Starting From Nothing

Nadia Santini was taught how to cook by her mother-in-law. 

I was talking with my Mom and my sister about the religious environment at my sister’s college, which also happens to be my Mom’s alma mater.  My sister was having some interesting experiences, and, being naturally curious, I asked my mom what she had experienced during her days there. 

“It was different back then,” she answered. “We were coming off of the seventies and the Jesus People and everyone was just in love. We were totally in love with God and that was the only thing that mattered.”

This is probably the most fascinating thing I have ever heard my her say. 

Have you ever heard of the Christian Right? No? Well my Mom is the Christian Right. I don’t think many people my age would characterize the Christian Right as being defined by people totally in love with God. But honestly the more I think about it the more this makes sense. Sometime back in the 70s there was a real movement of faith, and a lot of the people involved with what we now call the Christian Right are people who were caught up in that movement and honestly driven by a deep and sincere love for God and a desire to follow.

Many of us who are Children of these people would say that something went wrong along the way, but maybe in pointing fingers at those who came before us we neglect to realize that these people were, in fact, driven by their love and desire to follow God’s plans. The things that spoke to us most deeply were the legalism and the religion, but maybe those things were the only way our parents knew how to express their love and devotion. 

Outward expression is probably easier to communicate and impress upon young minds than inward devotion, so I guess it isn’t too surprising that many walked away with the idea that the outward expression was what was  really important. 

Nadia Santini is currently recognized as the best female chef in the world. But in spite of her prowess in the kitchen her real focus is on raising the the generation. Her children work with her in the kitchen of their small restaurant in Northern Italy, where she teaches them the art and tradition of Italian cuisine. It is important, Nadia says, to build a bridge between generations, because otherwise the next generation has to start from nothing. 




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