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Growing Up in the Butcher Shop: Autumn / Autunno

 

Ciao Amici,

 

     We always looked forward to the season of autumn while growing up in the butcher shop. Many of us do not realize how fortunate we are to be able to enjoy the four seasons. The wonderful fall colors of the trees make you pause to see nature’s beauty. Grandpop would take us for a walk in the woods and fields and show us and tell us what the different trees were. He had us taste the nuts from the walnut trees with their green cover and black skin. “You must try one fresh so you can tell the difference”, he would say. The nut cured from the chestnut tree would be roasted or boiled (al lace) with bay leaf. You had to work hard at the hickory nut because there was not very much meat in them. Grandpop would cut some of the bark off the birch, maple or sarsaparilla roots to give us a nibble and to show where the flavor of some of the soda came from. We could hear the acorns dropping onto the roofs reminding us that winter will soon be here.

 

     I recently read an article about the majestic redwood trees that stand for hundreds of years surviving all the elements. I also learned that they have a rather shallow root system which makes their survival very remarkable. They live on because they exist in groves with their root systems intertwined with other trees. So basically, they support each other. They could not survive alone. I think that is how the community of Roseto was; “back in the day.”

 

Un albero spesso non mai è caricato con frutta ha trapiantato.

A tree often transplanted is never loaded with fruit.

 

 

Grazie,

Joe


Growing up in the Butcher: “I Am an Italian-American”
                                                                   Angelo Bianchi, Esq., 1982

Every year the U.S. President signs an executive order designating the month of October as National Italian American Heritage Month. Coinciding with the festivities surrounding Columbus Day, the proclamation is in recognition of the many achievements, contributions, and success of Americans of Italian descent as well as Italians in America. I would like to pass along this poem by Angelo Bianchi which captures many things you may not know about Italian Americans.

·         I am an Italian-American. My roots are deep in an ancient soil, drenched by the Mediterranean sun, and watered by pure streams from snow-capped mountains.

·         I am enriched by thousands of years of culture. My hands are those of the mason, the artist, the man of the soil.

·         My thoughts have been recounted in the annals of Rome, the poetry of Virgil, the creations of Dante, and the philosophy of Benedetto Croce.

·         I am an Italian-American, and from my ancient world, I first spanned the seas to the New World.

·         I am Cristoforo Colombo.

·         I am Giovanne Caboto known in American History as John Cabot, discoverer of the mainland of North America.

·         I am Amerigo Vespucci, who gave my name to the New World, America.

·         First to sail on the Great Lakes in 1679, founder of the territory that became the State of Illinois, colonizer of Louisiana and Arkansas, I am Enrico Tonti.

·         I am Filippo Mazzei friend of Thomas Jefferson, and my thesis on the equality of man was written into the Bill of Rights.

·         I am William Paca, signer of the Declaration of Independence.

·         I am an Italian-American; I financed the Northwest Expedition of George Rogers Clark and accompanied him through the lands that would become Ohio, Indiana, Wisconsin and Michigan.

·         I am Colonel Francesco Vigo.

·         I mapped the Pacific from Mexico to Alaska and to the Philippines, I am Alessandro Malaspina.

·         I am Giacomo Belinimi, discoverer of the source of the Mississippi River in 1823.

·         I created the Dome of the United States Capitol. They call me the Michelangelo of America. I am Constantino Brumidi.

·         In 1904, I founded in San Francisco, the Bank of Italy now known as the Bank of America, the largest financial institution in the world, I am A.P. Giannini.

·         I am Enrico Fermi, father of nuclear science in America.

·         I am Steve Geppi, founder of Diamond Comics, the largest distributorship of comics on the planet.

·         I am the first enlisted man to earn the Medal of Honor in World War II; I am John Basilone of New Jersey. I am an Italian-American.

·         I am the million strong who served in America’s armies and the tens of thousands whose names are enshrined in military cemeteries from Guadalcanal to the Rhine.

·         I am the steel maker in Pittsburgh, the grower in the Imperial Valley of California, the textile designer in Manhattan, the movie maker in Hollywood, the homemaker and the breadwinner in over 10,000 communities.

·         I am an American without stint or reservation, loving this land as only one who understands history, its agonies and its triumphs can love and serve it.

·         Will not be told that my contribution is any less nor my role not as worthy as that of any other American.

·         I will stand in support of this nation’s freedom and protect against all foes.

·         My heritage has dedicated me to this nation. I am proud of my heritage, and I shall remain worthy of it.

·         I am an Italian-American.

Con cordiali saluti,

Joe

 J. DeFranco and Daughters Catering & Deli E-mail: portipasto@ptd.net


Growing Up in the Butcher Shop:

Canning in oil, pickling in vinegar, and salting /

Iscatolamento in olio, aceto della salamoia and Salatura

 

Ciao Amici,

 

     When fall arrived and the garden harvest came to an end; it was time for us to start the process of preserving what we had. The central and most important vegetable to preserve was the tomato. In the olden days they canned the tomatoes on the farm.  After cooking the tomatoes in cast iron pots over the wood fire they would begin an assembly line. Family joined in and one filled the jars, passed it down to be sealed, and then labeled, and finally packed in crates that went down to the root cellar. This would last us the rest of the year and be used for all the tomato sauces for the upcoming year.

     Green tomatoes were pickled whole or chopped and canned in oil, garlic, dry red pepper and oregano. The eggplant was shredded, salted, pressed, and put into jars with vinegar, oil, garlic, and herbs. Another way they canned them was by leaving the small ones whole and processing them the same way. The peppers were cut in half, deseeded, and put in a vinegar brine to be used in pork and vinegar peppers or sliced and used in salads and “Sangwitches”. Another technique for peppers would be sliced long ways and stuffed with anchovies; rolled up and put in jars with olive oil. Peppers would also be put on the grill and roasted. Zucchini would be canned in oil & vinegar and the herb of choice was mint. Garlic, basil, oregano, and parsley were tied and hung to dry and used in the winter months when fresh was not available or too expensive. Peaches and pears were also canned. They were plentiful and not expensive so we could enjoy them at the end of our meal.

     Grand pop would go to local farms and butcher right on the farm. Every part of the animal was utilized, and they used it all except the oink. Many of you remember the sausage that was canned and put upside down so that the lard would help seal the lid and when you opened it the lard became what you fried your peppers and onions in. Hams were put under salt (Sotto sale), pressed and hung to make the prosciutto. The shoulder would also be sotto sale, and then put in casings and hung to make cappicola. The belly got salted and was hung for pancetta; the jowl was also salted, and then rolled to make gunicale. What was left to grind would become the dry sausage & sopressetta.  The attic at the butcher shop is on the third floor and is not insulated and the windows were drafty; providing excellent conditions for drying meats. When I began to dry my sausages, I went to the attic above the butcher shop to hang the meat. When I looked up there must have been hundreds of hooks and nails to hang there. And I also remember where my grandfather hung his umbrella.

Chi dorme non piglia pesci

Whoever sleeps does not get the peaches

 

Thank you for your words of Encouragement

Best Regards / Con cordiali saluti

Joe

J. DeFranco and Daughters Catering & Deli E-mail: portipasto@ptd.net

Growing Up in the Butcher Shop: Vinegar Power / Potenza di aceto

 

Ciao Amici,

     You would think when Grandmom reaped the crops of her garden harvest that it was time to relax and take it easy; not for Grandmom, she did not put her feet up until she went to bed. As the baskets and bushels got filled with the hot and sweet peppers, cucumbers, green tomatoes, eggplant and other vegetables, Grandmom’s mind would be over flowing with ideas. While other people would let the produce rot on the vine and sit at home and watch the TV, my penny wise grandmother did not waste anything and the canning kitchen in the “base-a-ment” was open for business again. This time instead of the bouquet of cooked tomatoes the house was filled with the aroma of red wine vinegar simmering on the stove. At the time I don’t remember having all the different vinegars we have today like balsamic, raspberry and so on, it was red or white wine, apple cider and white distilled. She made her own vinegar which was always concocted in the big earthenware pot downstairs. When we dressed our house salad, Grandmom tended to be a little heavy handed when it came to adding red wine vinegar to the insalata [salad] there was always some left in the plate that you just had to dip a piece of Italian bread and clean your plate and your palate. Maybe that is why we Italians eat our salad at the end of the meal. When a snow storm in January was coming upon us, Grandmom would call to me, “Josie Andare giù da bash e farmi un barattolo di aceto pepe roni.”  [“Go down stairs and get me a jar of vinegar peppers.”]  I’d watch her in the little kitchen sautéing the tender pork with garlic and onions and at the precise time the vinegar peppers with some of the vinegar from the jar were added to deglaze the pan. If that was not enough, after she removed them from the pan she added sliced Italian bread and toasted it in the pan so every drop was utilized. Sitting at the table for dinner she would remind us and say, “Now you know why I work a so hard in September so we can eat like this in January.”

 

Gli uomini sono come il vino - qualche volta di aceto,

ma il miglior migliorare con l'età.

- Papa Giovanni XXIII

 

Men are like wine - some turn to vinegar,

but the best improve with age.

 

Con Cordiali Saluti,

Joe

 

Growing up in the Butcher Shop:  Wild  Mushrooms / Funghi Selvatici

 

Ciao Amici,

     With Fall upon us, memories of walking in the woods with Grandpop looking for wild mushrooms comes to mind. I am not certain how Grandpop knew which mushrooms were edible and which ones were not; he just knew.

     Recently a customer asked if she could walk through the property here and gather some mushrooms. She is an experienced Mushroom Picker.  She has been studing mushrooms for years. Upon her return from gathering the mushrooms, I asked her how  she can determine which mushrooms are edible; she then preceeded to show me how she does a spore test. She harvested two types of mushrooms; the Black Trumpet and the Hen- of –the-Woods.

     The Black Trumpet Mushroom with its trumpet shape is a dark charcoal color with a waxy looking texture that has no gills. The Black Trumpet, which in France is sometimes called "poor people's meat", has a delicate structure to it as you can see by the gently flared and curled ends. The Black Trumpet is usually found in deciduous woods, they are found fruiting by hardwood and coniferous trees. Many people use the trumpet with fish, egg dishes and soups - they are also easy to dry and store for later use.

     The Hen- of- the- Woods Mushroom looks something like a large, ruffled chicken. It grows as a bouquet of grayish-brown, fan-shaped, overlapping caps, with off-center white stalks branching from a single thick base. On the underside, the pored (not gilled) surface is white. A single clump of Hen-of-the-Woods can grow to enormous size and weigh up to 100 pounds. It often grows in the same spot year after year. In Asia, this species, called Maitake, is considered medicinal.

     Grandmom would simmer them slowly in salted water. She took the wild mushrooms and prepared them in Chicken Cacciatore, Chicken Marsala, Veal & Peppers or with peas.

     Later that evening I grilled a luscious steak on the grill for Joelene and I, then topped it off with the treasure from the “woods.” Thanks Allison.

 

"Tutti funghi sono commestibili- una volta"

"All mushrooms are edible - once"

 

Con Cordiali Saluti,

Joe

 

I am still looking for any old memorablia of Roseto. 

 


Growing up in the Butcher Shop: The Wooden Spoon Il Cucchiaio di Legno


Ciao Amici,

 

     While growing up in the the butcher shop, we had a certain respect for wooden spoons. On Sundays the large pot of gravy was constantly stirred so the meatballs, pork ribs, beef braciole, sausage, pieces of veal and lamb would blend together and not stick to the bottom. “We can’t wait! “, we’d yell. Grandmom would say, “Ok, get some pane (bread)”, and with the wooden spoon place some in a small bowl. ”Go and foona ooh pane (dip the bread) in sauce.”  This would hold our appetite until the macaroni were ready.

     On Monday it was used to stir the onions, garlic and celery that were frying in olive oil as a base to which the scarole (escarole) and rich chicken stock and beans were added to make the “Minestra”. In the spring time, Grandpop would sauté thin round steak with garlic, add asparagus, and then remove it from the pan. He’d fry an egg and place it on top of the beef. As he eliminated the oil and while adding the white wine and beef stock, he would say, “Josie, veda (see) using the wooden spoon gets all the bits that stick to the pan; that’s where the flavor is!”

      My Grandparent’s cucina was one of the finest cooking schools to learn from because they were the greatest teachers to gain knowledge from since they had the passion for cooking and eating.

     On occasion as we were running in the house and starting to misbehave and even after some warnings, we would see the wooden spoon in a different light and start behaving again.

 

Maze e “panelle” fanno I figli Belli :”panelle senzamazze fannii figli pazzi

Cuffs and goodies bring forth well behaved children .but goodies without cuffs produce unruly children

Spare the rod and spoil the child.

 

Have any old pictures of business in Roseto? Please send them to us.

 

Grazie,

Joe


Growing up in the Butcher: Tomatoes/ Pomodori

 

Ciao Amici,   

      The month of September is another special time to be a kid in the Italian community of Roseto; it’s fresh tomato from the garden time. I love remembering as a giovincello [youngster], when Grand mom would let me walk with her into the tomato patch.  Although at the time, the tomato plants were taller then I was. I could always see Grand mom’s long braid wrapped around the back of her head to lead me out. This, for me, was like a secret garden.

     The plants were tied to the pa-leed [poles] and the tomatoes hanging there were in all stages of growth; the flower, small green tomatoes and then the ripe red tomatoes. Grand mom grew several varieties. There were the little cherry tomatoes, the Roma plum [for canning], and the ox heart and beef steak. For some reason I always felt that the ox and beef steak tomatoes seemed to go with the butcher shop. She also grew yellow tomatoes and added them to the chicken stock for that extra golden color and flavor. Much like with the zucchini, we had tomatoes every day Una via o un altro [one way or the other.]

   Naturally the fresh tomatoes were used in a salad, but Grandmom and Mom would always add other components like boiled potatoes, celery, Italian olives, 

cucumbers, green beans, onions, scallions, peppers, garlic, mozzarella, or provolone. Mom always made, “pane con Pomodori & olio,” which is torn, day old bread, moistened with a little water and then tossed into a large bowl. The tomatoes are cut in half and then ha spremuto [squeezed] on top of the bread. The tomato pieces are cut up and added to the mixture. Mom would only add olive oil, salt & pepper. Then it was up to your imagination as to what else to add. This is a recipe where meno sono più ( less is more)that’s all that is needed to have a great salad! When the cooler weather arrived, Grandmom even cut the tomato vines and hung them inside and to my surprise they turned a beautiful red!

      As I smell the tomato plants while walking through my tomato patch at the shop, it takes me back to that moment in time when life felt so simple yet complete. I stop and I look up in the sky to where I can still see that long braid watching down on me.

 

“E difficile pensare qualche cosa ma pensieri piacevoli durante mangia una casa adulto  pomodoro” – Lewis Grizzard

 

“It's difficult to think anything but pleasant thoughts while eating a homegrown tomato." - Lewis Grizzard

 

Con cordiali saluti,

Joe 

 


Growing Up in the Butcher Shop: Off to School / Via a Scuola

Ciao Amici,

 

  SOMETHING TO PONDER: by Dr Bob Morehead

I always knew when school was about to start in September when I would see the large green truck coming down the street. Driving that big green truck was Mr.Simea and his son, who were Lebanese. They sold clothing, shoes, sheets, and tablecloths to name a few. That is where my parents bought our school uniforms to wear at Our Lady of Mount Carmel School. Our uniform for boys consisted of navy blue pants, a white button-down shirt and a navy tie. Mom and Dad bought our uniforms and Mr. Simea bought lamb from our butcher shop. Now I was ready!
Because we lived so close to the school, we didn’t ride a bus or have our parents drive us. We walked. I was fortunate to be able to walk to school with my older brother Phil and Joe Aversano. We walked up Garibaldi Avenue and crossed at Dewey Street and we were there in no time. My first teacher was Sister Domenica, who taught kindergarten. Many of my friends from the neighborhood were in my class so it was not like I was with strangers. One of the nice things about school at that time was being able to go home for lunch. We would be able to have a nice homemade meal; usually some warmed up macaroni, bread or homemade soup like pasteni and still have time to get back for recess. We would a have a small nap time in the early afternoon. On the first day of school Sister told my friend John to open the door which you had to go into the hall way to open .We waited and John was not coming back. We looked out the window and there was John waving to us and running home. The next day we were again ready to take our nap and Sister said, “John open the door.” We all looked at each other in surprise and thought this can’t be. She is letting him escape again? This time John got a surprise. Mr. De Rea was behind the outside door and grabbed John and brought him back into the class room. Sister had given us a lesson; you better behave.
As I look back, I never realized that some of my class mates would be with me from kindergarten to seniors in high school. When my daughters started school it was special to see some of my old classmates there and to have our children in the same class rooms together. Now I understand what my grandparents always meant by; were does the time go? You have to live it yourself. It pleases me that my daughter Jasmine will be starting her teaching career as the 4th grade teacher at the school we both attended.



Amore e eruduzione annobiliscono la vita
Love and learning ennoble life.

Ciao Amici,

Best Regards / Con cordiali saluti
Joe


My book, "Growing up in the Butcher Shop" is available at the shop or on our web page to receive menu specials and our newsletter by join our mailing list at our WEB PAGE: www.JDeFrancoandDaughters.com - Click on Mailing List and enter your e-mail Send us your Roseto stories, recipes and comments to E-mail: portipasto@ptd.net or call 610-588-6991 Store Hours: 7 to 7 seven days a week with catering anytime or by appointment.


Growing up in the Butcher Shop :      Something To Ponder

Ciao Amici, 

    I Thought You Would Enjoy This As Much As I Did

 

  SOMETHING TO PONDER: by Dr Bob Morehead

The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider Freeways, but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness.

We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.

We have multiplied our possessions but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.
We've learned how to make a living, but not a life. We've added years to life not life to years. We've been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor. We conquered outer space but not inner space. We've done larger things, but not better things.

We have cleaned up the air but polluted the soul. We have conquered the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more but learn less. We plan more but accomplish less. We've learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less.

These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships.

These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes. These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one-night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill. It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom. A time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete.

Remember to spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever.

Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side.

Remember, to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn't cost a cent.

Remember, to say, 'I love you' to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all mean it. A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you.

Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that person will not be there again.

Give time to love, give time to speak! And give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.

And always remember, life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by those moments that take our breath away.



Con cordiali saluti, 

 Joe



My book, "Growing up in the Butcher Shop" is available at the shop or on our web page to receive menu specials and our newsletter by join our mailing list at our WEB PAGE: www.JDeFrancoandDaughters.com - Click on Mailing List and enter your e-mail Send us your Roseto stories, recipes and comments to E-mail: portipasto@ptd.net or call 610-588-6991 Store Hours: 7 to 7 seven days a week with catering anytime or by appointment.


Growing up in the Butcher Shop : National Sneak Some Zucchini on Your Neighbor’s Porch day

Ciao Amici, 

     August 8th is “National Sneak Some Zucchini on Your Neighbor’s Porch Day.” Due to over zealous planting of zucchini, citizens are asked to drop off baskets of the squash onto neighbors’ doorsteps. Back in the day Grandmom’s garden was also full of the summer squash and it was the perfect time to share her bounty with her friends and  neighbors [whether they liked it or not]. By the time August arrived, Grandmom was reaping far more zucchini than we could possibly use. They used it daily in an untold number of recipes, from zucchini spezzatta soup, parmigana, pancake fritters, with macaroni, Cacciatore and grilled with steak; the uses were endless. Grandpop would also get into the act and make his zucchini algo dolce which was like a sliced pickle with mint marinated in olive oil and red wine vinegar or make his steak sautéed with zucchini pizzaoli style. As we would meet new friends, Grandmom would demonstrate how to make the zucchini flowers stuffed with mozzarella. Still, the fruit was maturing on the vine faster than anyone can even pick it. Sometimes Grandmom would become anxious, as she would try to give zucchini away to family, friends and everyone she encountered. It got to be funny as even non-gardeners have had enough. Although they tried to avoid her; her arms laden with the giveaway fruit were impossible to refuse and they accepted.  So now the gardener is in desperate times so it calls for desperate measure. So on the 8th on August, it's time to sneak over, under the cover of darkness, to your neighbor’s porch and unload some zucchini. This may solve your problem for today. But, what will you do with the harvest tomorrow!?!

“Verdure sono un must a dieta. SUGGERISCO torta di carote, zucchine pane e torta di zucca."

“Vegetables are a must on a diet. I suggest carrot cake, zucchini bread, and pumpkin pie.”

~ Jim Davis


Growing up in the Butcher Shop:  Tomatoes  I Pomodori

Ciao Amici,

     This time of year is special to gardeners and my Grandmother was happiest in the garden watching her tomatoes go from flower, to green and then to the bright vibrate red when mature. It's difficult to think anything but pleasant thoughts while eating a homegrown tomato To pick the tomatoes moments before eating them is one of the ultimate dining pleasures known to man especially if you are Italian and from a Southern region of Italy. All this memory brings me to writing a poem.

“Ode to the Tomato”

You start so small but in no time at all, you’re tall

From flower to fruit from green to red you change in your bed

And when it is time to pick and bring to the table we are more than willing and able

To slice you onto a plate so fresh let us see what awaits

Will it be with basil and mozzarella

Or with all the different greens will you be there

As you are dressed with the oil of the olives and the vinegar of the grapes

The bread of life in our hand for dunking we start this affair

Of enjoying the dish which has been seen

On the bread you go to make the sangwitch taste grow

We like you so fresh it seems but on occasion to cook you is supreme

On top of pizza all covered with cheese

We find you in a sauce which must be tossed

with the macaroni we know

that makes our day glow

Without you the Pizzaioli, Cacciatore, Shoe way Shoe way and, Marinara Sauce

 would be lost.

And when the summer is over in the pantry you’ll be

So that every Sunday the gravy we’ll see

Grandma

 

"Un mondo senza pomodori è come un quartetto d'archi senza violini." 

"A world without tomatoes is like a string quartet without violins." - Laurie Colwin

Con cordiali saluti, 

 Joe 


Growing up in the Butcher: Feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel / Festa della Madonna Del Carmin


Ciao Amici,   

     The Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel has special meaning  to those of us who have grown up in Roseto. For my family it was also a week to celebrate the birthdays of my cousin John, my Grandfather Philip and myself. As the years go by from being a child, a parent and now a grandparent many things have changed at the ”Big Time”, however, what remains the same is the love and pride of family, church and community.

     I would tease my Mom and Grandmom because instead of having a special birthday dinner like my brothers always enjoyed, I would get the sausage & peppers and pizza they would make for friends that came over during the “Big Time” celebration. But thinking back, sausage & peppers and pizza is really good especially when we make our own sausage.

     Another reason this time of year is special is the connection to the original festival in Roseto Valfortore, Italy, where my Mom and Grandparents were born. I was able to attend the Festa in Roseto Valfortore and witness first hand the love and devotion the people have for Mary, the Blessed Mother. The music from that small village was something to hear. The Statue of Our Lady of Mount Carmel is lifted and carried though the narrow streets. It is the crowning at both places that shows us the final appreciation of Our Lady. 

    Having a business it is also a time to acquaint with friends who have a standing food order with us for the “Big Time”. It’s another occasion for families to come together. Although many of them have passed, their love of the celebration lives in our hearts forever.

    

A ogni uccello il suo nido proprio è bello. C'è nessuno luogo casa simile.
To every bird, his own nest is beautiful. There's no place like home.


Con cordiali saluti,

Joe


Growing Up in the Butcher Shop:  Water & Salt / Acqua e Sale


Ciao Amici,

     Grandmom &Grandpop loved to tell Italian Fairy Tales. Back in the old days, without the many different forms of entertainment we have today, this was one of the ways they entertained themselves.

     One such story is “Water & salt.” Once upon a time a King who had three beautiful daughters asked them how much they love their father

The eldest says, “Amo La tanto brillante quanto la luce del sole"

 [“I Love you as bright as the sunshine.”]  The second daughter says, “II ama La tanto largo quanto l'oceano." [“I love you as wide as the ocean.”] The youngest says, "Oh Padre che amo Lei carne tanta ama sale" [“Oh Father I love you as meat loves salt.”]

The Father, not satisfied with the youngest daughters answer, has her removed from the castle. But one of the palace servants, an old lady, decides to take her in.

     Months later, the king announces a feast to be held in the castle. Upon the knowledge, the youngest daughter requests the old lady see to it that no salt is placed on the meat that will be served at the banquet. The old servant follows her direction and when the meat was served, the guests complained about the way it tasted.

     The youngest daughter then appears before the King her father. She described to him that as meat is tasteless without salt, so too is her life without her father’s love. From that day on she was once again treated like a princess. Like salt preserves food love preserves the heart

 

"Dia né l'uno né l'altro consiglia nè sale fino a Lei è domandato per lui"

“Give neither counsel nor salt till you are asked for it”

 

Grazie,

Joe


Growing up in the Butcher Shop:  Summer Kitchen Passi l'estate Cucina

Ciao Amici, 

      Once the summer heat begins to affect the temperature in the kitchens in Roseto, many residents turned to their summer kitchen outside to keep the heat out of the house. Our summer kitchen was in the basement where it was cooler and where the water boiled for the macaroni.

     As all of the vegetali freschil [fresh vegtables] became available, Grandmom would use them  with  different sauces. Sometimes the sauce would be made with just olive oil & garlic as in cavatelli and broccoli. Other times chopped fresh tomatoes were added  to the olive oil and garlic to make a “Shooway Shooway Sauce.“ This sauce would go with the cabbage & lentz [ribbon pasta] or with cauliflower and a cut macaroni like ziti or penne.                             

     Another vegetable that was enjoyed only in the summer time was the zucchini flower. The male flower  was dipped into a batter and then pan fried.  Every now and then the flower was  stuffed with mozzerella. Grandmom always enjoy making this, especially for my friends who had never had them. They never realized how good a flower could taste.

     Cooking shows educate us today about many types of food and how to cook them, like fresh arugala and more. The many old timers of Roseto didn’t need cooking shows to teach them; it was already on their plate. They were ahead of their time.


Se non può stare in piedi il calore, ottiene fuori della cucina."

 “If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.”

Harry S. Truman

Con Cordiali Saluti,

 Joe

Growing up in the Butcher:   Delivery Consegna

Ciao Amici,

       I was recalling with some of our young employees what Garibaldi Avenue was like back when I was growing up in the butcher shop. How many of you remember the Silver Line trucks double parked as the driver unloaded and loaded all the components to make the blouses? The Butcher Shop would get our deliveries from the Tasty Cake man, the milkman and other vendors that would deliver and sometimes they would have to double park because there was no room to park. My grandfather made his deliveries on a Saturday as some of you remember and many times he would have to double park and I would run in to deliver an order to a customer. This is how I got to meet a lot of people and to learn about the streets of Roseto. On occasion Officer Pullo or Officer “Sonny Tut” would nod at us knowing we are of the same community. The streets were the veins that lead into the heart of Roseto and pumped the town with prosperity. We use to love to sit on the bench in front of the butcher shop and watch the traffic.

     Recently after dropping groceries off at my Mom’s, I sat in my car and as I looked up and down the street I noticed a teenager driving a car with his head down texting as he drove up the road. I saw an Ups truck double parked making a delivery and another car with the windows so dark you can’t see who’s inside. We recently had to make a delivery at the Roseto Legion. The street was lined up with parked cars and we were forced to double park the truck so we could unload at the door of the Legion. As we were unloading we were scolded by the police and were told to move at once. Where is the fellowship of the community that once supported camaraderie? Where has the common sense gone?

Senso comune non è così comune

Common sense is not so common

Con Cordiali Saluti,

 Joe

Growing up in the Butcher:  Mother’s Day / La Festa Della Mamma

Ciao Amici,

     Like most feast days in Italy, Mother’s Day can be traced back to ancient Rome. In May, a whole week is set aside to celebrate and honor the Goddess Juno, whose name means forza vitale [vital force] which is a great way to describe Italian Mothers.

Juno is the Goddess of Motherhood and Marriage. As the Roman tradition believes; to ensure a good marriage and fertility, it is important to marry in June. Tradition continues in Italy to wed in the month of Juno.

     Mother’s Day in Italy, was celebrated for the first time on May 12, 1957 in the city of Assisi. The Rev. Otello Migliosi, a parish Priest of the Tordibetto Church, initiated the first Mother’s Day celebration. It was so successful that the following year it was adopted throughout Italy, where it has been celebrated on the second Sunday in May ever since.

     In modern day Italy, Mother’s Day is celebrated with great zeal and passion.

Red heart shaped cakes, along with carnations and roses are favorites of mothers in Italy.