• Ancient Greek Temple of Concordia, Agrigento Sicily with olive trees and white flowers

    Strange Food and Beautiful Places

    Growing up I had an Italian grandmother. She was born in Sicily and immigrated to Boston with her family as a kid. She spoke no english, and at the age of 16 had an arranged marriage with a fellow Sicilian from the same village. It’s hard to know her exact history because, true to stereotype, she came without papers. But somehow, I grew up eating Hamburger Helper. I’m sorry, Grandma Rose, these things happen. Despite my one degree of separation from Sicily, I had a mostly middle American, suburban upbringing. My parents were raising five kids on one income, and let me tell you, my mother could stretch a dollar.…