What Comes From a Jar

MC40_Antipasto2My story revolves around a family recipe for Antipasto. First some background. I am 57 years old, the middle of 5 children, and the product of a ‘mixed marriage’ – my mother’s parents were from Scotland, my father’s from Calabria, Italy. It came as a shock to both families when these two young people met at a church dance and married in 1950. Two different worlds – different traditions, relationships.. and food!

So it’s ironic that when I was 24 years old and looking for something to do it was my Scottish mother who shared the recipe for Antipasto with me. It turns out that she had become quite expert at making this very Italian recipe – in an effort to fit in with my dad’s family.

It is also ironic that my partner-in-making-antipasto is of Irish descent. And so the Celtic-Italian Antipasto tradition continued. Every year since 1979 we have made antipasto together. We have laughed together, cried together and broken more than our share of mason jars together. Over a steaming canner we have shared the joys and heartbreaks of our lives as our families grew. Antipasto Day became a tradition we cherish.

This year something magical happened.

Without a lot of organizing on our part our daughters (and one daughter’s daughter) showed up to help with Antipasto. There they were chopping, talking, nervously filling jars for the first time, and sharing a lifetime of memories. As my “Antipasto Friend’ and I looked at each other across the room we both knew that we were embedding this tradition into the next generation. From southern Italy, to my Scottish mother, to our hybrid Italian-Irish team.. onto our own children who are a wonderful mix of Irish, Scottish, Swiss, French Canadian, Swiss… Antipasto lives on. And each jar contains rich memories and stories that nourish us inside and out.

-Maria in Vancouver