From one technology to the following, daughters have discovered to prepare dinner at their moms’ sides.

That point-honored custom struck a chord with hundreds of Fb customers when Mary Ellen Raneri began streaming “Baking With Lucy” in March 2020, that includes favourite recipes demonstrated by her mom, Lucy Pollock.

On the primary episode, Pollock shared her recipe for Easter buns.

The cooking classes, with Raneri’s husband, Phil Raneri, behind the cellphone digicam, began as a means for the Latrobe residents to remain linked with buddies through the early days of the pandemic shutdown. They rapidly turned an web sensation.

Pollock died Nov. 22 at 98 of a covid-related lung an infection, however the Raneris continued to bake as a option to take care of the grief and to honor her reminiscence.

They’ll pay tribute to moms all over the place with a particular Mom’s Day class at 1 p.m. Saturday, that includes one other household with a long-standing custom of cooking collectively.

Becoming a member of them can be Philomina Susa, 87, of Calumet and her daughter and granddaughter, Jeanie Lucas and Natalie Lucas, each of New Stanton.

Susa, who’s of Lebanese descent, will make stuffed grape leaves, tabouli and hummus. Raneri will add a lentil salad.

Holding custom alive

Mary Ellen Raneri and Jeanie Lucas met about 10 years in the past in a long-term care facility the place Raneri’s father resided previous to his loss of life. Lucas was a long-term-care ombudsman for Westmoreland County.

“We had such the same ethnic background, although she’s Lebanese and I’m Italian-German-Slovak,” Raneri stated. “Each our households supported traditions and tried to maintain them alive.”

Meals was a giant a part of that for each households.

Courtesy of Jeanie Lucas

Philomina Susa (seated) has taught her grandaughter, Natalie Lucas, and daughter, Jeanie Lucas, her particular Lebanese recipes.


Coincidentally, Lucas’ brother, Vince Susa, lives throughout the road from the Raneris. When relations came visiting with their Lebanese specialties, the Raneris had been invited over for samples.

Philomina Susa discovered her recipes from her personal mom, who immigrated from Lebanon together with her husband. She cooked for 22 years for the retired clergymen and state police trainees on the St. Joseph Heart in Unity, now referred to as the Christ Our Shepherd Heart.

“I’d eaten quite a lot of Philomina’s meals. She was at all times keen to share a recipe,” Raneri stated. “I believed it could be so cool to have her come on and prepare dinner together with her daughter.”

“She requested me, ‘Will you come on together with your mother and daughter, since my mom’s not right here?’” Lucas stated. “I do know it’s a tough time for her, lacking her mom on Mom’s Day, however she wished to honor household matriarchs and their recipes.”

“In our heads, our mothers had been all nice cooks, even when it was simply peanut butter and jelly,” Raneri stated. “That’s the thread that runs by means of all of this, the custom and the overwhelming, beautiful love we’ve got for our mothers.”

Laughing all the way in which

Lucas stated the invitation to go on the present was slightly daunting at first.

“We have now none of those recipes written down and, anyway, the recipe is only a information,” she stated. “You understand how it’s with moms, it’s all about the way it appears and the way it feels.

“However we’re going to chuckle throughout it, as a result of that’s what we do.”

Raneri stated her husband was slightly skeptical in regards to the stuffed grape leaves.

“He stated, ‘I’m not gonna eat that,’ and I stated, ‘Oh sure, you might be, and also you’ll like it,’” she stated. “This Saturday, he’ll have his first stuffed grape leaf epiphany.”

Even in Pollock’s absence, the present continues to be common, Raneri stated. The “Baking With Lucy” Fb web page at the moment has greater than 50,000 followers.

A cookbook of Pollock’s recipes additionally continues to promote nicely, she stated, particularly across the holidays. Info on “Baking With Lucy in Her Cozy Kitchen” is accessible at

“We’re listening to each day from folks in every single place,” she stated.

Raneri is also engaged on a ebook referred to as “Rising Up With Lucy and Mike,” a collection of reminiscences that she stated “are all wrapped across the recipes.”

Shirley McMarlin is a Tribune-Evaluation workers author. You’ll be able to contact Shirley at 724-836-5750, or by way of Twitter .


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