Is it Gravy or is it Sauce?

Everything in life changes.  When I was going to school, Pluto was a planet.  Now it isn’t any more.  Change!  To me it will always be a planet.

I was born in Astoria, in the Borough of Queens, in the state of New York.  Somewhere along the way in my late 20’s or early 30’s someone decided that Astoria should be called Long Island City.  So that’s what it’s called now.  Change!  To me it will always be Astoria.

My grandfather came to this country from Foggia Italy thru Ellis Island in the year 1900 & both of my grandmothers came over in 1901.  I don’t know where in Italy they were born.  I never knew my mother’s father and she spoke very little about him.  I know he was a  pianist who deserted her and my grandmother when she was very little.  When I would ask about him she would reply that she never thought about him and neither should I.  So I stopped asking.

Both of my parents were born in this country.  We were by all definitions your typical middle-class Italian American family… or as my mother would always correct me “you’re an American of Italian decent”.  “Always remember you’re an American first!”, she would say.   We all lived in one house; me, my parents, and my grandparents.

Growing up in an “American Italian” family Sundays always meant spaghetti and meatballs for dinner.  It didn’t matter if we were having a different kind of pasta that wasn’t spaghetti, it was ALL spaghetti and meatballs.  And just like it was always spaghetti and meatballs, it was always GRAVY and meatballs!  It wasn’t until I was in my 40’s that  someone had the nerve to correct me and say it wasn’t gravy, it was sauce.  A non-Italian person was telling ME that I was saying it wrong!  I laughed, rolled my eyes and walked away.

But then I started hearing it more and more often.  There it was again – Change! And once again, to me it will always be gravy.  So much debate over nothing.  In the end, does it really matter?








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