Nancy and Peter moved to Central Florida in 2008. Mid-July they moved into their new Home in Bella Vista.
Both were raised in large traditional Italian families in and around Greater Boston. Peter’s roots were in the culture of Boston’s North End, a wonderfully unique Italian neighborhood; Nancy nearby in Cambridge and Sommerville. The North End was densely populated with over ten thousand people. Most residents were first and second-generation Italians. Heads of families emigrated from different parts of Italy. Each brought their regional diversity, values, and regional cuisine with them. The North End was a working-class community. Men took hard jobs while their wives took care of households and children. It was all about family and family values. Mealtime was important, a time to relax and simply talk about their day over simple but great food. Nancy also was blessed with a large extended family with similar traditions. All were great cooks, especially her dad. He was a chef at a variety of Italian restaurants in Boston’s North End. The North End didn’t have any big grocery store chains. Instead there were many specialties stores catering to the neighborhood’s often unique demands including imported Italian specialties. Bakeries were abundant and fresh seafood always available. Neighborhood butcher shops specialized in different and unique cuts of meats, pounded veal scallops and thin rectangular cuts of beef and pork for stuffed braciola. It was also common seeing whole lambs or rabbits hanging on hooks for display.
Dad died when I was only 13. Mom and I lived alone but were blessed with lots of family and our wonderful community. Although poor, we never worried about fulfilling any of our needs. Mom was protective and caring and we frequently cooked together. My greatest possession is mom’s hand-written cooking notebooks loaded with recipes and cut and pasted collages from newspapers magazines and food packages. There are many notes including those reminding her which her son Peter liked best. Peter preserved mom’s and his recipes and eventually created a cooking and blogging website, www.LuciaTramonte.com, named in honor of his mother Lucia. Tramonte was his mom’s maiden name. “My website features many traditional family recipes and classics; sauces, risotto, polenta, specialty pizza and flatbreads, homemade breads, puff pastry appetizers, homemade season mix, desserts, meats and poultry, vegetables, pot roasted garlic and infused oil, Asian specialties, and many more.”
Peter also has a monthly food column with recipes in one of The Villages magazines. For first time visitors to his website, he suggests viewing the bottom of his home page. It displays pictures and links to many of the recipes inside.