I am grateful for this ever growing community on the blog. Since I have new faces I wanted to share this story about a special place that I call home…
I’m from Cagliari, Sardegna (I’m always amazed by how many Americans don’t know where that is- look it up). My family has owned a beach home in the district of Santa Margherita di Pula in Sardegna for 45 years. This is where I live every summer of my life.
My nonni (grandparents) originally bought this home to create a gathering place for our entire family. As the years passed and our family expanded my nonni’s dream came true. The home turned into a place we all planted roots and grew. Every year we return and gather in our little community with the same neighbors, of 45 years, that we consider family.
With these people we’ve mourned tragedy, death, shared the tender mercies of miracles, birth, friendship, belly aching laughter, and enjoyed countless meals at one another’s tables.
On this beach I learned classified cooking tricks, methods, flavors, and the pure love of la cucina Italiana. I sunbathed and listened to the Italian nonnas (gradmothers) plan their weekly meals- often engaging in heated discussions over preferred cooking styles and what fruit vendor they prefer- the true Italian way! Recipes passed by their voices and often never written or recorded. I often hear their voices in my kitchen today. The ingredients simple, local, and in season. Nothing complicated- no one has time for that when feeding large families at the beach. The meals at Santa Margherita nourished my SOUL. These meals taught me the essence and respect for raw ingredients. I learned what it means to mangia (eat). In the true sense, mangia, more than eating, is accepting the love that someone created for you in that meal. A taste of love.
I still don’t know that I call only one place my “home”, perhaps that’s a dilemma I will always face as an Italian woman living in Bountiful, Utah raised by my Italian mamma and Danish stepdad. In my 20’s I searched for the sense of “home” in one place. In my 30’s I embrace all of me and create home wherever I make it. Home is Utah. Home is Sardegna. Home is me.
My family and I pray daily that we will be able to travel to Italy this summer and hug all our loved ones that we miss so dearly. I am sure some of you reading this have the same longing for a place or people that you miss…