Dear Mama

Hi! Welcome. Please add your question to Mama in the comments feed and she will do her best to answer quickly!

23 Responses to Dear Mama

  1. francis says:

    Just want to know a home remedy for menopause 🙂

    • Hi Francis!
      Mama claims that she never suffered from any menopausal symptoms! My guess is that she either doesn’t remember or is so crazy already that it didn’t make a blip in her behaviour :). Her sister is a homeopathic healer and runs a shop…she gave me some soy pills and I use a patch Climil, all natural, that reduces the hot flashes. Hope this info. Helps a little 😉
      Thx for asking!

  2. Imani says:

    Do you iron underclothes? If so, why? Thanks.

    • Dear Lmani,
      Of course I iron my underclothes! Don’t you?
      Actually, many Italian homes do not own modern clothes driers so the clothes dry outside in the fresh air and they are not as soft, so ironing them makes them softer. In historic times, it was common to iron the bed sheets too, as it was believed that a hot iron would kill dust mites and bed bugs.
      Thanks for writing in!
      Bacione, Mama

  3. Cyndy says:

    cool – good to know!

  4. Star Meyer says:

    Dear Leah, I couldn’t find an e-mail for you, so please forgive me using the “Dear Mamma” comment section…I’m an ex-pat, too, working at a marvelous museum in Milan, the Bagatti Valsecchi Museum (one of Europe’s most important and best preserved historic house museums), see us in the YouTube video I wrote and organized (English subtitles): In case any of your readers are coming to Milan for Expo, they might enjoy visiting our museum. If you come to Milan to prepare your Expo post, I’d be happy to accompany you on a visit of the museum, let’s coordinate in advance, please. Thanks so much, bye for now, Star Meyer

    • Hi Star, thanks for the comment. No matter where you posted it…I suppose adding a contact me page wouldn’t be such a bad idea 🙂
      Thx for the museum info. Sounds very interesting. I never go to Milan, but maybe I should start! Take care, Leah

  5. Ivanka Di Felice says:

    I would love to introduce my book about our life in Italy to your readers. It is written in a humorous style and provides insight into the ways of this wondrous land and an inside look at the people (I have relatives!) If one enjoys humor and travel books they may find my book amusing. Or I would love to contribute one of the chapters from my book (I can send you several depending on what you are looking for) or participate in an interview.

    Author bio:

    Ivanka Di Felice is a writer living in Tuscany. She will assure you that it’s far less pretentious than it sounds. She was born in Toronto, Canada. She is 39 years and 94 months old. In her quest for happiness, she followed Nora Ephron’s advice: “Secret to life, marry an Italian.”

    Book Description:

    This light, lively book takes place in Italy, with hilarious anecdotes about the author and her husband’s trip to visit his family in Abruzzo and finally their escape to Tuscany.

    Ivanka Di Felice’s own expectations were shattered when she embarked on la dolce vita. She envisioned drinking unforgettable Brunello by candlelight and discussing art and history with elegant dinner guests. Instead, dinner discussions revolved around how to avoid a “bad wind,” whether the Mafia runs IKEA, and bizarre theories on why the Chinese in Italy never have funerals. Now she drinks Zio’s own “unforgettable,” almost undrinkable, wine, as he pays long-winded tributes to the vile liquid as if it were an elixir of the gods. Celebrate with our author—for mere mortals, or their livers, could not have lived to tell the tale.

    Follow her unlikely adventures as she’s reduced to tears by crazy-making Italian bureaucrats and tries to find work as a truffle telemarketer. You will encounter elderly aunts climbing trees, pyromaniac septuagenarians, and all sorts of “fowl” play.

    So pour yourself a glass of bad Italian wine, add a dose of accordion music, and spend some time in Ivanka Di Felice’s Italy.

    My book can be sampled at:

    I thank you so very much for your time.

    Best regards,
    Ivanka Di Felice

    • Dear Ivanka, thank you for taking the time to write Mama. The purpose of this forum is mainly to ask Mama for advice.
      I congratulate you on writing your book!
      I am currently in the process of writing my own and therefore don’t have much time for reading other people’s stories at the moment. I wish you the best of luck in your endeavor and perhaps sometime down the road I will be freed up to give it a read. Best regards, Leah

    • Evan says:

      I thought this was a site about mothers in law and the situations that arise when living with them. Didn’t know it was a site for you to hawk your wares

      • Dearest Evan, I’m sorry you feel that way. I am just promoting fun and you are certainly not obliged to buy anything I sell or read this blog at all. Everything I write is meant to be fun and not mean spirited towards Italians or my in-laws. There are cultural differences for sure and sometimes that can be very frustrating but such as love and life! Buona Giornata! Leah

  6. Evan says:

    oh one more thing, my IMIL was recently talking about growing up in the old country and stories about WWII she told me about her male relatives assisting in the war. When I asked which side she went pale and silent and after a second quickly said I don’t remember I was a little girl. Call me crazy but I think I know which side they may have been assisting. Now I’m not calling my IMIL Hitler or Mussolini but…..

    • Hi, sorry I have been so slow to respond to your comment. Life has gotten extremely busy!
      Yes, your assessment of Northern folks is that they are colder, or at least that has been my experience. However, I have also met some lovely people here including my husband 🙂
      Thx for commenting! Cheers, Leah

  7. Evan says:

    I have quickly learned the difference between northern and southern Italians. In my experiences this far IMHO it seems that first generation immigrant FIL and MIL from southern Italy seem for the most part the very loving happier immigrants, where as the northern Italians closer to Austria especially those that lived close to the time of WWII(during and within 15 years post war) seem to be very cold, emotionally guarded and meaner/tougher.

    Am I way off base in this assessment?

  8. julia says:

    dear momma, how do you grow tomatoes in an apartment?

    • Cara Julia, why you spell your name with a J? It should be a G, you no know the alphabet? Theres no a J.
      Anyway, why you wanna grow tomatoes on the balcony when you can buy them from the nice man at the fruittivendolo? They give you free recipes, tell you how to make a nice sugo for your husband. You single? How you gonna meet a nice man if you grow tomatoes on your balcony?
      P.S. I actually have no idea!
      Ciao Bella, Mama xo

  9. djrk2015 says:

    dear momma, where is your favourite market in Geova and why?

    • Ciao! That’s not so easy to answer tesoro. I like the market in Terralba but also Piazza Palermo, that’s where I buy my son’s socks. You like cheese? There’s a guy, he goes to that piazza, I dunno the name, I forget, but it is near Piazza Corvetto on Via Roma where your boyfriend should buy you nice things, anyway, he is there Tuesdays and he has the best ricotta and chicken legs in Italia. You single? I take you to my butcher in San Fruttuoso, Mama Mia, these three brother’s are cutie pies! And the meat quality is the best, I make a nice roast for my son. You can cook, right?
      Bacione! X Mama

  10. Julia says:

    Yes mama I am single but not looking to date anyone but Italy for the time being. The men at the fruit stands here are all old so maybe that re-explains my plant question. And I spell my name with a J because that’s the way we spell t where I am from.

    • Cara Julia, Stay away from those dirty old men! Eat meat! Go to San Fruttuoso, you will see where the buses turn, there is a park in the middle with one of those horsy go around things, my butcher and his cute brothers are young and smile lots. They are on the other side of the park. Just keep going into all the butchers there til you find the cute ones, yeah? I dunno the name, just how to get there, sorry. Ciao!

  11. djrk2015 says:

    oh and yes I can cook but want to learn the true Italian way. In America its not to hard to be a good cook. And if your from the south in America when discussing food and life……you either shoot it, eat it, or marry it- LOL Looking for some different ideas than that. 🙂

    • Cara Julia, Cooking is very simple here. There are some simple rules to live by and then learn how to break them. For example, never, ever heat up pesto. It ruins the flavour. Save your good olive oil to use on salads etc. and never try to deep fry with it. Genoa has the best minestrone, add a dollop of pesto, some oil, and cheese and enjoy it Genovese style. If you want to try the best farinata (chickpea pie), or any other traditional dish where all the locals go, go to Corso Buones Aires, behind the church, you will find the best at Santa Zita. Buon appetito!

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