Watch Cooking Channel

5 Things I Learned From Other People’s Grandparents

My Grandmother's Ravioli hosted by Mo Rocca

On my new show, My Grandmother’s Ravioli, I’m learning how to cook from the experts — grandmothers and grandfathers who let me into their kitchens to share their wisdom. Here are 5 things they’ve taught me:

1. I learned from Ruth that gefilte fish is not an actual fish. (All you AP bio students out there, quit checking your taxonomy. It ain’t there.)

2. I learned from 91-year-old Gaetano Varbero how to fire a shotgun. (How else were we going to make venison stew?) Gaetano drives a pickup truck. He makes his own ammo. As I type this, he’s elk-hunting in Colorado. Did I mention he’s 91?

3. I learned a really great dirty joke from Tom Napolitano. Three guys from different armies were in a, um, “cathouse.” One was running up the stairs, one was running down the stairs. The other was behind a closed door. The first was a Russian, the second was Finnish and the third? Himalayan. (Mary, his wife of 62 years, rolls her eyes at this one.) We also made manicotti.

4. I learned from best friends — and grandmothers — Meena and Mona that the creamy heavy stuff we know as Indian food is Punjabi. Meena and Mona are Maharashtrian (from the region that includes Mumbai). Their food is much lighter, but still spicy and savory. Oh, and calling the cuisine “Indian food” is sort of like lumping German and Spanish food together and calling it “European food.”

5. I’ve learned that being a grandparent is almost all upside. (Being a parent is much more complicated.) Don’t get me wrong, I want to have kids. But if there were a way to jump right to the grandparent part? (Figure that one out, AP bio students.)

My Grandmother’s Ravioli premieres Wednesday, October 24 at 8:30pm ET.

Meet the grandparents, submit your best family recipe and find out more about My Grandmother’s Ravioli.

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Comments (1374)

  1. Danielle posted 10/18/2012

    HA! I love it, Mo. I would say you learned a lot!

  2. Tina posted 11/01/2012

    My goodness… Gaetano Varbero is my hero! What an inspiration!

  3. Judith posted 11/04/2012

    Thank you for the new show. Can never get tired of Mr. Rocca. Great mix of important history, cooking, and lots of laughs. Congratultions Cooking Channel, including your great casting,. Keep the shows coming it really beats the violence other major networks are carrying!

  4. Chris posted 11/04/2012

    I love this show–please keep making new episodes. And Ruth, should have her own show as well. She was great!

  5. Kathy posted 11/18/2012

    Peggy Guiliano was amazing. The rapport she shared with Mo Rocca was a delight to watch.

  6. josef posted 11/19/2012

    I likes stuff like this website and also it has now given me A few inspiration how to succeed, exceedingly Thanks. =)
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  7. Georgia Nieto posted 11/30/2012

    Just happened to turn on the tv when your show was on…what a fun half hour that was! The episode was featuring Gaetano Varbero. I smiled and laughed the whole time. My grandfather, Louigi Musumano, was just like Gaitano and it warmed my heart to see him and remember my grandfather. He passed in 1997 and I miss him dearly. Thank you Mo, for hosting a show that reminds us to be proud of our grandparents and have fun with them as well so their heritage lives on. Loved your show! 5 stars!

  8. Josef posted 12/01/2012

    Thank you for every other excellent post. The place else may anybody get that type of info in such an ideal way of writing? I have a presentation next week, and I'm on the search for such info.
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    I had to add my comment – I was brought to (sobbing) tears today. I'm 53 and my father passed away in 2003 – but today, watching Gaetano Varbero I saw a look of pleasure on that man's face when he shared his teachings and food with Mo and I suddenly missed my father with all my heart. The memories of a wonderful man flooded back. Thank you for this.

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  14. paticake posted 12/30/2012

    I just saw this show for the first time this afternoon. It's so cute! He was with Mary and three of her friends, the golden gals in Fishkil NY. Such a cute show and the women were just a hoot! I'm going to look for the show in the middle of the week so I can enjoy more!

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    I would love to be on the show……Since I am a Grandma of 4 lovely children and a pretty good cook….Italian, French, chinese, Filipino….soul food you name it!!!! I always make sure to set the TV on reminder so i dont miss your show…..the best…told all my friends about it…and they agree…!!!! Keep up the show…its great!!

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