The town I grew up in was rich in Polish and Italian food culture, although my mother cooked recipes that aligned more with the Pennsylvania Dutch influences of her town, a rural farming village just 12 miles away. My mother and grandmother both cooked, although to be honest, very little of my interest in cooking began at home. I did draw from experience, however, when I developed my Cook's Country recipe for Pennsylvania Dutch Chicken and Corn Soup. My nana used to make it all the time, and the smell of the soup always takes me back to her kitchen.
My best friend's family was Polish and Italian, though, so I developed a great appreciation for things like pierogies and haluski from days spent at her house.