The stories in this book are things that happened to Dr. Ramsey during his childhood and youth, or to one of his children or grandchildren. He has told them in the style of 'Safed the Sage', a book he read and admired as a young man. In order to make the storytelling easier, he has told the 'children and grandchildren stories' as if they happened to a single daughter or to one granddaughter or grandson.
Each story has an included Bible passage to make it possible to more directly use the book as a devotional resource. His loving-kindness and generosity are obvious in the way he interacts with the children in the stories, and they are a great example of the way seemingly ordinary lifetime events can be used to learn valuable lessons.
“My mother, Josephine Taglialavora, was the inspiration for this book. She was born on March 27, 1942, into a working class, Italian Family. In those days, large family gatherings would take place on a weekly basis and, being Italian, those gatherings put a major focus on food, food… and more food. Josephine would watch her mother, Rosalie LaVora, cook large meals for her family and quickly caught on to creative ways to cook and use spices and herbs. As a mother, Josephine lived a hectic life raising five children, all while running a company she built from the ground up. She didn’t cook family dinners every night because she simply did not have time. However, on many occasions, she would host family dinners and cook dishes such as pasta and meatballs, Sicilian steak, salad, and fresh bread. In her later years, Josephine watched her marriage dissolve and cooking became a refuge. My mother was inventive and creative in her later years when she found herself again through cooking. My mother and I began discussing making a cookbook to share our joy cooking and our family’s recipes with the world. We began talking about what recipes we should put in the book and how we wanted the book look. My mother suggested “”Bella Mangiare”” as the title of the book and I loved it! My world was turned upside down when I received a call from my son telling my mother was ill and was being rushed to the hospital. Ten days later, she was gone. As I sat by her bedside, never leaving her room, she told me to finish the cookbook we started, and that is just what I did. After three years, I realized it was time to stop mourning and start celebrating her life.
I present to you a commemoration of my mother and the book to celebrate our passion for cooking…”