Italian Grandmother’s Best Friend

I’m an Italian Grandmother to nine children. I have four children of my own, who are grown, but still come over every Sunday for dinner. Sometimes, some of the kids stop in during the week just to see what I’m cooking. Nothing makes me happier than feeding my kids and their kids. 

I’ve been cooking all of my life. I started in the kitchen with my mother when I was young. She taught me everything I know, as I did with my own children. I’m in my late seventies now, my hands are getting slightly arthritic, and aside from that I just tire out more easily. 

My daughter-in-law’s mother loves to cook as well, but she’s also no spring chicken, so she could see the toll it was taking on us both. So last Christmas, she gifted us both with a Cuisinart food processor. All my life I had been accustomed to chopping everything by hand, and for some reason in the back of my mind I was worried that my cooking wouldn’t be as authentic if I took a shortcut. As much as I hate to admit being wrong, I was.

We were sitting down looking at different things that this food processor could do. I was pleasantly surprised. My daughter-in-law showed me a website called KitchenWorksUSA where I could purchase some extra Cuisinart DLC-7 parts to accommodate different needs. I was actually getting excited about this.

I make a lot of red sauce. And when I say a lot, I mean that. I have four kids, their spouses, and my nine grandkids all in my house on a Sunday, and if I don’t have sauce and meatballs ready to send them home with, all hell would break loose. Not to mention whatever meal I’m cooking for that day, which usually also involves the sauce. I knew purchasing a larger bowl and a larger feed tube would make a big difference in making it easier to produce such a large quantity.

My sauce is made from fresh tomatoes, and includes chopped onion and garlic. With my Cuisinart food processor, I can chop the onions and the garlic, set those aside, and then puree my tomatoes. Something that would have usually taken me a few hours now takes me a quarter of the time. I also make up all my sauce for the whole month because it freezes really well. I have a pretty good gauge of how much I’ll need for the week for my own meals, our Sunday dinner, and whatever my family needs to take home. 

I also make my meatballs with the food processor. I make my own breadcrumbs and chop the meat in the food processor as well. I usually make these every Saturday, since I know someone will take them if I don’t have a current use for them. 

I have to say, even with my old school traditions, I was so thankful for a shortcut with making my meals, especially because there was no sacrificing the quality. I highly recommend this for anyone who has to make dinners for large families.

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