If you are reading this, then you must be related to me or someone in the Fatato Family. Welcome to my collection of our family favorites, as well as some personal, some borrowed and new favorite recipes. This book is intended to remind or introduce you to our family holiday recipes, some simple inexpensive favorite recipes, and some new ones.
Our family composed of the Yacullo’s and Fatato’s. Mom’s family were the Yacullo’s. Dad -Anthony, Mom- Mary, brothers- Carmine and Lou, sisters-Louise, Mildred and Antoinette, (your grandma or great grandma). Ann or Annie also had a nifty nickname - Nettie! Something that made us an unusual family was that two sisters (Millie and Ann) married two brothers (Vinny and Tom Fatato).
The Fatato family wasn’t prosperous when Grandpa Luigi and Theresa Fatato left Italy, and were living in Brooklyn. Grandpa’s first business was selling olive oil and some other imports from Italy. When Vincent and Tom joined the business, they switched over to selling beer. In time they bought their own brewery, which unfortunately failed. But they persevered and Tom promised himself that he would have another brewery but wouldn’t pay for it. They found a brewery that had the brewmaster but needed the Salesman to sell their beer. So Tom struck a deal with them. “Give me six months, no pay, if I double your business, my brother, Vincent and I will be equal partners with you.” And that’s how they became owners of Old Bohemian Beer, Eastern Brewery in Hammonton, New Jersey, with Jimmy and Robert Penza.
The family beginnings were in Brooklyn but we ended up in Irvington, NY. Here’s how that happened. When I was 4 and Marie was 2 1|2, we were sent to boarding school in Dobbs Ferry. When the family was tired of driving from Brooklyn to visit us on Sundays, they decided to buy a house in the area ~ Irvington, 1945 and we moved up permanently in 1952. And that’s a very brief explanation, as to how our family migrated from Brooklyn to Irvington. At one time or another, Irvington was Home to Grandpa Fatato, Uncle Vinnie and Aunt Millie, Aunt Rita and Uncle Bob, Aunt Linda and Uncle Eugene, Phil and Terry Striano, Louis and Joyce Fatato, Marie and Jimmy Oxley, Shelly and Ippazio Danza, Ron and Pat Fatato, Kelly and Ron Johnn!
We, my brothers and sisters, and cousins have moved on with our lives, as we should have, but there is always a pull for the ‘old days’, and the best way to remember and eat some of our favorite meals. On holidays, all of us seated around the table, in age order, older ones started next to Dad and down to the youngest near Mom- and when we were married we still sat in the same order, but with our spouses, and we always said a prayer before eating. A habit I would hope you would all continue with your families, especially on the holidays.
Hopefully, you enjoyed this quick story of the founders of our family and try the recipes our Mom cooked for us, and we cooked for our children and grandchildren, You!
Much love and kisses, from your Mom, Grandma, Aunt, Great Aunt or Great, Great Auntl
P.S. When you are cooking, the best advice I can give you is TASTE, TASTE and more TASTE!