VITTORIO PROCOPIO – August 10, 1932

Just before Easter I lost a dear friend and a friend of the family for decades.  Today he would have been 80 years old.  Him reaching a mile-stone birthday is not sad.  Its said for the family, he died a week before Easter, and for me, he died just before my birthday.  But what is really sad is that for over one year cancer treatments kept him what he enjoyed most in life.  Food and wine, and along with that, gardening, growing all his own food.  All I wanted was one last meal with him, and to be fair, we did have that in early April, and I am thankful for that, but I was always hoping there would be at least one more meal.  I used to go to his house once a week, sometimes several times a week for lunch.  Over the year, these lunches of good food, talk, italian music and homemade wine, they became less frequent.

I am very thankful to have a friend like “Victor” or Vito, he taught me a lot about life, food, cooking, winemaking.  You can find posts about him and his many recipes here.  he was a good man, well liked by everyone.  A good, honest hard working man with a lot of good family.  He is missed, especially today, especially by me.

The News at Noon on the TV, time to take a break with homemade wine, prosciutto and salumi, and roasted green peppers from the garden with tomatoes.  The only thing not homegrown or homemade above was the day old Calandra’s panella bread.  He bought it a day old and discounted since he was a senior citizen.  It did not matter, he used it to soak up the extra salad dressing.  The salad too was simple, it basically was whatever was fresh from the garden.  In the summer, typically tomatoes, peppers, basil, onions (which he bought at the Koren grocer in Paterson) and perhaps some hot peppers from the planter.

Here I added some cucumbers and oregano, but Victor always used olive oil and balsamic vinegar, probably the only “fancy” thing he ever paid extra for.

Not long before his death, Victor takes a photo next to a barrel of 2011 wine with the dry hard sausages he made by hand that winter in his “Cantina”.


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