skip to main content skip to footer

Articles


Growing up in the Butcher Shop: The Fable of the Hot Dog Vendor

 

Ciao Amici,

     Story telling was always a part of growing up with my grandparents. A story that they would have enjoyed is one my tomato product producer, Dino Corteopassi sent me.

     Once upon a time there was a young immigrant looking to get ahead. Times were tough and work was scarce and as he walked home one evening he noticed how hungry he was. What he would not give for a great hot dog. All at once it hit him this would be a great spot to sell hot dogs. So after saving part of his wages, he was able to buy a used hand cart, a small stove, six of the best hotdogs, six of the freshest buns, and with the rest of the money he bought the best condiments he could buy.

      On the first day he sold all six hot dogs. On the next day he reinvested and bought enough to make 12 hot dogs. That evening, yesterday’s six customers returned bringing 6 friends. The business grew and grew. Time passed and the man now had a family.  Business had been good and the cart was replaced with a store front. He saved enough money to send his son to college. Upon returning from college he asked his son what he had learned. There is a recession coming, times are going to be tough. It was true that sales have leveled off but the regular customers always came back to enjoy the best hot dogs served on the freshest buns and best condiments money could by. So, the father asked what would this recession do to our business. Well Dad, the national chains get lean and mean. The father really did not see the connection but being that the son had gone to college he reluctantly agreed. So the son proceeded to haggle with the discount butcher to buy hot dogs that didn’t taste as good but no one would know the difference, then he proceeded to do the same with the buns and condiments; saving money by reducing the quality. Business began to slow down. It was imperceptible at first that some of his regulars stopped coming. As business declined the son said we need to reduce prices. This did not help bring back the regulars. The son then decided to get out of the family business and work with a national chain.

     The hard working parents had saved enough money, [during the successful years] to retire. The father decided to sell the business. ..... To a hard working immigrant with the novel idea -why not sell really good hot dogs to people like himself who appreciated good food and this way they would come back to his stand day after day after day.

 

Una volta lo dice va adattare a secondo, che è quello che accade a Lei in vita, trovo.

- John F. Kennedy

Once you say you're going to settle for second, that's what happens to you in life, I find.

- John F. Kennedy

 

Cordiali saluti,

Joe

To receive menu specials and our newsletter 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 us 610-588-6991 Store Hours: 7 to 7 Seven Days a Week with Catering Anytime or by Appointment


Growing up in the Butcher:  Pane Cotto  e Ciambotto / Cooked Bread

 

Ciao Amici,                            

       When the north wind begins to blow I am reminded of the winter meals Grandmom made. One of our family’s favorite in winter was pane cotto [cooked bread]. This meal was very thrifty and satisfying all at the same time. You start with day old good Italian bread. Matt’s 5 cent loaf was the best don’t bother with Amedigan bread, it will disintegrate.  Always start with a pot of boiling water, then add salt. Cut your bread and place it in your “skull di macaroon” [colander] into the sink to await its bath. Put the broccoli rabe in the boiling water. In a large frying pan add your favorite olive oil then garlic and sauté until golden. Sometimes Grandmom would also use pancetta, gancuile, bacon or salt pork in this recipe for added richness. Once the broccoli is cooked and strained in the colander, then add and mix in the bread. Serve onto a platter and add the sautéed olive oil and garlic. Ah, what humble substance for a stick to your ribs kind of meal. They also enjoyed making a similar dish called Ciambotto. The same process but the ingredients were potatoes, cabbage, cannellini beans and the bread.

      As a youngster eating this I would remember having to wait at the dinner table to get up because of the actual weight of the meal. When I finally stood up to leave the table I’d see  the smiles and laughter of Grandmom and Grandpop saying, “What is wrong Josie, are you full?”  I’d think to myself, “Next time I’ll eat slower.” But next time the same thing would happen because it was so good.  Every meal, sitting around the dinner table, I could see that familiar look in their eyes; the look of love, gratitude, pride  and happiness of la familia [our family].

 

"Il problema di mangiare cibo italiano è di 5 o 6 giorni dopo sei affamato."

"The trouble with eating Italian food is that 5 or 6 days later you're hungry again."

~ George Miller, British writer

 

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:  New Year’s Eve Spaghetti at Midnight / Spaghetti della Vigilia Degli Anni Nuovo a Mezzanotte

Ciao Amici,                            

     As each year comes to an end, I am reminded of the time I asked Grandmom what she and Grandpop did for New Year’s Eve back in the day. She said Roseto was famous for their “Spaghetti Tradition at Midnight.”  Ladies and gentlemen would all go to their social club in the early evening on New Year’s Eve. They would play cards, drink and have their Antipasto. Everyone took pleasure in the olives, roasted peppers, all the good homemade Capicola, Prosciutto, Fresh Mozzarella, aged Casa Cavola cheese and of course, as always, good bread along with the homemade wine.

      Around 10 pm the ladies would leave and go home to make their homemade spaghetti for the rest of the evening’s festivities. The men remained at the club to warm the Sunday gravy (gravy because the red sauce contained meatballs, sausage, pork ribs, beef braciole). Then they got the large pots of boiling water ready for the ladies who would return around 11:30 pm with their homemade Spaghetti. Their expression was, “throw the spaghetti” which meant to put it in the boiling water. This was done at four minutes before midnight because homemade pasta does not take long to cook. 

     The count down began; 10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1 SPAGHETTI! The spaghetti was drained at the stroke of midnight and everyone would start their New Year with a bowl of spaghetti. This tradition was supposed to bring them luck in the New Year. You are always lucky when you can have homemade spaghetti!

 We wish all our readers a “Buon Capo Anno” (Happy New Year). Thank you for all your wonderful comments on my memoirs, when I was Growing Up in the Butcher Shop.

 

Maggio tutte Sue tribolazioni scorso tanto lungo quanto le decisioni di Sue Anno Nuovo.


May all your troubles last as long as your New Year's Resolutions.

~Joey Adams

 

Cordiali saluti,

Joe

 


Growing Up in the Butcher Shop:    Christmas Eve \  Vigilia di Natale

  Ciao Amici,

       Christmas Eve morning  I would wake-up to the aroma of scarta lette and pizza frit frying. Large pots of oil were set on the stove and as it was heating, the dough was stretched, cut  and dropped in the oil. When they came out of the pot we would drizzle honey over them; so good! Grandmom would tell us a story that on Christmas Eve in a Village in Italy, a  Lady in early  morning was up preparing dough to make bread.  She heard shepherds calling outside, “Come out to see the bright star!” they said.  Thinking she had time while her bread was rising, she went out on the hill to see the star. When she returned the dough had over risen and she cried and said she wished that she never went to see the star. As she was crying, a stranger overheard her and told her that she did the right thing in seeing the star and then told her to fry the dough; the the rest is pizza frit history.

       Large colored lights were hung around the large display window at the butcher shop. The bulbs were larger than and the colors more muted. As I grew older, I’d get so excited when they would let me turn the lights on. The small Pesipio (Nativity Manger)  was placed under the tree but the baby  Jesu ( Jesus)  would not arrive until after midnight mass.  Some years we would use the fig tree limbs wrapped in cotton matting as if that year we had snow.

      I remember watching Grandpop open the large wooden crates of Baccala (Salt Cod) with his special tool. It had a hammer, hatchet, and crowbar all built into one. As soon as   I saw the fish I thought to myself, how can any one eat this? But grandmom showed me why. “Josie, venga qui (come here), get ottenga la vasca e riempimento esso con acqua fredda (get the tub and fill it with cold water).  After two days of changing the water often, the hard salt mass had returned to soft tender fish. It went into the Chip-po-dada (fish stew ) with leeks and potatoes or in the Oreganato baked with cauliflower, breadcrumbs, and potatoes.

      I enjoyed serving Midnight Mass and on my way home I’d stop to see Shoemaker  Leonard Castellucci’s beautiful nativity display. Back then, more people worshiped God and not celebrities. This was originally written Christmas 2010


Natale non è un tempo nè una stagione, ma un stato di mente. Curare teneramente pace ed avviamento, essere abbondante in misericordia, è ha il vero spirito di Natale. - Calvin Coolidge

Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas. - Calvin Coolidge

 

Buon Natale
Joe & Joelene


Growing Up in the Butcher Shop
Macaroni with Vegetables / Maccheroni con Verdure

Ciao Amici,
Everyone knows about the Sunday Macaroni with gravy meat dinners with the meatballs, sausage, bracioli, pork ribs, lamb shank and the like. Being Italian though, we also enjoyed the macaroni during week as well. Grandpop, Grandmom, Mom & Dad all had their favorite recipes that we all enjoyed. Some we had with the Olio d'oliva e aglio [olive oil & garlic] such as Chick-a Dade [cavatelli] and broccoli such a simple dish to make with only a few ingredients but to make it correctly they always used fresh broccoli, a good quality extra virgin olive oil, fresh garlic and the homemade pasta. We saved the ricotta for the ravioli. The Chick a dades we made only had flour, water, eggs and olive oil. Even with simple ingredient the timing was crucial for making the dish a success. Like making sure the broccoli, garlic and pasta were cooked just right. After bringing the dish to the table, Grandmom would add the red pepper flakes and the Pecorino Romano cheese. Mom added nothing but salt. Other pasta dishes they would make were Ziti and Cauliflower and Cabbage with Malfalda [ribbons]. These recipes were enjoyed with what we called Shoe way Shoe way sauce made by sauté whole cloves of garlic then adding whole peeled tomatoes that you crush in the pot then add basil and parsley. Again It is not just the amount of the ingredients but the cooking technique and the quality of said ingredient. Also who can forget their Friday night pasta specials of macaroni with ceci beans, cannellini beans or peas. The aroma filled the air and as customers came into the Butcher Shop, as they do here at the shop, compliment us and say how it is just like the aroma at their Nonna’s home.


'What is the fastest Italian Car? No not a Ferrari, Maserati or Bugatti,
What then? A Fazool because you can’t Pasta Fazool'


Grazie,
Joe and family


Growing up in the Butcher: Thanksgiving / Cornucopia

Ciao Amici,

         One of the most recognizable symbols of Thanksgiving is the cornucopia, also known as the horn of plenty. It is a decorative motif originating in Greece that symbolizes abundance. The original was a curved goats horn spilling over with fruit & grain. Like many American holidays similar to the Forth of July and Labor Day, my grandparents embraced Thanksgiving like many Italian Americans by encompassing what was important to them which was family, religion [giving thanks] and food. Grandmom and Grandpop were proud of their Thanksgiving table; abbondanza they would say!

     The antipasto and macaroni could wait until Sunday because the Thanksgiving menu was all American except  for the Italian sausage in the stuffing and the Italian chestnuts roasting in the oven. It was probably the only time a soft roll was preferred. What I loved so much was the wonderful arouma of the turkey roasting and the pies baking.  I remember all the hussle and bussle with my Mother, Grandmother and Aunt Theresa in the kitchen cooking that fabulous dinner. I  liked  to tease them by asking how much longer till we eat. That’s when they gave me an activity like setting the table or putting the bread in the basket so I would get out of their way.

      As all the food was finally placed on the table and everyone was seated, I would look at my Grandfather and see how proud and happy he was that we were all together with him giving thanks.   I did not really know the hard times he had to live though as a poor Italian immigrant; however I soon learned to realize why his eyes sparkled and his smile was so wide …

 

Happy Thanksgiving to all ,

 

       Joe & Joelene

 

Gratitudine è una qualità simile a elettricità: deve essere prodotto e ha licenziato ed usato su in ordine esistere a tutto.

Gratitude is a quality similar to electricity: it must be produced and discharged and used up in order to exist at all.

~William Faulkner


J. DeFranco and Daughters Catering & Deli         

To receive menu specials and our newsletter

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@epix.net  or call us 610-588-6991 Store Hours: 7 to 7 Seven Days a Week with Catering Anytime or by Appointment

Growing up in the Butcher:  Roses to Rust

Ciao Amici,   

     (first published 09-09-2012)

 This past week some of my customers told us about vandalism taking place in our area. Some experienced their ceramic birds and displays smashed onto their concrete patio for no reason. Three other customers had equipment stolen from their garages. What has happened in our community and throughout our country?  As time goes by, it is heartrending to see such lack of respect to our fellow man; even more so in our neighborhood. A complete breakdown of basic values or in other words no responsibility for what you do.

     There was vandalism and robbery in the 50’s and 60’s when I was growing up but not to the extent we see today. We didn’t bother to lock the house or our cars which was the norm and not unusual. Our neighbors sat out on their porches and were aware of anything suspicious going on. The towns folk were closely knit and basically everyone knew what you where doing and where you where going.

      In the seventies our home was broken into and our neighbor across the street saw who it was. This person was discovered the next day and the following month he joined the Army. What made it so disappointing was that he was someone we knew and was working for our friend who was painting our house!

     Today as I get out of my truck to drop off groceries for Mom, I look around and miss those who sat on their porches. Gone are the eyes that smiled and took watch over our neighborhood. Many porches are closed and the rocking chairs are put away. Sometimes I believe that the absence of businesses in our town which have been replaced with housing rentals has a bit to do with this situation. It seems as though now I see only houses not homes. This lack of care and attention has turned our roses into rust.

 

Lui quello avrà un fratello perfetto deve dimettere lui a rimanere senza un fratello

He that will have a perfect brother must resign himself to remaining brother less.

 

Cordiali saluti,

Joe

Growing Up in the Butcher Shop:  Columbus Day

Ciao Amici,

       As we celebrate Columbus Day, I wish to share with you some information about the food of Christopher Columbus’s home town Genova (Genoa).Genoa is Italy’s principal seaport located on the northwest coast of Italy in the region of Liguria, Genoa; which is famous for pesto. Grandmom would make her pesto at the end of the basil season. Pesto is made with basil, pine nuts, garlic and parmigiana cheese. Before the food processor existed, the tool they used was the marble mortar and wooden pestle (mortaio e pestello) the word pesto is the contracted past participle of  pestâ ("to pound, to crush"), in reference to the sauce's crushed herbs and garlic. After the crushing of the herbs; cheese and olive oil is added to make the sauce. The macaroni shape they used is trenette,   which is similar to mafalda (ribbons) but thinner in width. It is slightly wider than ¼ inch and has a rippled edge. Sometimes green beans and potatoes are added with the macaroni to make the classic Pesto alla Genovese. Another dish from Genoa that Grandpop would make was Cima alla Genovese; a veal breast stuffed with sweetbreads, bread, eggs, cheese and parsley.  The aroma of this dish would put a trance on you that would lead you to the kitchen to take a peak in the oven. And as child I was constantly asking,”Is it time to eat yet?”

     Ravioli may have been invented in Genoa. Sailors did not want food to go to waste on the boat so they ground up their leftover dinner and placed the ingredients inside pasta dough to preserve it.  The ravioli in Genoa is meat ravioli made with ground pork, veal, spinach, parmesan cheese, and egg. For the most part our family only makes them with ricotta. Sometimes in the winter Grandmom would take some pesto out and cook us a dinner that brought us back to the summer garden and of course, the basil plant. 

 

“Per prevalere di sopra tutti ostacoli e distrazioni, uno non mancherà di arrivare alla sua meta eletta o destinazione.” 

Cristoforo Colombo

 

“By prevailing over all obstacles and distractions, one will not fail to arrive at his chosen goal or destination.”

Christopher Columbus


Grazie,

Joe


Growing Up in the Butcher Shop:     I am Italian /American By Angelo Bianchi Esq.

I am an Italian American. My roots are deep in 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 soil. My thoughts have been recorded 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 Christoforo Columbo. I am Giovanni 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. I am Enrico Tonti, 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 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 and, yes, an Italian American.

I am an Italian American. I am Colonel Francesco Virgo – 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 Alessandro Malaspina – I mapped the Pacific from Mexico to Alaska and to the Philippines. I am Giacomo Beltrami, the discoverer of the Mississippi River in 1823. I am Constantino Brumidi. They called me the Michelangelo of America – I created the dome of the United States capitol. I am A. P. Gianni – in 1904, in San Francisco, I founded the Bank of Italy, now known as the Bank of America, the largest financial institution in the world. I am Enrico Fermi, father of nuclear science in America. I am John Basilone of New Jersey, the first enlisted man to win the Medal of Honor in World War II.

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 home maker and the breadwinner in 10,000 communities.

I am an American without stint of reservation, loving this land as only one who understands history, its agonies and its triumphs; and I can love and serve as fully as any other American. I will stand in support of this nation's freedom and promise against all foes. My heritage has dedicated me to this nation. I am proud of my FULL heritage and I shall remain worthy of it.

 

Con Cordiali Saluti,
Joe


Growing Up in the Butcher Shop:  Pickled Green Tomatoes / Pomodori sottaceti Verdi

Ciao Amici,

     When the garden came to a close I got great pleasure from helping my Grandmother pulito sul giardino (clean up the garden.) One plant still growing were the tomatoes. Grandmom pulled out a few  vines before the frost with the green tomatoes still on them and we’d hang them in the basement to ripen. It was amazing to see those tomatoes ripen without being in the ground. With some of those green tomatoes we would just slice and then dip them in corn meal and fry some right away, but that was just to pass the vooley (desire). The last thing we did with the green tomatoes was we pickled them so that we could enjoy them in the winter as a side dish to go along with a sangwitch. I  helped Grandmom wash and slice the tomatoes  and then salt them over night. Sale (salt) is a mineral use to flavor a dish, but before refrigeration it, was also used to help preserve food.

     The next day we rinsed the tomatoes and Grandmom added celery, onion, garlic, vinegar peppers and  oreagano.  After filling up each jar she would top them off with a bay leaf and then add the oil and put the lids on and set them in the big blue canning pot to process. When we were finished, we labeled and dated them before they went to the cold celler .

      “Alora,  Josie, “ Grandpop would say, “One last time before we put the grill away; let’s have some steaks!” Not only was the grill used to cook the steaks but also to warm us up on that chilly Autunm evening. “Lasci noi li ha coi Pomodori Verdi la Signora ha fatto,” Grandpop said. ( Let us have them with the green tomatoes the “Lady” made.) As we sat and enjoyed those steaks we would reflect on the exceptional summer we had cooking al fresco (outdoors.)

 

Appetito viene in mangiare.

Appetite comes in eating.


Growing Up in the Butcher Shop:  Where Have All the Fig Trees Gone?

My adaptation of Peter, Paul & Mary’s Where have all the flowers gone.

Where have all the Fig Trees gone, long time passing?
Where are all the Fig trees, long time ago?
Where have all the Fig trees gone?
Italian Grandfathers have picked them everyone.
Oh, when will we ever learn you can’t turn back the hands of time?
Oh, when will we ever learn life is short?

Where are all the Tomato plants, long time passing?
Where are all the Tomato plants,  long time ago?
Where have all the Tomato plants gone?
Gone for Italian  Grandmothers everyone.
Oh, when will we ever learn you can’t turn back the hands of time?
Oh, when will we ever learn life is short?

Where have all the Sunday Macaroni Dinners gone, long time passing?
Where have all the Sunday Macaroni Dinners gone, long time ago?
Where have all the Sunday Macaroni Dinners gone?
Gone by the wayside everyone is too busy
Oh, when will we ever learn you can’t go turn back the hands of time?
Oh, when will we ever learn life is short?


Where have all the Old Friends and Neighbors gone, long time passing?
Where have all the Old Friends and Neighbors gone, long time ago?
Where have all the Old Friends and Neighbors gone?
Gone to graveyards, everyone.
Oh, when will we ever learn you can’t turn back the hands of time?
Oh, when will we ever learn life is short?


Con Cordiali Saluti,

Joe


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

Ciao Amici,

     While growing up in 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 springtime, 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 a 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

J. DeFranco & Daughters Catering & Deli

Email portipasto@ptd.net

www.jdefrancoanddaughters.com


Growing up in the Butcher Shop:  First Day of School / Primo Giorno di Scuola

Ciao Amici,

     This week school starts and  it  brought back memories of myself , my children and grandchildren starting school. It was such a different world back then, we walked to school as did the entire neighborhood. It was more like a procession then a walk. I can remember all of us in the 100 block of Garibaldi  Avenue starting at the top across from the church to Casiano’s, Matt Giovannni the barber, Nick Falcone the tailor, Anna Rosato’s hair salon, Mary Bert Cannova’s Luncheonette, Jack Dotto’s Barroom, Leonard Castelucci the shoemaker, Albert Ronco Siding, Bozzutto, Catalina, Romano, Farole, Finelli, Farole ,Renaldo, Coppalella, Sitongia, Trigani’s Store, Peters, Ruggiero, the Greek barber, Palma Giaquinto’s Shop, Zambone, Romano Ronco’s Pharmacy  and then up the street Pinto’s, Stampone, Roseto  Legion, Marconi Club, Connie Blouse, Sia Anton DeFranco, Stampone’s Spaghetti House, Roseto  Post Office, Aversano, Hildabrant, Communale, our butcher shop, Camelleitti, Capozzolo, Di Pierro. Martocci, Salamone  and Molle, just to name a few.

      Starting my first day of school there were so many of us who were friends that we knew that it was only a natural extension of growing up. Where as today grandchildren  rides a bus and I drove my children to school. As we walked to school we felt secure because most of us had brothers, sisters or cousins that were there before us so that we could feel secure in knowing that we would be protected. We could go home for lunch and then rush back for recess. I enjoyed listening to Tazio ask the same questions I would have asked, that is when is lunch and when is recess. As he waited for the bus other children from the neighborhood arrived I came to realize how no one really knows each other any more. Times change but when I saw Tazio after school I asked how he liked school, and he said, “Pappa Nonno, it was AMAZING!” That is all I had to hear to know he will be fine.

"Siamo sempre la stessa età all'interno."

“We are always the same age inside." Gertrude Stein

 

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: Fine dell'estate /End of summer

 Ciao Amici,

     As we get into the dog days of summer, I am reminded of how hot dogs and summertime seem to go together. Besides the regular hot dog cooked on the grill, my Grandfather Phil would sometimes say, “Hey Josie, tonight we are going western !” Wagon wheels (roule macaroni ) with Showay  Showay  sauce made with  good olive oil, sauté  whole garlic which when turns golden you add the fresh tomatoes that have been peeled, salt, pepper, fresh chopped basil and fresh parsley. Let it simmer for only fifteen minutes, add hot red pepper if you like. Then we had the western hot dog. Grandpop would split the hot dog lengthwise without cutting it through, open it and add sliced cheese of your choice. He’d close and wrap the hot dog with bacon and secure it with toothpicks and grill until the bacon becomes crisp. Place it in a roll and add chopped raw onions along with whatever condiments you like. Tastes so good it was hard to just eat two.

       My dad Marty and his cousin Dante were determined to copy “Jimmy’s Hot Dog” recipe. They were able to come up with the ingredients and method but something wasn’t  right. After going though the process again, they realized they forgot one thing .It was the final step; they forgot to wrap it in wax paper. By wrapping it in wax paper the steam helped the flavor of all the ingredients  marry and when you opened it up to eat , the aroma was released and it just tasted better.

     As I started my catering business, my Dad’s cousin, Joe Duece, gave me a recipe that we made for the Unico meeting; hot dogs and hot peppers. Sauté onions and garlic, add long hot peppers, crushed tomatoes and hot dogs sliced on the bias and let it simmer.  The heat of the sauce can be adjusted by removing some of the seeds from the hot peppers or adding hot sauce. This dish was not served in a roll but as a stew with fresh Italian bread to dunk. No problem if you needed your sinus cleared.

     My Grandmom Teodora was a bit of a pusher as far food was concerned. My friends

can a test to that. “Mangia,”she would say. “You are too skinny, just try, you don’t know what you’re missing unless you try.” One thing Grandmom didn’t like was ketchup!  As we would put it on our hot dogs we would tease her and ask, “Grand mom, do you want ketchup? You don’t know what you’re missing if you don’t try it!”  Grandmom would smile and we all had a good laugh!

Do you have a favorite hot dog recipe you ‘d like to share? Please E-mail me.

 

Fare, sfare eMigliorae

Do and undo to make better

 

 Best Regards / Con cordiali saluti

Joe

 
J. DeFranco and Daughters Catering & Deli 

To receive menu specials and our newsletter Join our mailing list at our WEB PAGE
www.JDeFrancoandDaughters.comClick on Mailing List and enter your e-mail. Send us your Roseto stories, recipes and comments to e-mail: portipasto@ptd.net or call us 610-588-6991 Store Hours: 7 to 7 Seven Days a Week with Catering Anytime or by Appointment



Growing Up in the Butcher Shop: The Big Time / Grande Tempo

Ciao Amici,

           The month of July is a special time while growing up in the butcher shop.

We looked forward to the “Big Time.” Not only to celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, in Roseto, but also to celebrate  Grandpop ,birthday   on the 25th & mine on the 29th.   When I was very young, the Festival was held in the “dust bowl” where the Pius Football Field was.  I have no recollection of my parents taking me there. All I remember is I went with my friends or as my Grandfather called us, “The Gang of Ha Slegato Laccio delle Scarpe“ (untied shoe laces.) We were about a group of twenty and we’d all go together. While growing up in Roseto it was a more trusting time back then; everyone new each other and looked out for one another.

      On Saturday of “The Big Time”, at high noon, one firework was launched to remind everyone about the fireworks that will take place later that evening. Mom, Aunt Theresa and Grandmom were busy in the kitchen making the home made pizzas and sausage with peppers for all the friends that would stop by to say hello. It was sort of like when you celebrate New Year’s Eve and take time to reflect on life and make resolutions for a better year than the last.  As the last firework would go off, we would hear, “summer is over. “ Well, summer may be over, but tomorrow is Sunday and Sia Maria’s family is coming to visit and we will enjoy our macaroni and gravy meat before the “Procession.” See you at “The Big Time!”

 

Grazie,

Joe 

J. DeFranco and Daughters Catering & Deli

 

To receive menu specials and our newsletter

Join our mailing list at our NEW 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 us 610-588-6991

Store Hours: 7 to 7 Seven Days a Week with Catering Anytime or by Appointment


Growing up in the Butcher Shop:  Summer Time Joys / Estate Tempo Gioie

Ciao Amici,   

      Looking back to the summers before air conditioning was common place, the heat was bothersome but we made up for it by running through sprinklers or having my friends join me in the walk in refrigerator in the butcher shop. Sometimes we would wait for Dairy Dan or Dom for an ice cream treat. After playing outside Grandmom would have us gather to the sink to wash up and afterwards she would run cold water over our wrist to cool us down. Then she would have prepared for us the fruits of the season and eating fresh produce from the garden like watermelon, cantaloupe or honeydew which also helped to cool us down. Back in those days certain fresh fruit and vegetables were not available except in the summer, do to the fact that there were no imports from the southern hemisphere like there is today. So when we bit into a fresh watermelon and the juice dripped all over our shirts, those were the real treats reserved for the summertime only. While sitting on the bench in front of the butcher shop savoring the sweet freshness of summer from my Grandparent’s fresh garden produce, this is the passion for freshness that they instilled in me. It is the memories of time spent with Grandmom or Grandpop in the garden and still to this day I’ve learned that what is in season is the freshest and the least expensive.

Ah, l'estate e la sua potenza è necessario ci fanno soffrire e simili.

Ah, summer, what power you have to make us suffer and like it. ~Russel Baker

 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:   Italian Hand Gestures / Gesti della Mano Italiani

Ciao Amici, 

  
     When I was growing up in the Butcher shop, I liked to watch Grandpop talk to his customers. He used body language and hand gestures to punctuate an expression. Now as my customers come into our shop, Joelene sometimes has to move out of the way because I also talk with my hands. It is true that to stop an Italian from talking just tie his hands behind his back. One of the first gestures I learned was when Grandpop would have both his arms open and say, “Vieni fra le mie braccia!” [“Come to me.”] and we would hug. When he would need me he would put his pointer finger up and tell me, “Ehi tu, vieni qui! Ascolta! [“Hey! Come here, you! Listen!] When Grandmom made the homemade pasta for Chicken Tagulina [Noodle] Soup we’d hear, “Perfetto!” ["Perfect!"] The Italian gesture for “perfect” is taking your thumb and pointer fingers together making an “O.” This Italian gesture requires that you hold that up and move the hand back and forth. Upon saying, “Bellissima" ["Beautiful"], Grandpop would twist the corners of his mouth as if to twist a mustache. Still another when talking to someone not making any sense, with both hands up with the thumb to the four fingers waving back and forth, asking "Che vuoi?" "Che cavolo dici?" ["What do you want?" "What the heck are you saying?"] As frustration sometimes would set in, Grandpop would put his hands together like in prayer, “Madonna!” ["Mother of God!"] This gesture is a desperate appeal to the Mother of God. It expresses exasperation and disbelief. Swiping the hand forward from under the chin is a gesture used with frustration, “Non mi frega" ["I don’t give a damn.”] This is offensive in some cultures, but in Italian it simply means “I don’t care.” When bed time approached Mom would put her hands together by her face and rest them, “Tempo andare dormire” [“Time to go to sleep.”] “Buonanotte, Amici.” [“Good night Friend.”]

E un piuttosto gesto maleducato, ma almeno è chiaro quello che vuole dire.

It's a rather rude gesture, but at least it's clear what you mean.

~Katharine Hepburn

Con cordiali saluti,

Joe


Growing up in the Butcher Shop:  The Garden / IL Giardino

 Ciao Amici,

     When Grandmom retired after many years of labor in the butcher shop, we enjoyed working the garden together. My job was to till the soil, dig the holes for the tomatoes, plant the tomatoes and later on hammer in the tomato poles. All with the watchful eye of Grandmom making sure (Creazione sicuro) that I was doing it right and also if I had any questions; she was there to answer them. One of the many things that I admired about her was that even in her late eighties; she never lost the desire to learn new ways to garden. The different salad greens she planted, like arugla, were always available for a fresh salad with oil & vinegar (olio & aceto). Another gift from the garden was all the different fresh herbs; flat leaf parsley, basil, oregano, mint and sage (prezzemolo, basilico, origano, zecca e saggio). These herbs were used all summer long. Many of which were used in marinades.

     Using the fresh peeled tomatoes, sautéed garlic, fresh parsley and basil they made a light sauce we called; “Shoe way Shoe way Sauce.” Everything was cooked together for only about twenty minutes. It almost took longer to boil the macaroni then it did to make the sauce.

     One herb I partially like is sage to flavor the veal chop. When I first started my business 21 years ago Grandmom gave me cuttings from the sage plant and it is still here next to the building. When we harvest some to put in our dishes, it is a pleasant reminder of her love of family, cooking and gardening.

 

Sometimes you cannot see tradition but you can taste it

Qualche volta non può vedere tradizione ma può assaggiare esso

 

If you know where the name “Shoe way Shoe way Sauce” comes from, please let me know.

 Grazie,

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 Join our mailing list at our NEW 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@epix.net Or call us 610-588-6991 Store Hours: 7 to 7 Seven Days a Week with Catering Anytime or by Appointment.



Growing Up in the Butcher Shop:  Father’s Day / Giorno dei Padri
 Ciao Amici,

 

Father’s Day was always very special to me. I was lucky to be able to have my father and grandfather together for their special day. When I was young, I wanted to be just like them! I looked up to them with admiration (ha ammirato). One trait they passed on to me was there passion for food, cooking and eating. I have been catering for twenty years and it seems to me less people enjoy eating. Some will comment, “I don’t eat this, I can’t have that or I am dieting”.  Oh, come on, just sit down and enjoy the food. Have food in moderation  

    

Our Sunday dinner like 99 .9% of the families in Roseto started with an antipasto, followed by some homemade macaroni made by my mom & grand mom to show us how much love and pride they had for their family. Next, we had the gravy meat (meatballs, sausage, braciole, and the lamb shank, pieces of pork, beef, and veal.)  “Pass the bread”, was heard chanting from the table. Then we’d have a refreshing insalata (salad), no fancy  dressing, just pure extra virgin olive oil and tart homemade red wine vinegar and  salt and pepper; that was it. “Let’s relax a little on the pouch and talk, “Grandpop would say. There was no TV and no computer; just stories, jokes and laughter. “Ok,” the table’s cleared,” Mom, Grand mom and Aunt Theresa would call out. We walked to the dining room table to see the bowl of fruit; some of which was sliced and placed in the wine glasses for an Italian Sangria and there were the nuts to crack.  More stories and laughter continued as we enjoyed the espresso and desserts. Some token presents were given; not bought online but made by my brothers and me at Our Lady of Mount Carmel School. In our classrooms we were taught by the sisters as they emphasized respect for our fathers and grandfathers because they worked hard for us.

 

It has been fifty years since my Grandfather passed away but there are not many days’s that I do not think of him.  It feels sometimes he is looking over my shoulder and I can hear him as I am cooking; “ Easy on the salt you can always add it, check the oven you can always cook it longer but once it is over done there is not much you can do.”  I used to wonder why this person didn’t call me for work or an organization that I am a member didn’t call me and Grandpop would say, “ Josie you can’t get all the jobs, people have to try others, this way they appreciate the quality you give. Remember, sometimes the Paese (town) is not for the Paesano (Townsperson)

 

Thank you everyone for telling me how much you are enjoying these stories and that you look forward to them. It pleases me very much. Grazie!

Best Regards / Con cordiali saluti

Joe


Growing Up in the Butcher Shop:  You Knew You Grew Up in The Little Town of Roseto If…

Ciao Amici, 

If you can answer yes to all of these, then you grew up Italian in Roseto…

1. You have at least one relative who wore a black dress every day for an entire year after a funeral 
2.  You spent your entire childhood thinking what you ate for lunch was pronounced "sangwich." 
3.  Your family dog understood Italian.
4.  Every Sunday afternoon of your childhood was spent visiting your grandparents and extended family. 
5.  You've experienced the phenomena of 150 people fitting into 50 square feet of yard during a family cookout. 
6.  You were surprised to discover the FDA recommends you eat three meals a day, not six. 
7.  You were as tall as your grandmother by the age of nine. 
8.  You thought everyone's last name ended in a vowel 
9.  You were surprised to find out that wine and Grappa was actually sold in stores. 
10. You thought that everyone made their own tomato sauce and gravy. 
11. You never ate meat on Christmas Eve or any Friday for that matter. 
12. You ate your salad after the main course.
13. You thought Catholic was the only religion in the world.
14. You were beaten at least once with a wooden spoon or broom. 
15. You thought every meal had to be eaten with a hunk of bread in your hand 
16. You can understand Italian but you can't speak it. 
17. You have at least one relative who came over on the boat. 
18. You thought that talking loud was normal.   
19. You thought white Jordan Almonds and the Tarantella were common at all weddings.
20. You thought everyone got pinched on the cheeks and money stuffed in their pockets by their relatives.  
21. There was a crucifix in the house. 
22. You called pasta "macaroni



 E-mail me at portipasto@ptd.net to share your “Growing up in Roseto”



Ciao & Grazie,

Joe  


Growing up in the Butcher Shop          Memorial Day / Giornata Della Memoria

 Ciao Amici,

 Memorial Day is a  holiday in the United States which remembers the people who died while serving in the country's armed forces. The holiday, which is observed every year on the last Monday of May, was formerly known as Decoration Day and originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the Union and Confederate soldiers who died in the war. By the 20th century, Memorial Day had been extended to honor all Americans who died while in the military service. It typically marks the start of the summer vacation season, while Labor Day marks its end.  In the rural South on a Sunday in late spring, relatives would travel to the family graveyard where ancestors, as well as those who were deceased more recently, are buried; this may take on the character of an extended family reunion. There was often a religious service and a picnic-like "dinner on the ground," the traditional term for a potluck meal in which people used to spread the dishes out on sheets or tablecloths on the grass; thus where the food idea comes into play. In Roseto, three hundred men and women served in the armed services during the world conflicts. And of these; ten made the ultimate sacrifice and gave their lives so we could have our freedom. The American Legion in Roseto, Martocci –Capobianco Post 750 was organized in 1945. It Honors John Martocci who died in World War I and the Capobianco brothers, Carl & George who died in World War II. Imagine the mourning parents losing two sons. Here is the list of soldiers from Roseto who died during the World Wars I & II

 WORLD WAR I

   Dante Lucchetti      John Martocci

 WORLD WAR II

 S/Sgt. Carl Capobianco –Pvt. George Capobianco- Pvt. Domenico Falcone


Cpl Mathew Menecola     - Sgt. John Racciato-   T/5Albert Trigiani


Sgt. Philip L. Sabatine -   Pvt. Frank Tilli

 

Con cordiali saluti,   Joe


Growing up in the Butcher Shop : Seasons of The Face / Le Stagioni del Volto

Ciao Amici,

 

     My daughters and I started a tradition back when they were little. Olivia was about two and a half years old when I decided to shave my mustache off. As I walked into the room that summer day, Olivia looked at me and started crying and asking, “Where is my Daddy? Where is my Daddy?”  I said, “Livy it’s me, I just shaved my moustache off.”  She still could not believe it. It was not until Julia and Jasmine convinced her that it was me and Olivia settled down and stopped crying. I spoke to my daughters and asked them to come up with a plan to avoid this from happening again. We decided that as our menu for catering changes with the seasons so should my face. So in the summer I am clean shaven, I wear a goatee in the fall, a beard in the winter and mustache for the spring. This way they can expect a change with out being surprised. My daughters can recognize what time of year a photo was taken by how I look; we have a lot of fun with that.

Se non si mente annusare come burro di arachidi per due o tre giorni, burro di arachidi è ottima crema.

If you don't mind smelling like peanut butter for two or three days, peanut butter is darn good shaving cream.

~Barry Goldwater

 

Con cordiali saluti,   Joe

Growing Up in the Butcher Shop:  Mother’s Day / Madre Giorno


Ciao Amici,


I will always remember watching my Grandmother cook such delicious meals. One day I asked her, “Grandmom, what is your secret to making your food taste so good?  I know you use the best ingredients but what else is it?  Is it because you have been cooking for so many years that makes your food taste so good or is it all the recipes you share with your friends?” Grandmom looked at me, smiled and said, “Josie, the reason my food taste so good is that I cook with a secret ingredient. My secret ingredient is Amore, I cook with Love! I love nothing more than cooking for you and my family.”  As I got older I asked my mom, “Mom, what do want for Mother’s Day? Where do you want to go out for dinner? “My mom always said, “I want to make homemade chica dades  (cavatelli ) and sit down and watch you enjoy them; that is what makes me happy!” Today it seems the new generation is all about themselves, not their family.


My Grandfather had a name for my friends and me. He called us the Banda di ragazzi con ha slegato laccio delle scarpe (Gang of boys with untied shoes). When my friends wanted to come over to the house I had to warn them that if you’re not going to eat anything don’t come over because my family will be insulted. You have to at least try some food. You can say you have all ready eaten, but still; eat something. No sooner than they got through the door, Grandmom would look at them and say, “You to skinny, let me get something for you to mangia.”   She asked Dominic, “Do you like cheese?”  Dominic answered, “Yes, I really like cheese!”  I knew right then we were in trouble. The next thing we saw was a vast array of different types of cheeses on the table. Fresh Mozzerella, Aged Provolone, Cacciacalvo, Pecorino, Parmigiana, Sardo, Blue Cheese and Goat Cheese; and so our cheese course began.  Try this one she’d say, you don’t know what you’re missing if you don’t try some.


I had the opportunity of meeting my grandmother, Clementina DaVanzo on my mom’s side only twice. That was when I went to Roseto Valfatore, Italy. The second time I visited her there I was in my twenties. Over the years my Mom sent her mother money as gifts because they were oceans apart. Before we left to go back home to the States, my Grandmother gave my mom an envelope which contained all the money my mom had sent to her.  As she handed her the envelope she said, “This is for your grandchildren, I saved it for them.” 


Selfless not selfish is a way to describe their love for their family.

La Mamma e l’anima, chi la perde non la guadagna.

One’s mother and one’s soul – when lost can never be restored.


Best Regards / Con cordiali saluti

Joe



Growing up in the Butcher Shop: Giorno dei Valentini santo / St. Valentines

Ciao Amici, 

The popular  festival of love and romance, Valentines Day,  which traces its origins to ancient Rome and was not created by card companies. In early Rome people observed a holiday on February 14th to honor Juno –the Queen Goddesses of women & marriage.


Another folklore on the 15 th, is ”The Feast of Lupercalia”, which celebrates the Roman God of Agriculture. An interesting custom was to bring together young boys and girls who would otherwise  not be associated with each other. On the eve of the festival names of the young Roman girls were written on a slip of paper and placed in a jar. Each young man drew out a girls name from the jar and they were paired together for the duration of the festival. Quite often the couple would fall in love with each other and later marry.  The tradition lasted a long time until people began to feel it was un-Christian and mates were then  chosen by sight , not luck.


During the reign of Emperor Claudius II who found it difficult to get soldiers  because they did not want to leave their wives and family decided to cancel all marriages in Rome. A daring Priest, Valentinus, secrectly married couples, however when this was discovered he was sent to prison. Another legend has it that Valentinus fell in love with the jailor’s daughter who came to visit him. Before he was beaten to death on February 14 th, he wrote a farewell note to his sweetheart and signed it “From your Valentine.” He was later ordained a saint, St. Valentine.


The popularity of  this day, February 14 th, stems from the combined effects of all these legends, viewpoints and to be certain the wish to glorify the unparelled feeling of Amore [Love.] I love you Joelene, Happy Valentine’s Day!

Tutto io realmente bisogno è amore, ma un piccolo cioccolato ora ed allora non fa male a!

All I really need is love, but a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt!

Con Cordiali Saluti,

Joe 

Growing up in the Butcher Shop: Cellar / Cantina

Ciao Amici,  

Back in days when my father was growing up in the butcher shop, Grandpop stored his wine in the basement directly under the butcher shop underground which kept a steady temperature needed to preserve the wine. In the summer even when it was ninety outside it never got above 60 degrees way down in the cellar. In the winter with the freezing temperatures outside, in the “base a ment” as they called, it never got below 36 degrees. The cellar or “cantina” was also used to store all the preserves from Grandmom’s hard work in the fall. Shelves filled row after row of the canned tomato sauce, vinegar peppers, pickled green tomatoes, eggplant relish, canned pears, canned peaches, cherries in whiskey, dried herbs, and other produce stored for the cold winter months that was destined to come. Now a day’s excuse like I don’t have the time or more like the will to work hard like Grandmom’s generation did. Again, I love the story Dad told me about when he was little. When dinnertime came and the wine would have to be filled, Grandpop would give dad the bottle to decant the wine from the barrel  and Grand pop would say, “ Martino vieni qui scendere e riempire con vino e fischietto" “ Martin come here go down and fill this with wine and whistle.” Why whistle you may ask? This way if dad would stop whistling,  Grandpop knew dad was sipping some wine.

Il vino è il latte dei vecchi.
Literally-  Wine is the milk of the old.
Means: Wine to the old as milk is to babies.

Con cordiali saluti,

Joe

Growing up in the Butcher Shop: “Italian-American Entrepreneurs"

Growing up in the Butcher Grand pop would always point out to me successful entrepreneurs that were Italian American. Here is a list of some of them that were in the food business that you may not be aware are Italian Americans:

  • Hector Boyardee, famous for his Chef Boyardee brand of food products
  • Domenico Canale (1843–1919), founder of D. Canale & Co., major distributor of food and beverages
  • Nicholas D'Agostino, Sr. (1910–1996), co-founder of D'Agostino Supermarkets
  • Fred DeLuca, founder of Subway Sandwich
  • Giorgio DeLuca, founder of Dean & DeLuca
  • Bill Gallo, founder of Columbia Grain Trading Inc. which he developed into the No. 1 supplier of soybeans to China
  • Domingo Ghirardelli (1817–1894), founder of Ghirardelli Chocolate Company
  • Gennaro Lombardi, opened the first US pizzeria in 1905, Lombardi's
  • Robert Mondavi (1913–2008), leading vineyard operator in California's Napa Valley
  • Amedeo Obici (1877–1947), founder of the Planters Peanut Company in 1906
  • Mario Peruzzi (1875–1955), co-founder of Planters Peanut Company in 1906
  • Anthony T. Rossi (1900–1993), Italian immigrant who founded Tropicana Products

Con cordiali saluti,

Joe

Growing up in the Butcher Shop: Use It or Lose It /Se non lo usi lo perdi

Ciao Amici,
I recently read this, and reminded me on how quick we are to change when no change is needed. It’s taken from the Daily encounter by Richard Innes. 
"'So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you. His master replied, “Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents. For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.'"
"Unamuno, the Spanish philosopher, tells about the Roman aqueduct at Segovia, in his native Spain. It was built in AD109. For eighteen hundred years, it carried cool water from the mountains to the hot and thirsty city. Nearly sixty generations of men drank from its flow. "Then came another generation, a recent one, who said, 'This aqueduct is so great a marvel that it ought to be preserved for our children, as a museum piece. We shall relieve it of its centuries-long labor.' They did; they laid modern iron pipes. They gave the ancient bricks and mortar a reverent rest. And the aqueduct began to fall apart. The sun beating on the dry mortar caused it to crumble. The bricks and stone sagged and threatened to fall. What ages of service could not destroy idleness disintegrated."
God has given everyone at least one talent. While some people may have ten talents and others only one, we are all responsible for what we do with what we have been given.


The important thing is to develop whatever talents we have and to use them wisely, and to invest them in things of eternal value, for we will reap what we sow. 

1. Matthew 25:25-26, 28-29 (NIV).
2. Resource, Sept./ Oct., 1992, p. 4.


Sappiamo che non possiamo semi di piante con pugni chiusi. Per seminare, dobbiamo aprire le nostre mani. 

We know we cannot plant seeds with closed fists. To sow, we must open our hands. Adolfo Perez Esquivel

Growing up in the Butcher Shop: Big Time Memories / Tempo di Grandi Ricordi

Ciao Amici,
My connection with the “Roseto Big Time” goes back 60 years when on July 29th1956 I was born. My Dad called Doctor Farace to say my Mom was ready for delivery and he said to take her to Pocono Hospital because he was golfing in Stroudsburg and it was closer for him to be there then in Easton. As the Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church Procession went by the butcher shop that afternoon, I was born.
The tradition of your baptismal name at the time you are born is that of a Saint’s birthday or of a Feast’s Day, hence my middle name is Carmen. As a young child I had 3 events to look forward to at the end of July, Grandpop’s birthday, “The Big Time” and my birthday. I can relate to friends and family whose birthdays fall around Christmas. Everything gets lumped into the same party which was great because many friends and family visited the homestead that weekend. I have gone from my memories as a youngster, to taking my children, to now taking my grandhildren to The Feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel [Big Time]. To see the excitement in their faces makes me recall myself and my children’s faces. When you make the sausage in the building you live in it can’t help but have special meaning and pride. There was never a time when my grandparents did not offer food to friends and family but during the week of The Big Time, they tended to go just a little bit over broad which was part of being Italian. What they celebrated was the fact that their community kept the tradition of honoring Our Lady of Mt. Carmel just like they had for hundreds of years in Roseto Valfortore Italia. They were not ashamed of their humble beginnings, where they came from or who they are. Maybe they spoke a little broken but they learned English. They were Americans and proud of the fact that in this nation you where able to keep your Italian heritage and traditions. Not only the hard work and dedication of our forefathers that stands before us at the corner of Garibaldi and Third Street, but also the spirit that lives there, the spirit of respecting your neighbor but more importantly the love of our heritage, traditions, brotherhood and community.

Con Cordiali Saluti,
Joe

Growing up in the Butcher Shop: Listen Up / Ascolta Fino

Growing up in the butcher shop, my bedroom was directly above the shop. On occasion on Saturday mornings customers would come to the shop early. One particular customer a Slovak gentleman would arrive and with a loud and thunderous voice, "Good Morning Theodora, are my steaks ready?" It was my Saturday wake up call! He would talk and talk while my grandmother would smile and listen to his jokes.He made her laugh while she provided him with a captive audience as a great listener. Mayve she learned from the story her grandfather Giuseppe had told her about listening. Grandmom's family were blacksmiths and owned a grain mill and a general store. A man had lost his valuable pocket watch while working in one of these buildings. He searched diligently for it raking through all the sawdust on the floor - but without success. Fellow workers also failed to find it. A boy who wanted to know what all the fuss was about went into the building, told everyone to leave and closed the door, and before long he emerged with the watch "How did you do it," the men asked? The boy replied, "I lay down with my ear in the sawdust on the floor, and kept very still. Soon I heard the watch ticking and the watch was found!"

"Abbiamo due orecchie e una bocca, e quindi dovremmo ascoltare piu di quanto dicciamo."

"We have two ears and one mouth, so we should listen more than we say."
-Zeno of Citium

Con Cordiali Saluti,
Joe

Growing up in the Butcher Shop: Slate Belt Heritage Focus Award

Ciao Amici,  

I wish to share with you part of the speech I gave at the Slate Belt Heritage Center when I was presented with the Special Focus Award.

"I am so honored to be here tonight and grateful to be the recipients of the Special Focus Award, especially from an organization like the Slate Belt Heritage who I admire and respect for all the great things they do to preserve the history of our community. I first heard about the Slate Belt Heritate Center from my good friend Nick Rosato. He came up to the shop to see about summer employment for his son, his words were, "Joe, are you hiring Italians?" From there he got me to donate the sausage machine and pictures of my Grandparents that are in the Italian Room at the center. I get a great feeling when readers that I see stop to tell me how much they enjoy my articles. Not only my friends from Roseto that are Italian, but also readers that are not from Roseto or Italian, because they grew up in the sixties and they can relate to what I am writing about. The story started when I was a young boy growing up in the butcher shop and by helping my Grandparents in the kitchen, is where I learned to cook. As Dr. Wolf wrote, "Rosetans are of their own tribe." After dinner we would not rush to leave, Grandmom and Grandpop would have a pow wow and tell stories and I found them to be great story tellers. These days when customers would come to the shop we would reminisce and my stories started from that and we decided to write the articles and with the encouragement of my wife; the book.


I am especially grateful to my grandparents who raised me with a can do attitude this is the story on how they started out. As young immigrants they came to this country legally, worked hard to follow the American dream. They learned the English language; there was no press 2 for Italian. My Grandfather fought in World War 1, they struggled though prejudice and the depression. They could have purchased furniture or business equipment when they settled in Roseto but they chose business equipment and lived out of crates until they could afford furniture. They did not receive any government handouts. They embraced America and its customs but never lost view of their own heritage. They became Italian Americans and because of what they stand for and who they are is my inspiration for the writings I do. I would also like to thank my wife Joelene who proofs the articles week after week, month after month, year after year so that readers can understand what I am trying to say and enjoy them more, with some perspective of a Bangor girl. She owns a T-Shirt that reads, “Pray for me, my husband is Italian!” That being said it has made us closer by her understanding how I grew up and my family that had passed away before I met her and why we work so hard.


I am asked by customers and readers, “Where are the daughters?” They helped me when they where younger and have moved on with careers of their own. They did not have the passion to continue on in the business like I do to cater with the many hours and holidays but they did learn to work hard and are successful. But I love what I do which I must admit that if you love what you do you don’t have to work a day in your life. With the 7 grandchildren we have maybe someday you will see J DeFranco and Grandchildren. In closing I would like to dedicate this award to my wife, parents and grandparents because of the faith they had in me that I am here today. Grazie

Con cordiali saluti,

Joe

Growing up in the Butcher Shop: Papa vs. Padre Dad vs. Father

Ciao Amici,

While growing up in Roseto, some of my friends who were not Italian Americans would come over to play and they noticed some differences. They would ask, “Why all the hugging and kissing, even your dad kisses you?” I would explain that this is how Italian families greet each other. They would say, why is everyone yelling? I would tell them we are Italian and this is how we communicate. “Why is your dad in the kitchen, cooking?” This is what some Italian men do, they love to cook. This leads us into this… Even though the words “father “ and “dad” are technically in principle the same, the truth is, there are differences between Padre (Father) and Papa (Dad). If your family already regards your Dad as a responsible dad the chances are he is also what being a father is. To give you an example, if a father was the type of man that leaves his child off at his mother’s house so she can baby sit them while he take times off to go drinking beer with his buddies, likely is not a Dad. If you see a child look at his father with gleaming eyes, at the same time assured that everything will be fine because dad is here. This father is also a Dad. By contrast when a father puts his priorities ahead of his families and leaves during times of crisis he is not a dad only a father. A father just supplies his family with basic needs; clothing, shelter and food, which is all well and good, but a dad does those things plus gives guidance to his children and family. A father is someone who contributes to the physical creation of the child where by a dad finds satisfaction in interacting with his wife and children. It is indisputably far easier to become a Father then is to become a Dad. A Dad is able to show more amore (love) to them than a father can show. Also a Dad is a dad forever, never would he stop helping his children even though they have grown and have families of their own. To my Father and Grandfather, grazie (thank you) for taking the time to also be my Dad and Grand Dad.
Felice giorno padri in cielo
Happy Father’s Day in Heaven

Con Cordiali Saluti,

Joe 

Growing up in the Butcher Shop: Happy Independence Day United States / Buon Giorno dell’Indipendenza

Ciao Amici, 

My wife likes to Rompere le Pallone, [bust my chops], when it comes to my Italian pride. As I was getting ready to write this week’s article I said I was going to write about the Italian forefathers contributions to American Independence, she just rolled her eyes and laughed. As we celebrate the Fourth of July, Italian traditions may not come to mind. However, like many milestones in American history, Italians have made big contributions to our Independence. This excerpt taken from a New York Times 1994 Letter to the Editor titled, ‘Honor a Son of Italy on the Fourth of July,’ mentions one Italian who aided American sovereignty. “As an American of Italian heritage I have wondered why Filippo Mazzei is not credited with his service to the Revolutionary cause when we celebrate the Fourth of July,” the author wrote. The author was right; in fact the most famous line in the Declaration of Independence, “all men are created equal,” can be attributed to writer and political activist Filippo ‘Philip’ Mazzei. Born in Italy, Mazzei became involved in the American cause after arriving in Virginia in 1773. As a friend to the first four American presidents, Mazzei spent time sharing ideas with his closest confidant, Thomas Jefferson. Thanks to his friendship with Jefferson, Mazzei received an original copy of the Declaration. Jefferson himself credited Mazzei with the idea for the famous line. The words first appeared as “Tutti gli uomini sono per natura egualmente liberi e indipenti (All men are by nature equally free and independent)” in Mazzei’s essay, ‘Furioso.’In addition to Mazzei, several Italians contributed to the American cause during the Revolutionary war including: Pascal DeAngelis who, in 1776, at age 13 became one of the first native Italians to bear arms against the British. He fought for the Americans for the remainder of the Revolutionary War. Born and raised in Italy, Francesco Vigo came to America as Spanish solider and later established a fur trade in St. Louis. When the Revolutionary War came to the Northwest Territory, Vigo accepted IOU’s from the American Colonel George Rogers Clark in exchange for providing Clark’s men with food, clothing, ammunition and strategic battle support. Additionally, in 1779, two overseas regiments with Italian recruits arrived to fight for the American cause. They were the 3rd Piedmont with 473 men, and the 30th Du Perche with 1064 men. So when you’re celebrating Independence Day this year, remember the contributions of Mazzei, DeAngelis, Vigo and other revolutionary Italians. The information and research for this article is taken from Richard A. Capozzola’s “Five Centuries of Italian-American History.” Written by OSIA National Office Assistant, Carol Cummings.

Con Cordiali Saluti,

Joe 

Growing up in the Butcher Shop: Days to Live By / Giorni da Vivere

Ciao Amici, 

Many citizens from Roseto are very devout Catholics; Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church which they built is testament to that fact. Somehow people managed to live quite well by the following thoughts, without thousands of man made laws to guide them. Maybe the world would be a better place if people would follow this Pennsylvania German’s motto:

Sunday / Domenica (The Lord’s Day)

O Dio (God), I have prepared my house for you. Please come into my heart as my honored guest so I can may spend the day in your presence

Monday / Lunedì (Wash day)

Signore (Lord) help me wash away all my selfishness and vanity, so I may serve you
with perfect humility through the week ahead

Tuesday /Martedì (Ironing Day)
Caro Signore (Dear Lord) help me iron out all the wrinkles of prejudice I have collected through the years, so I may see the beauty in others

Wednesday / Mercoledì (Mending Day)

O Dio (God) Help me mend my ways so I will not set a bad example for others

Thursday / Giovedì (Cleaning Day)

Cari Gesù (Dear Jesus) Help me dust off all the many faults I have been hiding in the secret corners of my heart
Friday /Venerdì  (Shopping Day)

O Dio (God) give me the grace to shop wisely so I may purchase eternal happiness for myself and all others in need of your love

Saturday/ Sabato (Cooking Day)
Help me my Savior to brew a big kettle of brotherly love and serve it with the clean, sweet bread of human kindness

Con Cordiali Saluti,

Joe 

Growing up in the Butcher Shop: Grilling with Grandpop/ Grigliare con nonno

Ciao Amici, 

As I cook on the grill this summer I am reminded of my mentor, my Pappa Nonno [Grandpop], as he was the one who taught me the ins and outs of cooking Al di fuori [outside] on the grill. We would go behind the butcher shop and leave the business of running the shop to Grandmom. There were no cell phones, I pads or tablets to distract us from the grill, hardwood charcoal, and meat. Grandpop would not use lighter fluid. He preferred using dry twigs and wood shavings to get the charcoal going. When I was young, it was fascinating and impressive to see him work with fire. Grand pop was not one to hold back with the variety. He began his grilling with hot dogs and his hamburgers made from ground sirloin, then some bbq chicken and sausage, next, lamb chops and ending with some thin beef steak. When you are Italian you want to be certain no one will go away hungry at your home. I remember one time when his cousin Ruesh (Red) Trigani visited from Hamilton Ontario with some of his amici [friends] because that week we had butchered a Black Angus steer. “As long as you keep eating I will keep on slicing and grilling,” Grandpop explained. “Siediti , e un bicchiere di avere il mio vino [“Sit back , and have a glass of my wine.”] When the grill was just at the right temperature he would slice the meat and it went right on the grill, sizzles and then in a few seconds flips and sizzle again. Then those five or six pieces went into some great Italian bread. They kept on eating and Grandpop kept on slicing and grilling. “Josy, Salire e scendere di più pane” [“Josy, go up and get more bread.”] As I would go into the store Grandmom was wandering how many loaves they would eat. Finally they had reached the point of fullness.  “Ok,” Grandpop said, “Time for dessert.” Out of the wine pottery pitcher came the peaches that had been soaking in the red wine all afternoon.

L’appetito vien mangiando
The appetite comes while you’re eating

Con Cordiali Saluti,

Joe 

Growing up in the Butcher Shop: Granita / Italian Ice

Ciao Amici, 

Ancient Persia were among the first cultures that developed a dessert made from fruit and either shaved ice or mountain snow, similar discoveries must have been made by numerous cultures that had access to ice and something sweet to add to it.
In the hot and humid days of August, Grandmom would treat us to Granita, a version of Sorbet or Italian Ice. In the early days at the butcher shop, Grandmom said Grandpop sold Italian Ice. Back in the thirties there was not much automation so they relied on the old method. First they would juice fresh lemons and oranges. Then from a large block of ice they would use a manual ice shaver per order, and then add to the juice and some simple sugar syrup to make a refreshing cool treat. The other special ice treat we enjoyed in the summer was Granita. They would take left over espresso and put it in a container and then place in the freezer which was in the basement. After about 30 minutes they would summon me to go down and retrieve the tray, I would have to be steady as not to spill it. The granita would be frozen around the edges and slushy. Grandmom would use a fork to stir the granita and then I would run it back into freezer. Every 20 minutes or so Grandmom would call me to retrieve it again and after about an hour and half it would be completely frozen into a mass of flurry icy shards. Besides espresso flavor they would also make with lemons, orange or almonds. So after a day of wiffle ball with my friends it was nice to come home and cool down with lemon granita.

Con Cordiali Saluti,

Joe 

Growing up in the Butcher Shop: “Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor's Porch Day”

Ciao Amici, 

It’s now time for desperate measures. August 8th is National Sneak Some Zucchini on Your Neighbor’s Porch Day. You know your favorite neighbor would just love that zucchini that you somehow missed in your garden and has now grown large enough to feed a family of twelve.  Experienced gardeners know that Zucchini is one of the most prolific plants in the entire gardening world. A single plant produces a seemingly endless supply of Zucchini. “Sneak Some Zucchini onto Your Neighbors' Porch Day” was created due to overzealous planting of zucchini, citizens are asked to drop off baskets of the squash on neighbors’ doorsteps. Grandmom was always up to the task of, year after year finding ways to use the zucchini. It would start with the flower itself; she would stuff them with mozzarella, make a batter and then pan fry them. When my friends would be over she would always tell them to have a taste. She would say, “Try it you’ll like it, you don’t know what you are missing unless you try!”  She’d never say what it was until after they sampled it. “Wow that is good can you tell us what is now”, they’d ask? “Ok you are eating flowers, zucchini flowers stuffed with mozzarella.” What a delicacy! Grand pop would make his summer favorite Zucchini “aceto dolce” which was zucchini marinated in olive oil and red vinegar and fresh mint, a perfect “contourno” served with a double loin lamb chop right off the grill. Back to the little kitchen where Grandmom would be making stuffed zucchini boats filled with our sausage, cheese & sauce or fried for alla Parmigiana, not done yet and of course with pasta and in the chicken cacciatore. And finally with espresso, a nice slice of zucchini bread with plenty of walnuts in it. Occasionally Grandmom would like to “stuzzicato“ [tease or play tricks] she would wrap her excess zucchini in butcher paper and give to my friends resembling a Hoagie  but when they got home  all they had was more zucchini!

“Vegetables are a must on a diet. I suggest carrot cake, zucchini bread and pumpkin pie.”
~ Jim Davis quotes[American actor, 1915-1981]

Con Cordiali Saluti,

Joe 

Growing up in the Butcher Shop: Olympics

Ciao Amici, 

As a young child growing up in the Butcher Shop I looked forward to watching the Olympics with my family. Back then there were fewer sports to follow then there is now.
Not only did we root for the Americans but being that my Mom and Grandparents were born in Italy, we also hoped the Italians did well also. We would watch the events at night together and I would see the enthusiasm in my grandfather’s eyes and mannerism as the Americans would win.  “You see Josy,” he would say, “The United States is the Best.” The next day my friends and I would try to emulate the athletics. As I would play with my friends it seemed we would be running faster, jumping higher, and throwing farther then we did the day before. I remember Grandpop was proud as Roma was chosen to host the 1960 Olympic Games, which combined new, glittering facilities with some sports held in sites preserved from Ancient Roma. The 1960 marathon was unique as the only Olympic marathon that neither started nor ended in the Olympic Stadium. It started later in the afternoon, to protect the runners from the warm Italian weather. It was won by the Ethiopian [Abebe Bikila], who ran barefoot, and finished in the night, the route lit by soldiers holding torches, beneath the Arch of Constantine. Bikila would return to win the marathon again in 1964 and he was the first of the dominant African distance runners, and some consider him the greatest ever marathoner. It was nice to be watching the games with my family who had no prejudice and judged the Athletics not by the color of their skin or what country they came from but the effort and sportsmanship they portrayed. Growing up with my daughters we also enjoyed watching the Olympics together. I was happy that they had the opportunity to play sports and the life lessons that sports teach us. 

When anyone tells me I can't do anything, I'm just not listening any more.”
Florence Griffith Joyner (American athlete, 1988 Summer Olympics)

Con Cordiali Saluti,

Joe 

Growing up in the Butcher Shop: Ravioli

Ciao Amici, 

As a young child growing up in the butcher shop I knew something special was going to happen when Grandmom got the big wooden board down. I wondered what she is up to next. She put flour on the board and made a well where she added the eggs, salt and olive oil. Then she started beating the eggs and adding the flour from the top until the dough was formed. After the past dough rested she retrieved the long rolling pin [which resembled a fungo bat]. Soon with the strength and power of her arm she flipped the dough back and forth. The little round ball of dough would soon cover the whole 4ft. board. When she asked me to get the ricotta, pecorino, mozzarella, fresh parsley, black pepper and eggs it only meant one thing; it was “ravioli time.”  Our family only made cheese ravioli. We always did a course of pasta followed by the gravy meat and then the salad. Again with her strength she would mix all the ingredients with a wooden spoon… the eggs had no chance but to get beaten! Next with  only “oo spaplong ” [wheel cutter] she would cut strips and after brushing the ends with egg, place the filling  on the bottom pasta then top with another strip of pasta  and cut into rectangles. Grandmom did not measure like some of her friends did to get each one perfectly the same ; but just with her eye and experience came very close to the same size and did about 12 to their one. Like every thing she did from portions to size they were large. As the gravy simmered with the meatballs, sausage, braciole, pieces of pork, veal and lamb and as the water came to a boil, she would call us to the table. The large pillows of ravioli were strained and the gravy added into the large serving platter. After Grand- pop took his first taste he’d say “Nemmeno il Re di Napoli mangiare tale buona ravioli’  [Not even the King of Naples eat such good ravioli].

Con Cordiali Saluti,

Joe 

Growing up in the Butcher Shop: Tomato / Pomodoro

Ciao Amici, 

Like the old song goes, “you like tomato I like tomaeto.” Tomato tomaeto tomato tomaeto let’s call the whole thing off. When it comes to Southern Italians and tomatoes, we never call off the tomatoes. With great anticipation from planting the seeds in the early spring in the basement, to taking them out to the garden and hammering the palid [poles] into the ground. We tied the plants and mulched around them along with the countless nights of watering the plants. Then when they begin to wither, their energy goes into the fruit to ripen. It was time to harvest. I could see the smile on Grandmom’s face as she picked the tomatoes off the vine. It was time to enjoy tomatoes every day in every way. Simple ways like my Mom’s favorite “Pane con olio di oliva e pomodoro” [bread with olive oil and tomato.] All that is needed is day old bread that you spritz with water then squeeze out and break up then add your tomatoes, olive oil, salt and pepper. I would say “Mom how can you eat this everyday for a week? ”Ora è il momento di avere questo non a dicembre. [Now is the time to have this not December.] Of course macaroni was involved as Grandpop would make the “Showay Showay Sauce” with the fresh tomatoes, olive oil & garlic. Finally Grandmom would setup the kitchen in the “basa ment” to start the canning process. Grandmom’s kitchen was spotless and as I would see her work so hard in that hot kitchen I never heard her complain. She knew that in the year to come, the tomatoes on the shelf would be used for the Sunday Gravy that made her family happy. I remember her smile as the dozens of jars were filled with her “Tomato Gold.”

~La conoscenza è sapere che il pomodoro è un frutto. La saggezza è sapere di non metterlo in una insalata di frutta.

~Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad. - Brian O'Driscoll

Con Cordiali Saluti,

Joe 

Growing up in the Butcher Shop: Labor Day Poem

Ciao Amici, 

You can’t help but to know that the citizens of the Slate belt worked hard and diligently . From the Slate quarries to the blouse mills ,and factories that once were ,proved the work ethic of our Slate belt citizens. This short poem by Walt Whitman was written to celebrate labor day.
I HEAR AMERICA SINGING

~ Walt Whitman

I hear America singing, the varied carols I hear,
Those of mechanics, each one singing his as it should be blithe and strong,
The carpenter singing his as he measures his plank or beam,
The mason singing his as he makes ready for work, or leaves off work,
The boatman singing what belongs to him in his boat, the deckhand singing on the steamboat deck,
The shoemaker singing as he sits on his bench, the hatter singing as he stands,
The woodcutter's song, the ploughboy's on his way in the morning, or at noon intermission or at sundown,
The delicious singing of the mother, or of the young wife at work, or of the girl sewing or washing,
Each singing what belongs to him or her and to none else,
The day what belongs to the day-at night the party of young fellows, robust, friendly,
Singing with open mouths their strong melodious songs.

Con Cordiali Saluti,

Joe 

Growing up in the Butcher Shop: Elderly / Anziani

Ciao Amici, 

When an elderly person walked into the butcher shop I could feel the respect my Grandparents gave them. One big, happy family is a way to describe most Rosetans opinion on the priority of the family. Sometimes it is sharing a home and all the duties that come with maintaining one. In the modern way of this living arrangement, the oldest generation often cares for the youngest, while the breadwinners labor outside the home. As such, the aged remain thoroughly integrated well into their last days. In America and other Western cultures the trend is to be youth-centric, emphasizing attributes like selfishness, individualism and independence. The tendency ties an individual's value to his or her ability to work — something that diminishes in old age. Instead of using the experience of the elderly, the treatment of the elderly across cultures has said the geriatric in countries like U.S. live "lonely lives separated from their children and lifelong friends." As their health deteriorates, the elderly in these cultures often move to retirement community. Eastern cultures like China, Korea and Japan adhere to the Confucian tradition of "filial piety," which prioritizes the family unit and values elders with the utmost respect. In China a new Elderly Rights Law Warns them to "never neglect or snub elderly people" and mandating that they visit their elderly parents often, regardless of how far away they live. 
Korea celebrates old age not only do Koreans respect the elderly, but they also celebrate them. For Koreans, the 60th and 70th birthdays are prominent life events, which are commemorated with large-scale family parties and feasts. The universal expectation in Korea is that roles reverse once parent’s age, and that it is an adult child's duty — and an honorable one at that — to care for his or her parents. Japan has an elderly predicament where 7.2 percent of the Japanese population will be 80 or older in 2020 (compared to 4.1 percent in the U.S.)
Gli uomini non smettere di giocare perché crescere vecchio; crescono vecchio perché smettere di giocare".
Men do not quit playing because they grow old; they grow old because they quit playing.” ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes

Con Cordiali Saluti,

Joe 

Growing up in the Butcher Shop: Lasagna / Lasagne

Ciao Amici, 

Growing up in the butcher shop as the warm summer winds of July and August gave way to cool nights of September and October, our menu changed. After the months of lighter fare, like angel hair with sho-way sho-way sauce made with fresh tomatoes. It was time to make the gravy meat or Bolognese sauce. I could see the look in Grandmom’s eyes; it was time to make the lasagna. In Italy the word Lasagne refers to the dish in which lasagna is made, very much like how the word “casserole” refers to the actual meal when the word is actually the name for the dish it is cooked in.
Like every thing Grandmom did she did in a big way and lasagna was no exception. I never heard her say I am going to make “a little Lasagna” little was not in her vocabulary when it came to food and loving her family. If you are going to make lasagna then get serious and make lasagna. You never know who may stop by that we can invite to have dinner with us. Her pan was just wide enough not to hit the side of the oven and just long enough the oven door would close and so high that the one rack would be needed so it would fit. What sets Grandmoms great lasagna apart is how it is made, and that does not just refer to following the best lasagna recipe. Grandmom was passionate about cooking and she loved to use fresh ingredients. Starting with the homemade pasta sheets she made with durum wheat semolina. The cheese should also be fresh for the best results. Some recipes for lasagna call for a variety of different cheeses but in our house mozzarella, pecorino romano and ricotta was always used together. As customers would come to buy at the butcher shop they would enter with a big inhale and ask, “Sure smells good in here Dia dor are you making Lasagna?”  With glimmer in her eyes and a shimmer in her smile “a just a little” she would say. Sometimes if I was worried about something as she placed the large casserole of Lasagna on table, she would look at me and smile,  “Ok”,  she would say, “Don’t worry, forget about it and lets eat some Lasagna.” I so loved my Grandmother! 
Con il dovuto rispetto a Will Rogers, non ho mai incontrato una lasagna non mi è piaciuto.
With due respect to Will Rogers, I never met a lasagna I didn't like.

~ Garfield

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: Apples / Mele

Ciao Amici, 

I remember going with Grandpop in the fall to visit his friends on the farms
who had apple orchards. Grandpop would take me to into the building to see how they pressed the apples to make cider. After seeing all those bins full of apples and the size of the apple presses compared to our wine presses at home, I was quite impressed! Grandpop would hold me up so that I could see first hand how it was being made. From hearing the sounds of the apples in the press, the scent from the apples and watching the juice flow into the large tanks, I was fascinated to see first hand the manufacturing of the finished product. Then he handed me a gallon of cider to take home. Grandpop would talk to them about livestock they might want to sell before winter. Then he would buy baskets of apples to sell at the shop and to have on hand to eat. I don’t remember Grandmom canning apples, they would keep them in the walkin or root cellar and they seemed to last for along time. The only item I recall her making was her delicious apple pies. She would start making her crust with lard, as everyone did at the time, not with butter or Crisco. Again her pie pans were not the normal 10” but 14”. I’d watch her peel the apples and she’d always have me taste some. “Josie Ottenere il perno di rotolamento.” [“Joe get me the rolling pin.”] I could the strength in her arms as she’d pound the dough down back & forth rolling with great determination. The dough went onto the pan to form the pie crust, then after all the preparation it was time to bake. The house was filled with the wonderful aroma of apples, brown sugar, cinnamon and spice. “Is Ready yet?” Was the mantra of us kids as we waited. “Pazienza detto il Monaco!” [“Patience said the monk!”], Grandmom would say as we saw the pies cooling. We knew the time was near. Finally she would call us; “Venite e presentano alcuni!” [“Ok come and get it!”] There was only one thing left to do and that was Mom dipping out the ice cream. Another day another treat brought to me by my loving grandparents.

"Dobbiamo avere una torta. Lo stress non può esistere in presenza di torta."

We must have a pie. Stress cannot exist in the presence of pie.” 
- David Mamet, Boston Marriage

Growing up in the Butcher Shop: Italian Heritage Month

October is Italian Heritage Month, formerly known as National Italian-American Heritage Month. Coinciding with the festivities surrounding Columbus Day, the proclamation is recognition of the many achievements, contributions, and successes of Americans of Italian descent as well as Italians in America. I would like to take it a step further by writing about the contributions of Rosetans. Majestic Athletic was founded in 1976 by Faust Capobianco III. Prior to that time, the Capobianco family (Faust II and Mary Tumolo Capobianco) operated Maria Rose Fashions. As fashion apparel production shifted from the Lehigh Valley to the South, the company shifted focus to the athletic team wear business. Majestic invented the batting practice jersey, a lighter-weight pullover jersey designed for use in the heat of day. In 1982, Majestic batting practice jersey made its debut with MLB. Two years later the company signed its first National Licensing Agreement with MLB. The company made its NFL fan wear debut in 1989. In 1994 with the baseball strike large box stores were stuck with uniforms coming in from oversees, afterwards shifting their orders to Majestic who had a lower minimum, could focus on the team that was hot, and a faster response then from a slow boat from China. In 2004, after 22 years of producing MLB batting practice jerseys and fan fashions, Majestic became the sole provider of on-field uniforms for all 30 Major League Baseball teams. VF Corporation acquired Majestic in 2007, and two years later the "VF Licensed Sports Group" was created. Majestic renewed its contract with MLB in 2015. In January 2016, Majestic finalized a contract extension with the NFL. With the World Series approaching, when you see all the Majestic signs at the ballpark or seeing the emblem on the uniform remember that is was started with the vision, intelligence and intestinal fortitude of one of us an Italian American from Roseto, Faust Capobianco III
Portions from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
“Non abbiate paura di dare il buon per andare per il grande.”

“Don't be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.”

~ John D. Rockefeller

Growing up in the Butcher Shop: I am Italian / American By Angelo Bianchi Esq.

I am an Italian American. My roots are deep in 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 soil. My thoughts have been recorded 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 Christoforo Columbo. I am Giovanni 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. I am Enrico Tonti, 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 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 and, yes, an Italian American.

I am an Italian American. I am Colonel Francesco Virgo – 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 Alessandro Malaspina – I mapped the Pacific from Mexico to Alaska and to the Philippines. I am Giacomo Beltrami, the discoverer of the Mississippi River in 1823. I am Constantino Brumidi. They called me the Michelangelo of America – I created the dome of the United States capitol. I am A. P. Gianni – in 1904, in San Francisco, I founded the Bank of Italy, now known as the Bank of America, the largest financial institution in the world. I am Enrico Fermi, father of nuclear science in America. I am John Basilone of New Jersey, the first enlisted man to win the Medal of Honor in World War II.

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 home maker and the breadwinner in 10,000 communities.

I am an American without stint of reservation, loving this land as only one who understands history, its agonies and its triumphs; and I can love and serve as fully as any other American. I will stand in support of this nation's freedom and promise against all foes. My heritage has dedicated me to this nation. I am proud of my FULL heritage and I shall remain worthy of it.

Con Cordiali Saluti,
Joe

Growing up in the Butcher Shop: All Saints / All Souls Day- Ognissanti / i Morti

Ciao Amici, 

Growing up in the Butcher Shop the beginning of November started with All Saints day November 1st and all souls day November 2nd. The tradition goes back to early Christianity, when the fathers of the church, seeing that among the country folk some pagan feasts were still very popular, tried to introduce these feasts into the liturgy. In this way All Saints Day, which honored the early Christian martyrs, was established on the 1st of November to merge with the ancient Druid rituals of October 31st, which was the Eve of New Year's Day in the Celtic calendar, a rite of passage, that is why the return of Dead Ones to the earth. The day of the Dead Ones means a closer dialogue with them, forgetting about everyday problems and looking to them for comfort and strength. Grand mom would tell us when she was young growing up in Roseto Valfortore, Italy it was customary to leave one more seat at the table for the dead that they would return to visit. Also, it was common for the whole family, after dinner,