Coming from a family rich in culture, with an Armenian father and an Italian mother, my fondest memories growing up were centered around meal-time. Every evening was a celebration – a family affair meant to be shared. We gathered around glorious feasts prepared by my mom, talking and arguing about daily activities. We rolled our eyes when my mother ran out of dinner ideas and experimented with a new “concoction”. But it was always comforting food – food when eaten alone does not taste the same. Every visit with our grandmothers included family favorites including Armenian grape leaves, shish kebab, pilaf and beoregs or Italian pasta and gravy, meatballs and manicotti. And every holiday included favorite dishes and flavors attached. I can not remember a Christmas afternoon without hours around the antipasto table watching football, or a Thanksgiving dinner without my mom’s bubbling apple pie and whipped cream. They were constants, and we looked forward to them year after year.