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Growing up in the Butcher Shop:  Tomatoes  I Pomodori

Ciao Amici,

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

“Ode to the Tomato”

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

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

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

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

Will it be with basil and mozzarella

Or with all the different greens will you be there

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

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

Of enjoying the dish which has been seen

On the bread you go to make the sangwitch taste grow

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

On top of pizza all covered with cheese

We find you in a sauce which must be tossed

with the macaroni we know

that makes our day glow

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

 would be lost.

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

So that every Sunday the gravy we’ll see

Grandma

 

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

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

Con cordiali saluti, 

 Joe 


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


Ciao Amici,   

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

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

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

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

    

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


Con cordiali saluti,

Joe


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


Ciao Amici,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

Grazie,

Joe


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

Ciao Amici, 

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

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

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

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


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

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

Harry S. Truman

Con Cordiali Saluti,

 Joe

Growing up in the Butcher:   Delivery Consegna

Ciao Amici,

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

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

Senso comune non è così comune

Common sense is not so common

Con Cordiali Saluti,

 Joe

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

Ciao Amici,

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

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

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

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

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

We owe a lot to our Mothers, who, after suffering with pain and difficulties beyond imagination, not only brought us into the world, but also brought us up while under going even more hardships. Had Mothers not been loyal to their duties, no child in this world would have been able to have a happy and successful life. In return for this, they just demand love and respect. Mother’s Day has spread throughout the world to honor mothers and to make them feel special and thanked for their matchless role in one’s life.

     Growing up in the butcher shop, when ever we’d ask Mom and Grandmom what they wanted for Mother’s Day they would simply say,  “We want to make the homemades! What makes us happy is cooking for you and eating together around the dinner table as a family.”

 

Miss you Mom, I love you!

 

“Nessuno dono a Sua madre può uguagliarla mai dono a Lei- vita"

“No gift to your mother can ever equal her gift to you - life"


Con cordiali saluti,

Joe 



Growing up in the Butcher Shop:  Sharpening the Knives / Aguzzare I Coltelli

Ciao Amici,

     One of the chores Grandpop did every week was sharpen the knives for the butcher shop and slaughter house. Andiamo coltivare aguzzare i coltelli [Let's go to the farm to sharpen the knives.] As we drove down Garibaldi Avenue the businesses lined the street one by one; blouse mills, bakeries, gas stations,  the pharmacy, general stores,  the hotel and candy stores. Many of the establishments were like ours,  a place of business connected to the owners’ home. Upon reaching the end of Garibaldi we made a left up North Garlibaldi which was the transition from urban to rural. At the farm, Grandpop would let me help him feed the animals. I would go up in the hay loft and drop the hay down for the steers or fill their bins with corn feed. We had an old bathtub that I filled with water so the steers could have a drink. People ask me how I can work seven days a week; I guess I learned at an early age that the farm animals need to be tended to every day.

      A sharp knife is crucial for safety and speed in the butcher shop and the kill floor. Grandpop had a large stone wheel that had a trough with water to cool the stone so the knives would not be ruined. As the machine was turned on, I would hand the knives to Grandpop and he would hold them at such an angle that he would turn the knives into razors. Small boning knives, long thin knives for filleting, long saber-like knives to cut steaks and large meat cleavers to chop bones. All were sharpened on the stone. To fine-tune them more he would use the steel. To make sure those knives were to his liking, he would check them by shaving the hair off his arm.  “Now that is what I call sharp!”, he would say.

"Se il coltello cade sul melone o il melone sul coltello, il melone soffre"

"Whether the knife falls on the melon or the melon on the knife, the melon suffers"

Con cordiali saluti,

Joe 


Growing up in the Butcher Shop:   Easter / Pasqua


Ciao Amici,

      Pasqua [Easter] was a special time in the butcher shop.  After the fasting with meatless dishes and a fish diet during Lent, we could finally get back to business which was supplying meat to the community. Spring was here and lamb symbolized spring, as that was when lambs were ready for slaughter. Throughout the world, the most popular Easter symbol is the lamb and so it was in Roseto, Italy. It was a popular superstition that the devil, who could take the form of all other animals, was never allowed to appear in the shape of a lamb because of its religious symbolism. In the 7th century, the Benedictine Monks wrote a prayer for the blessing of lambs. A few hundred years later the Pope adopted it and a whole roasted lamb became the feature of the Pope's Easter Dinner. When it comes to eating lamb, most of us opt for the leg or chops but the old generation trend for nose to tail eating which encourages us all to be a little more adventurous with our choices. It is not just a fashionable way of cooking; the Rosetan’s embraced the concept of nose to tail eating long before it was given its identity.  The origins stem back to the belief that animals are sacred and so killing them to eat should be a respectful process, involving no wastage. And waste not they did. As a child helping in the slaughterhouse I saw first hand how absolutely nothing was wasted. Going into the walk-in refrigerator in the butcher shop, I could see how Grandpop prepared the livestock, it looked more like going to a biology class all waiting Grandmom and Grandpop per cucinare  [to cook]. The arrival of spring also meant the coming of the greens, dandelion greens that is, that special tonic that makes the spezzatta soup so good. So traditional it encompasses everything of what spring is, the spring lamb and the dandelion greens symbolize the freshness of spring, the egg signifying springtime and renewal. Another popular interpretation is that the egg is like the Roseto people: the hotter you make it for them, the tougher they get.  Sitting around the Easter Dinner table we all felt we made it through another bitter winter and then looked with optimism for the rest of the year.

 

Dalla Mia Famiglia Alla Vostra Buona Pasqua

From My Family To Yours Happy Easter


Growing up in the Butcher Shop      
Primavera Spring

 

Ciao Amici,



Sundays without macaroni? Only on Easter Sunday. In my grandparent’s day, they also celebrated Pasquetta ( Little Easter ); which was spent with family and friends on Easter Monday. They enjoyed cooking Alfresco; everyone would go to the countryside for a picnic. Huge pots were put on top of the fire and the pasta was cooked outside. Even though they ate outdoors, the tables were still full of a variety of mouth-watering foods. They enjoyed relaxing after dinner in the warm spring sun and seeing the new growth on the trees, and plants and flowers return to life after winter. This reflects a tradition as old as life itself – eating outdoors and welcome to spring!

     Grandmom and Grandpop would be busy with their seeds in the basement and getting ready for the garden that would hold all the vegetables and herbs needed to feed the family. My Grandparents were waste not want not. They had a compost heap for their garden. Everything was cooked from scratch. By cutting our own chickens, the backbones and trimmings became homemade chicken stock for the Tagulini Soup. Leftover bread was mixed with potatoes, onions, celery, cabbage or broccoli rabe and garlic and olive oil to make Panna cotta or Ghombotta. These wonderful hearty dinners filled you up and stuck to your ribs. My Mom told me how her parents in Italy, Guiseppe and Clemintina DaVanzo saved the coffee grounds from their hotel and gave them to people who couldn’t afford to buy coffee. Things had more value during the depression.



Se mangia vegetali verdi regolare per almeno 90 anni che non mai morrà giovane/

If you eat green vegetables regular for at least 90 years you will never die young

 

Grazie,

Joe




Growing up in the Butcher Shop :   Easter / Pasqua



Ciao Amici ,

      Pasqua [Easter] was a special time in the butcher shop.  After the fasting with meatless dishes and a fish diet during Lent, we could finally get back to business which was supplying meat to the community. Spring was here and lamb symbolized spring, as that was when lambs were ready for slaughter. Throughout the world the most popular Easter symbol is the lamb and so it was in Roseto, Italy. It was a popular superstition that the devil, who could take the form of all other animals, was never allowed to appear in the shape of a lamb because of its religious symbolism. In the 7 th century the Benedictine Monks wrote a prayer for the blessing of lambs. A few hundred years later the Pope adopted it and a whole roasted lamb became the feature of the Pope's Easter Dinner. When it comes to eating lamb, most of us opt for the leg or chops but the old generation trend for nose to tail eating which encourages us all to be a little more adventurous with our choices. It is not just a fashionable way of cooking; the Rosetan’s embraced the concept of nose to tail eating long before it was given its identity.  The origins stem back to the belief that animals are sacred and so killing them to eat should be a respectful process, involving no wastage. And waste not they did. As a child helping in the slaughter house I saw first hand how absolutely nothing was wasted. Going into the walk -in refrigerator in the butcher shop, I could see how Grandpop prepared the livestock, it looked more like going to a biology class  all waiting Grandmom and Grandpop per cucinare  [to cook]. The arrival of spring also meant the coming of the greens, dandelion greens that is, that special tonic that makes the spezzatta soup so good. So traditional it encompasses every thing of what spring is, the spring lamb and the  dandelion greens symbolize the freshness of spring, the egg signifying springtime and renewal. Another popular interpretation is that the egg is like the Roseto people: the hotter you make it for them, the tougher they get.  Sitting around the Easter Dinner table we all felt we made it though another bitter winter and then looked with optimism for the rest of the year.

 



Dalla Mia Famiglia Alla Vostra Buona Pasqua

From My Family To Yours Happy Easter

 

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 joining 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: Palm Pasta / Pasta del Palmo

Ciao Amici, 

     This week is Palm Sunday, a feast that falls on the Sunday before Easter. In many Christian churches, Palm Sunday is marked by the distribution of palm leaves [often tied into crosses] to its worshipers. According to the Gospel, Jesus rode a donkey into Jerusalem. The symbol of the donkey may be referred to the Eastern tradition that it is an animal of peace, versus the horse, which is the animal of war. Along with their religious traditions, the Rosetans brought their gastronomic traditions and on Palm Sunday that meant every one in Roseto ate the homemade palm pasta. I am not sure how the tradition started I am just glad it did. 

     When watching Grandmom make the homemade palms, it was like watching the conductor lead an orchestra. As she would get the large pasta board and place in on the table, the overture would begin. Durum wheat flour, with it’s high protein content, made the pasta have a  more chewy texture to remain  Al Dente [to the tooth] and not turn to polenta when dropped in the hot water. She would mound flour in the center of the board to make a well and add the eggs to the well. The eggs were beaten with a fork and from the top; flour was added a little at a time into the eggs until like magic the dough was formed. As a little child watching her knead the dough with her large and powerful arms, the dough had no chance but to form into a ball. Next she grabbed the rolling pin which was not like the little rolling pin a baker used to make pie crust. It resembled a baseball fungo bat that was as long as the board. Then with this baton flipping the dough back and forth, the entire board was covered with the dough. The pasta wheel cut the dough into strips to resemble ribbons. This was not done with any sign of labor, only with love, a smile and a gleam in her eye that only a grandmother could provide to her grandchildren

      As Grandpop stirred the Sunday Gravy and while the pasta awaited its destiny to be thown into the boiling  water, the finale of the “palm making opera”would end in a bowl  with some grated cheese and a family sitting and eating at the table together with much love, gusto and peace. Grazie Grandmom and Grandpop, we are proud to be walking in your footsteps. Fresh palms will be available for pickup on Saturday 04/04 or Sunday 04/05 order by noon Friday.

 

Una buona nonna vale cento insegnanti.

A good grandmother is worth a hundred teachers.

 

Con Cordiali Saluti,

Joe 



Growing up in the Butcher Shop:   ENCOURAGEMENT /  INCORAGGIAMENTO

     Ciao Amici,    

     As I see the geese fly over North Bangor it reminds why geese fly in “V” formation.  As each goose flaps its wings, it creates uplift for the bird immediately following. By doing this, the whole flock adds a certain percent greater flying range than if each bird flew on its own. When a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of trying to go it alone and quickly gets back into formation to take advantage of lifting power of the bird in front. When a goose gets tired it rotates back and another goose flies point. All the honking you hear encourages the geese up front to keep up to speed. Also when a goose gets wounded by gunshot, and falls out of formation, two other geese fall out with the injured goose and follow it down to lend help and protection. They stay with the fallen goose until it is able to fly or until it dies, then and only then do they fly out on their own, or with another formation to catch up with their group.

     It is essential to remember that teamwork happens inside and outside of business life when it is continually nurtured and encouraged. If we have as much sense as geese, we will stand by each other in difficult times, as well as when we are strong. In the days of yester year, the town of Roseto was like this with encouragement and support of family and friends. Times have changed and now people and some family do not give you encouragement but sadly too many go out of their way to try to hurt you! I can’t help but wonder what Grandmom and Grandpop would think?  They would probably say that we would do well to follow the example of the geese!

 

“When a fox preaches, take care of your geese.”

“Quando la volpe predica, prendersi cura delle vostre oche."

 

Con cordiali saluti,

Joe 

 

My book, “Growing up in the Butcher Shop“ is available at the shop or on our web page receive menu specials and our newsletter by joining 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


Growing up in the Butcher:  Feast of St. Joseph / Festa di San Giuseppe

Ciao Amici ,

        Growing up in the butcher shop, I was fortunate to celebrate two birthday’s; one on July 29th  but also on March 19th, my patron saint, St. Joseph’s Feast Day. There is a saying that if you don’t have a relative or Goomba named Joseph you are probably not Italian. The name Joseph / Giuseppe has a special meaning to my family because my Mom’s Father was named Giuseppe and my Grandmother Teodora’s Brother and Grandfather was also named Giuseppe. I remember Grandmom and Mom as I came down the steps on that morning and them wishing me a happy St. Joseph’s Day. It filled me with ancestral pride. ”When you come home from school today we will have zeppoles waiting for you.”

      Our church, Our lady of Mt Carmel, is when we have our feast but for Sicilians, St. Joseph's Day is a big feast because in the Middle Ages, God, through St. Joseph's intercessions, saved the Sicilians from a very serious drought. So in his honor, the custom is for all to wear red, in the same way that green is worn on St. Patrick's Day. Today, after Mass [at least in parishes with large Italian populations], a big altar ["la tavola di San Giuse" or "St. Joseph's Table"] is laden with food contributed by everyone. Different Italian regions celebrate this day differently, but being the feast falls during Lent all involve special meatless foods: minestrone, pasta with breadcrumbs [the breadcrumbs symbolize the sawdust that would have covered the carpenter St. Joseph's floor], seafood, Sfinge di San Giuseppe, and, always, fava beans, which are considered "lucky" because during the drought, the fava thrived while other crops failed.

      In Italy, March 19 is also Father's Day. The table is three tiered to symbolize the Holy Trinity. St. Patrick used the clover leaf to symbolize the Holy Trinity. St. Joseph is also the patron saint of departing souls. It was March of 1969 when my Grandfather Philip was dying with no hope of survival with a final prayer, “Oh, Saint Joseph, I never weary of contemplating you, and Jesus asleep in your arms; I dare not approach while he reposes near your heart. Press him in my name, kiss his fine head for me, and ask him to return the kiss when I draw my dying breath.”
 
   Saint Joseph, patron of departing souls; pray for me. He was gone. The monument above my Grandfather’s grave is that of St. Joseph. 
 

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: St. Patrick / San Patrizio 
                      

Ciao Amici,      

            March 17th is the day we celebrate St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, who is one of Christianity’s most widely known figures. Many may think that corned beef and cabbage was eaten in Ireland to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day but it was actually the Irish coming to America who made St. Patrick’s into a big holiday. Cooking what was once an expensive dish—corned beef and cabbage—at home, and eventually expanding it into multiple festivals, de rigeur green ties for politicians and at least one emerald-dyed river (naturally, in Chicago.) Instead of green, maybe look for yellow - a pat of Irish butter. Although most Americans are familiar with images of Ireland's rolling green hills, few realize that those hills are the secret to a deliciously buttery empire. On Ireland’s national feast day people stay at home, eat regular Irish food and perhaps drink a little extra to celebrate the day. Here are some different Irish foods you might find Irish eating on Paddies Day (definitely not called St. Patties Day), it’s pretty common knowledge that the Irish make great bread, which is so easy to bake, too. Home-made soda bread is a staple in Ireland. Brown soda bread is made with whole-wheat flour, buttermilk and bread soda and white soda bread is made with white flour. It’s traditionally made into a round loaf with a cross etched in the center to keep the fairies out! A traditional Sunday roast dinner is very popular in Ireland. The roast meat is served with roasted potatoes, peas, carrots, and lashings of gravy. Nothing will taste as good as your Mammy’s roast dinner. They’re also really handy with a potato like the Dublin Coddle which is an Irish, one-pot collaboration of bacon, pork sausage, potatoes and onions.  Colcannon it’s a mixture of creamy mashed potatoes and usually kale or cabbage. Or perhaps they would make an Irish stew made with beef or lamb and carrots and potatoes. Hopefully I will not have to try this recipe because St. Patrick’s Day can be a day of heavy drinking, and the crisp sandwich is a well-known hangover cure. It’s essentially some Irish potato chips sandwiched between two slices of buttered white bread. Another cure for hangovers is a ‘flat 7Up’ which is essentially some 7Up with a splash hot water. It’s widely believed a ‘flat 7Up’ can cure almost anything. Just like spaghetti and meatballs are an Italian American creation that I enjoy; I shall also enjoy the Irish American creation corned beef and cabbage. Top ‘O the Mornin…Ciao my friends!

 

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.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





Growing Up in the Butcher Shop:    Eggs / Uova

 

Ciao Amici,

     Eggs were on the menu through out the year but especially so during Lent. While growing up in the butcher shop; there was a chicken coup on the farm where we got our eggs. We have a recipe for eggs that are cooked with peas and onions and also eggs that are made with peppers which sometimes we put into bread to make a sandwich (panino), or in their slang, a ”sang- witch”. One of the great things about eggs is that you can make a meal in a hurry.  My grandmother made a dish called a frittata which was like an omelet.  It could be simple like sautéing onions or scallions and then adding the eggs and cheese or sometime she would make it heartier by adding broccoli, spinach, mozzarella, ricotta, parmesan and pecorino. It was cooked on top of the stove and then baked in the oven. I remember when she offered it to a friend who was painting at the house, it was so filling that he had to nap a little before starting to paint again.  I loved watching her make a dish called occhi del lupo (wolf eyes). She simmered tomato sauce on the stove and then broke whole eggs into the sauce, as the eggs would poach, they’d rise to the top. As Grandmom would plate the meal the eggs stayed whole and then you’d proceed to inzuppi il pane (dunk the bread) and break the eggs and the yolk would be released in the sauce. Sometimes when things did not turn out right you would hear “a fare uovo“, go lay an egg.

 

Omelets are not made without breaking eggs

Frittata non è fatto senza uova della rottura

Best Regards / Con cordiali saluti

Joe


Growing Up in the Butcher Shop:  “Carne vale” / “Farewell to Meat”

Ciao Amici,

     Tuesday of this week marks the day before Ash Wednesday. This day is referred to as either Shrove Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, Mardi Gras or as we Italian /Americans call it; Carnavale. The origins of the name is disputed. The variety of dialects in Italian suggest the name comes from the Italian “carne levare” (to remove meat), since meat is prohibited during Lent. In a more distant time it was forbidden not just on Friday but for the entire season of Lent. The phrase “Carrus Navalis”(ship cart), a Roman Festival where a figure of Isis, a Goddess of motherhood, magic and fertility was carried to the sea shore to bless the start of the sailing time of year. The festival consisted of a parade with masks and a subsequent adorned wooden boat, that which replicates the modern floats in today’s  Mardi Gras Parades.

      Our “Carnevale Dinner” begins with the Antipasto. We look forward to homemade Cavatelli in gravy (red sauce), followed by the gravy meat (also in red sauce), roasted chicken and potatoes. Our salad follows the end of the meal. Fresh fruit in wine is then brought to the table to savor with nuts to crack open. Typical dessert for this occasion is “Cavazoon” (pants), made with sweetened ricotta, a turnover  that looks like a calzone.

     Traditionally there are forty days in Lent which are marked by fasting, both from foods and festivities, and by other acts of penance. The three traditional practices to be taken up with renewed vigor during Lent are prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. Today, some people give up a vice of their own, add something that will bring them closer to God, and often give the time or money spent doing that to charitable purposes or organizations.

 

"Gente certamente non ha perso alcuna della fede che abbiamo nel carnevale."