Hi! My name is Lisa Marietta Gianotti Wear.
I never know exactly what people are wanting to know from an "about" page. But I too, usually go and read it also. I usually want to know who is talking behind the words? Are they young? Old? Got hair? No hair? What makes someone spend time writing something?
We are curious aren't we?
So to answer those questions right off the bat. I'm a mom, step-mom, and a grandma. I was born in 1961. I gave you that number so you could do some simple math and figure out my age. It's that curiousity thing.
I began this site as an experiment and then it became therapy. I'll explain.
I was bored with my cube job. And one day, like many I had those piddly moments. You know, those moments you are waiting for everybody to get you an answer so that you can complete your job because you are are absolutely stuck until they can get their shizz together?! It was during those moments I thought, "Hmmmm I wonder how websites make money.." And then I'd think, "How do people make a website? Do they blog? Do they contribute? How does that all work"? And I began to explore in my piddly-free moments at work.
The second stage of my site was "therapy". It just came to be. I didn't go hunting a new therapy. It just happened like this.
I began writing this in mid-2009. I'd cook on the weekends. Take pictures before the kids ate all the desserts. Then I'd sit at my computer and write about the recipes I'd just baked. I had just recently remarried, our household went through shifting and moving. The step-kids and my kids enjoyed the fact I was writing this site. They got to eat dessert constantly. They were the taste-testers. The experiment was moving forward and it was fun.
But BOOM!(Here comes the "therapy" part.) On December 27th, 2009 my children lost their father to a short battle with kidney cancer. They were young. Ages 13 and 16. Around that same time I completed my contract at work. Due to the great recession I couldn't find another contract. We lost my income which was healthy. Several months later my husband lost his job. Then the house I had lived in for 12 years wasn't selling. Over 230 showings. Nothing. I listened to the experts. I kept putting money in for upgrades, new roof. I used all my savings. Sold my stocks. And then the house was vandalized. 15K of damage. Not all covered. Still no job. But light at the end of the tunnel. I got a contract on the house. The bank wouldn't settle. It began to go into foreclosure. Dark times. But cooking and writing about sweets kept me doing something positive and moving forward as I tried to not feel over whelmed being the only surviving parent while looking for a job and dealing with probate court and negotiating with the bank.
Thankfully we dug out of those days. And life is much better now. As for this website I can now answer the questions I had in 2009. Could I write about something I enjoyed and still write about it several years down the road? Could a website make enough money that it made it worth my time? To both I can answer "yes".
(SIDEBAR: If you are wondering about the money part I have all of those details on this page - get paid for writing.)
So if the rest of how I got to cooking Italian desserts interests you - here you go
My name is Lisa Marietta Gianotti. In the picture on the left, this is my family today. My mom, dad, my sister Tina Vittoria, and my brother Paolo Remeggio. We were all born in San Francisco, California to a full blooded Italian dad and a full blooded Slavic mom.
My mom is my entertainment. And she has been crowned the food goddess of the family.
My mom was (and still is) an avid cook. She lives to straighten her cupboards and rearrange the refrigerator. She has mentally inventoried and memorized every item in her pantry back to the last row of 3 year old cans. Unfortunately as I was growing up she felt her calling was to monitor my sugar intake. When she said, "Only three cookies after dinner," I felt ripped off.
When I was in elementary school, my mom began to travel down the hippie-earth-road-culture. We were planting fruit trees, eating out of our garden, distilling our water, and grinding our own wheat - and I began calling mom by her first name, Marilyne. By then Marilyne had changed her philosophy on dessert. I no longer came home to fresh baked cookies, but snacks of organic carrots and mustard were now the after-school treat. UGH. When I hit high school the desserts dried up altogether!
When we did get that one sacred dessert Marilyne substituted ingredients with the fear factor foods of the day - carob, wheat germ, or some other hidden obscure health crystal. I couldn't shake my sweet tooth and buy into her latest cooking tangent. All I could think about was - when was the next holiday? My Italian grandmas and aunts planned their holiday recipes months ahead. And when we celebrated, the dessert table was loaded with real desserts - full of gooey buttery sugary stuff that dripped off the platter.
At sixteen I began to ask my grandma for her recipes. She loaded me up with her recipe cards, her friend's recipes (which her own critique) - and many of her Italian civic organizations' cookbooks. I use these cookbooks today. The food stained pages carry many memories.
In my twenties (wow - was I really twenty?) I began to make my grandmas recipes. Husband number one was a picky eater, but he loved anything my grandma cooked. So I aimed to please. (Yeah, whatever.) I was only experimenting a little for fear of violating his finicky taste buds. After 19 years of marriage we UN amicably parted ways. I became a single mom and the two youngest kids were homebodies. They rarely wanted to eat out and after a long day of staring at a computer chained to a cube, I was content coming home to cook. My dormant cooking skills began to blossom ever so slowly when my sister moved in to share our home. And after awhile, I soon deemed myself a true food snob as my Italian roots began to take hold of my recipes.
I've turned into my mom. Our house is filled with very little prepackaged or processed foods. I cook from scratch every night. And since we eat nutritious, exercise regularly, desserts are my one vice. (Oh, yeah and wine too!) Even though I'm in my fifties I want at least six cookies at a setting (or more)! And it's really hard to tell the kids and grand kids they can't have six cookies when I'm slamming half a dozen down myself.
I love this site! I love to eat! And what could be better than put all of those together! And as my grandma would always say, "Everybody needs a little bit of sugar"
Thanks for reading down this far!