Dr. Judith A. Melillo, PhD, is a retired professor from Kent State University in Ohio. Judith is the mother of five children—Jason, Thomas, Jamie, Janna, and Mia—and has fifteen grandchildren. She was married for forty-six years to the love of her life, Dr. Thomas V. Melillo, who passed away in 2013.
Judith grew up in East Orange, New Jersey, where she graduated from Saint Joseph’s Elementary School, East Orange Catholic High School, and Montclair State University. In 1967, she married Tom, taught high school mathematics in Collingswood, New Jersey, lived in the Bay Area, and taught at Castro Valley Middle School and Novato High School.
From San Francisco, the Melillos moved to the Cleveland, Ohio, area, and she received her PhD and taught at Kent State University in the College of Education. She currently lives in Arizona and is a passionate gourmet home cook. The recipes in this book are simple foods, mostly from her childhood as well as recipes she has altered or created. The majority of the Italian recipes are from her mother, her aunt, and her grandmother.
Steeped in Italian tradition and accented with wonderful stories and memories, the book began as a way to preserve family history and the rich Italian traditions for her children, grandchildren, and nieces and nephews. As her circle of friends grew and her talent for entertaining blossomed, more and more of her friends wanted copies of the family recipes. This cookbook is the result of much support, encouragement, and love from her husband Tom, her mother, her sisters, and her friends.