The Times West Virginian

My Favorite Recipe

September 21, 2011

Keeping up traditions

FAIRMONT — The “My Favorite Recipe” food for September is tailgating food. Send in your favorite homemade recipes to Debbie Wilson at dwilson@timeswv.com.

When the Angottis head up the interstate and arrive at Duvall-Rosier Field, they’re there to do more than watch their son, Mike Lopez, coach the Fairmont State Fighting Falcons.

They’re there to share time, memories and food with family and friends.

“We’re there at all the home games and some of the away games, if they’re fairly close,” Cindy Angotti said, “And we bring food to them as well.”

There are your typical tailgate goodies: sweets, chips, drinks. But if you’re lucky, she’ll bake a cake and whip up some of her famous steak or sausage-and-pepper hoagies and maybe even some of that buffalo wing dip “that everybody likes,” she said.

“If it’s an early game, we’ll bring a breakfast casserole of eggs, cheese, potatoes and sausage, with peppers and sauce on the side.”

She knows she can’t bring the entire table to snack on.

“You try to have one big thing and then stuff to pick at, appetizers, that kind of thing,” she said.

“My husband, once in a while, will say he just wants to go to the concession stand and get a hot dog,” she said with a laugh.

No matter what she makes, she doesn’t want to face this hungry crowd of children, cousins, friends with empty hands.

“People are counting on the food,” she said. “So, no, I would not go without food. I don’t want to disappoint the kids. And I always save something for Mike and my nephew Joe to have after the game. It’s just a good time. I enjoy it.”

Obviously, she enjoys cooking. And in a way, her kitchen is kind of a culinary United Nations ... Spanish, from her mother, Maria Fernandez; Hungarian from her father, Rudy Torjak; and Greek and Italian from relatives.

“I like to cook all the ethnic dishes ... meatballs and sauce, fettucini, Spanish rice with chicken, cabbage rolls.

“I enjoy keeping up the traditions. If you don’t practice them, you lose them. So I make things to pass on to my kids.”

She grew up in a neighborhood of Spanish and Italian families. Her father grew up among Hungarians and Greeks.

“Now, I don’t do any Greek dishes, but we grew up with that food as well,” she said.

The best thing about all this was neighbor teaching neighbor foods from their homelands, she said.

“They learned from the real McCoys. My grandmother baked bread every Friday and have me take it to the neighbors. That was her contribution to the community. I was fortunate enough to spend time with her as a kid.”

Toss in some Italian relatives up the road in Fairmont, and her culinary education was complete.

“It was neat. They intermarried, so all those cultures came together. It was a little bit of everything.”

She has five children, John and Mike Lopez, Gina Calvert, Francis Angotti and Angelina Angotti, who is a junior at WVU.

“Family traditions are very important. As the kids got older, it became more important to them. They’ve expressed an interest in learning how to do certain dishes.

“It’s part of who you are. There are a lot of good memoriess. Traditions keep families together.”

She learned to cook from an extended family of parents, grandparents and aunts, she said.

“They had such patience in the kitchen. Whatever they were making, they let me make a smaller version. As a kid, I loved doing that.”

“I like all the traditional dishes, but I’m not big with the meatballs and lasagnas and all that. I love Spanish rice with chicken. I make it with Spanish sausage, when I can get it. It’s rare to find anymore. People who make it are becoming very few. There’s an art to it.

“And when I eat cabbage rolls, it takes me back to a different time. That’s what makes dishes so good. Traditional dishes have something special.”

She especially loves watching Mike and his team on the field.

“He works so hard. I want him to have a good season, and for everybody to be happy and enjoy the day.

“And when the Falcons win, it’s just icing on the cake.”

The contest for September is tailgating food. To be featured on the “My Favorite Recipe” page, contact Debbie Wilson at 304-367-2549 or at dwilson@timeswv.com.

Email Debra Minor Wilson at dwilson@timeswv.com.

1
Text Only
My Favorite Recipe
  • 091912.jessi.polis.debe104_2785.jpg Sweet enough

    If you like something sweet, Jessi Polis has the cake for you.
    Her orange cream cheese pound cake is light, refreshing and just sweet enough to satisfy those cravings.
    This cake is her husband Sam’s favorite, she said.

    September 19, 2012 2 Photos

  • 091212.paula.jpg Powerful poppers

    Paula Ansberry makes some pretty powerful pepper poppers.
    She got the recipe from a friend a couple of years ago. She was a little hesitant to try one. She’s not a spicy food kind of person.

    September 12, 2012 2 Photos

  • 082912.goddard.jpg Sweet success

    People say they go to cookouts and picnics to get together with friends and family.
    They say they like the burgers and dogs, and pasta, fruit and potato salads, and all those other side dishes you can’t have a picnic without.

    August 29, 2012 2 Photos

  • 081512.kim.food.deb.jpg Art of cooking

    Kim Holbert isn’t one of those “Try it; you’ll like it” kind of cooks.
    She’s more like, “You like it; I’ll make it.”
    “If I know that you have a preference toward something, I aim it that way,” she said.

    August 15, 2012 2 Photos

  • 080812.judy.starn.deb.jpg Just home cooking

    Food doesn’t have to be fancy to be tasty.
    Judy Starn learned this growing up on Sugar Lane in Catawba. She was the only girl in nine children of Woodrow and Anna Starn. One brother passed away, so she grew up among seven brothers.
    “I like to cook, but I wouldn’t say I’m a good cook,” she said.

    August 8, 2012 2 Photos

  • 080112.linn.deb.jpg Just plain cooking

    You know those pretty layered salads people put in clear glass bowls, and you have to lift all the layers out at the same time and then spread them out on a plate so everybody can see how pretty it is, and then they go “ooh” and “ahh”?

    August 1, 2012 2 Photos

  • 072512.jpg ‘Just plain good’

    When it’s just too darned hot to cook, or you need something cool and light in a jiffy, Josephine Vespoint has a quick-as-a-wink salad for you.
    Take two cans of pears, and drain and place each pear right side up on a bed of lettuce.

    July 25, 2012 1 Photo

  • 071812 parrish.deb.jpg All about family

    All her life, Alma Hoy Parrish has been about one thing: family.
    She’s put the knowledge she learned at her mother’s knee to good use during her 46-year marriage to Tom Parrish while raising their two children, Mike Parrish and Lori Hill.

    July 18, 2012 2 Photos 1 Story

  • 071112 davis.top pic.deb.jpg Easy and versatile

    There are salads that you ever-so-politely nibble on.
    Not Cathy Davis’ California Tossed Salad.
    It fills a large bowl to the brim. You have to grab it with tongs, lift it to your plate and, as she says it, “dive on in.”
    It’s filling. It’s healthy. It’s easy to make.

    July 11, 2012 3 Photos

  • 070412 picnic 1.jpg Light and fluffy

    Grandmas are probably the world’s best cooks.
    Just ask anybody who’s been lucky enough to have eaten their scrumptious cookies, luscious pies, fluffy cakes and wholesome breads.

    July 4, 2012 1 Photo

Featured Ads
NDN Lifestyles
House Ads