My maternal grandmother was a true Italian socialite. She had the most active social life of anyone that I have ever met. When I was growing up, spending time with her meant going to afternoon coffee dates with her friends. Playing canasta or poker at the country club most of Saturday afternoons and if there was a birthday, wedding, baby birth, baptism or any type of celebration within a 50-mile radius in our city, she was there, my sister and I at her heels.
She was generous, funny, and knew EVERYONE. What she was not, however, was a fan of a kitchen. Unlike my paternal grandmother, Nonna Franca was not a slave to her kitchen. She could cook, but it was easy dishes, something that she could put together fast and be out of there to meet her social circle at the next bingo game.