Carlotta’s Mostaccioli

My cooking track record is nothing to brag about. I’m the girl in the dorms that blew the microwave triggering the smoke alarm sending everyone outside because I forgot to put water in my easy mac bowl. I’ve also been known to swap out a few ingredients for fun and it ends up being disastrous. So, it was no surprise to me that my in-laws would soon pick up on this embarrassing quality of mine (or lack of).

Brandon’s grandma, Carlotta, however was an excellent cook. When I opened my bridal shower gift from her (3 years ago) I didn’t understand the value of what she had given me. Truthfully, I probably still don’t. Carlotta wrote out 3 cookbooks worth of her recipes for me; recipes that she hasn’t given to anyone else.

I’m sad to say Carlotta passed away this past week, and she will be greatly missed by all of her family and friends.  I’m also sad to say that those cookbooks sat untouched in my cupboard until yesterday.

As I looked through the recipes I realized something I didn’t see 3 years ago, that made me teary-eyed. On several of the recipe cards she wrote little notes just for me, telling me which dishes are Brandon’s favorites or different variations that he might like, and reminders about which brands of butter work the best and how to tell if the bread is done, etc. Her gift of recipes has now become a family heirloom and a tool to help me become not only a better cook, but a better wife to serve my husband!

Thanksgiving dinner will never be the same without her sweet potatoes and mostacciolli…but have no fear Marken family. I’ve got the recipes.  <fist pump>

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