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Wilma Theresa Knighten Polvinale … Nonnie

This blog is an ode to Nonnie and to all of those fabulous home cooks who created the taste memories we build on with our own families.  Nonnie, though a wonderful cook, very rarely wrote down a recipe.  And if she did, the original version would soon become a distant memory as she tweaked and updated to suit her tastes.

My plan, at the infancy of this blog, is to dig into family recipes and gray matter to create a library available for my children and also family and friends (old and new) to enjoy and build on.  I will add my own recipes as well since I, too, one day will be a Nonnie (though I am leaning toward GrandQueen or something equally regal) and hope that my kids and theirs will want to cook from (and hopefully tweak!) the family food memories that I’ve passed on.




I am a daughter, sister, wife, mother, working woman, frustrated creative sort from the suburbs of Washington, D.C.  Other than a brief – 10 year – stint in the South, and a wretched freshman year in the land of no sun (Western Pennsylvania … sorry folks from that area … God love ya), I have lived within 20 miles of my birth place.  I’ve made it a point to travel as much as possible to see the country and the world and have gained a great perspective on how food keeps us together as families and helps us find common ground when we are strangers.


Aunt Dot and Bunny (my mother) on Christmas 2013. Bunny is reading “Take Joy.” Betting the over/under on her getting through without choking up is something of a family tradition.

12 thoughts on “About

  1. Barb Aunchman

    A friend has asked me to ask you is there’s a possibility to get the recipe for the peach cobbler your Aunt Dot took to St Mary’s bake sales.
    Any chance of getting that recipe for me?

  2. Diane Evangelista Wood

    Beth, your blog is delightful! I once met Nonnie (Wilma)…. many years ago. What a great idea to honor her memory this way! I so much identify with the things you write (and the way you write!). Recipes were not used so we watched and reproduced as memory would allow. “Authentic” ingredients can make all the difference….so it helps to have an Italian food market close by! One of these days, I’ll take the time to work out a recipe on paper, to share with you. In the meantime, mangia!

    • Diane, Thanks so much for the kind feedback! I love this project and am enjoying the process with the family. You’d be amazed at what sorts of conversations come from the food conversations. Looking forward to any recipes you might want to share. In the meantime, I’ve got the ladies working on braciole. Best, Beth

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