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Growing Up in the Butcher Shop: Cooking on the Grill Cottura sulla Griglia

Ciao Amici ,


Oh how we loved cooking al fresco ( outside ) this time of the year. There is a saying: Un Uomo che ha carne cerca fuoco (a man who has meat seeks fire.) And my Grandfather and Father would seek out the grill! I liked to help them start the charcoal fire; no gas grill here. Our patio was situated under the fig tree and surrounded with roses climbing the lattice and a tin roof. My Grandfather’s cousin  Russo ( Red )  Trigiani came to visit us from Canada one Spring and Grandpop sliced  thin black angus round steaks on the slicer. As long as you keep eating I will keep on slicing Grandpop declared. When the coals were finally ready the cooking began.  A little olive oil, salt & pepper rubbed onto the meat. Siz, siz sizzle as the steaks hit the grill; in a moment they were turned over and five or six slices were slipped into the fresh bread. The smile on Grandpop’s face stretched from ear to ear as he watched his cousins mangia (chow down)  as they were enjoying those steak sangwiches. Many pounds and loaves of bread later; they reached their limit and thanked him for such great food. The best ingredients, the simple cooking method, and love what sapore (flavor).

     Another great dish we enjoyed grilling was lamb chops. My Dad tells the story about the time they grilled  lamb chops for everyone and although my brothers and I were quite young at the time; Dad figured we would eat two or three chops each. But as we sat at the picnic table to eat, we hollered for more. They were so amazed and went up stairs into the shop’s walk-in refrigerator for more. From that day on lamb chops became a favorite and we enjoyed them when we got together even after we moved out on our own. We always had a great variety of meats to be enjoyed on the grill. Like everyone else we had the hotdogs and hamburgers. In addition we had ring bologna, chicken, and our homemade sausage, which was followed by a steak. Grandmom always said to cook more, just in case someone would stop by.

     As I light my grill at night to cook at home and  as the smoke rises,  I look up at the sky and think; I wish the aroma of these steaks  finds a way up  to my grandparents  so they will know they taught me well .  A little olive oil, salt & pepper rubbed onto the meat. Siz, siz, sizzle as the steak hit the grill and in a moment I dip it  into some  fresh bread.


Mostrare ospitalita e aver parte nella tavola degli angel / To show hospitality is to share in the banquet of angels


Best Regards / Con cordiali saluti


J. DeFranco @ Daughters Catering


My book, “Growing up in the Butcher Shop“ is available at the shop  to receive menu specials and our newsletter by join our mailing list at our WEB PAGE: - Click on Mailing List and enter your e-mail Send us your Roseto stories, recipes and comments to E-mail: or call 610-588-6991 Store Hours: Vary  due to catering and other Issues  so Call Before stopping in