a home security system?

19. "Capiche?"

You've never heard your parents say, "do I make myself clear" at the end of a sentence. Only "Capiche?" It means, "understand?" and is almost always accompanied by the go-to Italian hand gesture (See #2).

20. All hail the Italian horn.

It protects you from the Evil Eye.

21. You've gotten the Sicilian silent treatment at least once.

If you're lucky enough to be Sicilian as well as Italian, you know that your family is capable of straight-up ignoring your existence for the rest of your life. We take grudges to the grave.

22. You've been called "stunad!"

Stupid.

23. Cannolis are the ultimate dessert.

24. "Just a bite" never means just a bite.

If you ask for a little bit of something, you're going to get a ton of it. You can say "that's good," but Nonna is going to keep scooping food onto your plate.

25. When you go out to eat, you go to Italian restaurants.

But not Olive Garden because that's not Italian.




Cover Image Credit: Pinterest

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9 Things All Mexican Food Addicts Know All Too Well

Don't come between me and my Mexican food.
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In the city I grew up in, there is a Mexican restaurant just about every five miles. They are the after school hangouts and first date go-to's for most of the kids here, especially the high school girls.

I know the servers at my favorite one know my order almost every time I go in there (at least once a week). However, a lot of people apparently get tired of eating Mexican food about twice a week... but I sure don't. If you are a Mexican food addict like me, I am sure you know at least a few of these yourself.

1. Cheese dip tastes like heaven and you have to have it.

That amazing creamy white cheese dip put on a perfectly salted chip is enough to make your day better. Forget the actual food---we'd be content living off of cheese dip and chips for the rest of our lives. Our restaurant trip is not complete without an order of it and if you are lucky enough to get your favorite waiter, maybe even get a large bowl for the night.

SEE ALSO: An Ode To Queso, My First And True Love

2. You never have to look at the menu.



We know when we decide to go what we are having and it is probably the exact same plate we order each time. I am sure the servers laugh after I order some days because there is only three things I rotate between. My burrito is always my go-to, unless I am feeling fancy.

3. Some of the servers know who you are when you walk in the door.

Either by first name or by order they know us. You are the ones that they tell to pick your own seat and already have your drink order placed by the time you sit down.

4. Your boyfriend/ girlfriend puts you on Mexican restaurant restriction on date night.


You drag them there so much, they get tired of eating there. So much so, they flat out say no when you ask to go there on date night. I mean, how does someone get tired of Mexican food to begin with though?

SEE ALSO: The Perfect Skin Color For A Mexican?

5. You can hum some of the songs that come on.

We may not know what they are saying in the song, but we know the song---trust us. We are in there so much we remember them. Don't ask any questions when we start humming.

6. You "have" a parking spot.

Do not park in my parking spot that is not actually my parking spot, but is my parking spot. Got it? Just do not do it. That starts my meal bad when you take my normal spot.

7. You used to hangout there all the time after school.

It was the hangout spot. Forget the nasty school lunch--- everyone goes to eat Mexican after school. It's the cool thing to do and it started your addiction.

8. You always want to introduce new people to your favorite restaurant.

Oh, you aced that exam? Let's go eat at this amazing Mexican restaurant I love! We always want to find people to go there to eat with so we always introduce new people to it.

9. People always pick on you about your addiction.


Yes, I love Mexican food. Go ahead and tag me in all the memes on Facebook about tacos. As long as I have my Mexican food, I am fine with that.

All in all, we LOVE our Mexican food and our go-to restaurants--- so here is your warning. Don't come between me and my Mexican food.

Cover Image Credit: jenaroundtheworld

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Southern Comfort Food Recipes

A recipe passed down through the family from my Grandma.

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Since the weather is turning cooler here in Connecticut, I like to keep a little piece of home with me by cooking up some Biscuits and Gravy with sausage crumbles. My Grandma on my mother's side used to make it all the time. On cold mornings it really hits the spot so long as you have the time to make it.

From beginning to end I would say the process takes about 45 minutes.

Kitchen utensils:

- Skillet (10 Inches)

- Wooden Spoon

- Baking Pan

-Measuring Cup

-Mixing Bowl

- Flour Sifter

Oven Temp:350

The easiest way to go about this is by making the biscuits first. They can bake in the oven while the sausage and gravy are being made.

Biscuit Recipe

Usually, I never measure, I know it's bad, its a Southern habit but for you guys I did.

1 cup flour (Self-rising)

1/2 cup water

2 Tbsp bacon grease**

1 tsp salt- for taste

I start by sifting my flour, just make sure there are no clumps. Once the flour is sifted, I add the bacon grease to it. This is a vital ingredient. Otherwise, your biscuits will taste very bland. There will be a note at the end of the recipe on how to render the bacon grease. Add the water and salt and mix the ingredients until they are incorporated, the dough will be wet. You didn't do anything wrong; it's supposed to be that way.

After the dough is made I like to use a large silverware spoon to scoop (like you would cookie dough) them out and put them on the baking sheet, sprayed with non-stick cooking spray or buttered, whichever you prefer. This recipe should yield about 8 biscuits. If you want more or less, you can edit the recipe accordingly.

Bake biscuits at 350 temp for 20-25 minutes. Or until the tops are nice and golden. Once I pull them from the oven, I like to use a stick of butter and rub it on top, so it seeps into the cracks and crevices.

Sausage

This is probably the easiest part of the recipe.

-1 roll of Jimmy Dean sausage or a sausage of your choice

****Very important side note! It's best not to get the maple flavored kind. Otherwise, you will have maple flavored gravy, and that's not good.

This is where the skillet comes in. In the skillet break apart the sausage roll into the skillet. Cook until sausage is brown, probably 10 minutes. If some gets stuck to the pan that's ok. it will be used for the gravy. Once the sausage is browned remove from the skillet and set aside.

Gravy Recipe

This is my favorite part of the recipe!

Ingredients:

- 1 1/2 cups of water

-1/2 cup of milk

-1 tsp salt

-1 tsp pepper

3 Tbsp flour

After the sausage is removed from the pan, there should be some grease left behind. DO NOT THROW IT OUT! Reduce the heat on the skillet to medium and add the flour. If the flour doesn't become like a thin paste in the bottom of the pan, you don't have enough grease. You can substitute vegetable oil, maybe a teaspoon just enough to loosen the flour.

Let the flour cook until it's a light brown, don't forget to stir it! You want to get all the sausage drippings off the bottom of the skillet. Add salt and pepper. Add water and milk, stir immediately! Otherwise, the gravy will be lumpy. I usually turn the burner off and let it cook from the heat. I like thin gravy, so I only let it cook a few minutes.

Once finished add the sausage back to the gravy and stir it in.

Cut open a biscuit and lay the halves out like a hamburger bun, smoother in gravy and ENJOY!

*** SIDE NOTE- To render bacon grease, save the leftover grease from cooking bacon. It will turn into almost a soft butter consistency after it cools down.

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