×

Family Gatherings

Hairdresser’s Culinary Roots Run Deep

RoseAnne Samuelson, center holding her Shih Tzu, is flanked by her family. Submitted photo

RoseAnne Samuelson’s love of good food was acquired from several family members that came before her, but two stand out the most as contributors to her ability to be a good Italian cook.

“I credit all of my learning to cook to my grandfather, Mike Giambeluca, owner of The Victory Restaurant and my mother, Joyce Caruso.”

She remembers watching her grandfather make meatballs, not realizing then that it was a valuable teaching moment and was preparing her to one day be able to do the same for her family.

She took a dishwashing job at Anderson’s Restaurant in Falconer when she was 15. After watching the cook for six months, she was able to prepare dishes for the business. The experience made it possible for her to take a job at Sambo’s Restaurant, which was located in Brooklyn Square, where she prepared 100 to 150 breakfasts. Cooking for a crowd seemed to come natural for the teenager.

After graduating from high school, she went to beauty school and for the last 25 years has been the owner of Salon 2000. She often makes suggestions when clients speak of boredom with their menus or are unsure of what to prepare for a special occasion.

RoseAnne Samuelson makes eight pumpkin and two pecan pies each Thanksgiving. Submitted photo

“I’m always sharing recipes with people and get a lot of thank-yous.”

She recalls big family dinners at her grandmother’s house on Sundays.

“If you didn’t show up to show your respect, you were in trouble,” she fondly remembers. “My uncles were always in competition about who had the best meatballs.”

Her grandparents’ very small home was located at Kidder and South Main streets.

“We were wall-to-wall people in this house. Everyone brought their sausage and (we) had a taste test.”

Later her grandparents built a larger house at 156 Howard St.

Family Christmas gatherings were also held at the elder relatives’ home. A pinata made by her aunt, Angie Giambeluca, was always a main attraction for the children. Years later, after her grandparents and her mother had passed away, her sister Madeline DeMarco and husband John began hosting the family Christmas dinner. Now Mrs. Samuelson and her husband, John, celebrate the holiday at their home with their own children and grandchildren.

She decorates her home with an abundance of lights, candles and garlands. A stocking is hung from the mantle for each family member.

“This place is transformed into a Christmas wonderland,” she said about the lavish decorations.

Old, and new family traditions are important to the grandmother of seven, but she has had to set aside the generational tradition of having a pinata. Most of her grandchildren are beyond the age of finding excitement in breaking the candy-filled paper mache object. She makes sure to come up with fun, new ideas and carries over some of the ones she has done for many years, such as presenting each of the grandchildren with a Christmas hat she has decorated for them. A different activity and/or game is brought out each year.

She also decorates her yard and the salon for the festive season.

It so happened that the birth of her daughters’ first six children was spaced out every year for six-years. The grandmother served as their daycare provider two days per week before her grandchildren started school.

“Being family-oriented is a big part of me,” said the Jamestown native. “I feel my mom, my grandpa and my aunt.”

She continues her grandmother’s tradition of having the family for Sunday dinner and when she asked her grandchildren what Sunday dinner meant to them, their responses were heartwarming.

“Sundays are always my favorite days of the week, watching Buffalo Bills and spending time with people I love the most,” said Ashlyn, 13. “The amount of time you put into the meals shows how much love you have for your family.”

“I love spending time with you guys. You guys make me laugh and it makes my whole day better,” was 14-year-old Alexandra’s response.

Ava, 16, acknowledged that her grandparents did a lot for the family, “even though sometimes we don’t show it.”

“I love Sunday so much, especially when you cook pasta and rolls just for me,” was 12-year-old Addison’s take on the weekly tradition. She also spoke about playing outside with her cousins while she was at her grandparents’ house. “When we have to leave is the worst part.”

Twelve-year-old Ayden’s response was short and to the point, “your food is the best.”

Isaac, 10, reprimanded his mother, telling her she needed to learn how to make his grandmother’s recipes because she was “one of the best cooks in Jamestown.”

The grandmother makes a special birthday dinner that ends with a cake, for each family member. She has been known to take eight crockpots filled with food to a daughter’s home.

She has many hobbies besides decorating her home, including wreath-making, doing various other crafts and gardening. In milder weather, the exterior of her home is surrounded by perennials of various sizes, shapes and textures. The variety of colorful foliage is pleasing to the eye before the beautiful blooms appear and after they drop away from the plants. The gardener does not limit herself to plants that have been set into the ground, but fills some spaces with interesting and colorful potted plants. Accent pieces, such as gnomes, a turtle, a snail and a frog are interspersed throughout the gardens. Colorful, climbing cyclamen add color where they are rooted. Many more potted plants can be found under the covered patio.

In the rare times that boredom sneaks into her day, it is quickly squelched by time spent in the kitchen.

“I really don’t relax a lot. I watch TV for a half-hour then I’m in the kitchen,” she admits.

John Samuelson has been an employee of SKF for 44 years. The couple has three daughters, Leslie Stone, Katie Samuelson and Natalie Samuelson, who all live locally. Furry, four-legged, family members are Gidget the Shih Tzu and GiGi the Toy Schnauzer. The Samuelsons belong to the Vikings Club and attend the Salvation Army Church. Mrs. Samuelson helps with Pennies for Paws and with fundraisers for the Kidney Association.

The extended family, including John’s mother Carole, not only enjoy Sunday and holiday dinners together, they also vacation together. They stay at the same condo each year during spring break, but travel to various locations within six hours of home during their summer vacation.

“I’m thankful and blessed and I know God is the reason.”

Today Mrs. Samuelson offers some of the food she prepares for her family.

Breakfast Casserole

10-12 slices bread

12 eggs

1/4 c milk

1 c ham, chopped or sausage or bacon

1 small jar salsa

1 1/2 c sharp cheese

Spray 9-inch by 13-inch glass pan with cooking spray. Lay bread on bottom. Combine eggs and milk and pour over bread. Add meat. Spread salsa over casserole. Add cheese and bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. May be assembled the night before and refrigerated. Adjust baking time.

Sausage Bread Roll

2 loaves thawed bread dough

1 1/2 lbs bulk sausage

2 onions, chopped

1 can ripe olives, drained and sliced

1 large can mushrooms, drained

Parmesan cheese

1 1/2 c mozzarella cheese, shredded

Put both loaves of dough in a large bowl. Cover and let rise until double. Cook sausage with onions. Drain and cool. Roll dough in a large rectangle. Add cooled sausage, olives, mushrooms and cheese. Roll jelly roll-style and seal edges. Transfer to a lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until top is golden brown. Butter top and cool. Slice to serve.

Salisbury Meatball Patties

2 lbs lean ground beef

1 c seasoned bread crumbs

1 onion, diced

1 c diced celery

1 T ketchup

1 T salt

1 T pepper

1/2 tsp garlic salt

1 T A-1 sauce

1/2-3/4 c milk

2 c brown or onion gravy

1 can sliced mushrooms, drained

Combine beef, bread crumbs, onion, celery, ketchup, spices, A-1 sauce and milk. Form into oval patties. Brown each side in frying pan. Put patties in a 9-inch by 13-inch pan. Add gravy and mushrooms. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Serve with mashed potatoes.

Flaky Pie Crust

2 c flour

1 c shortening

1 egg

1 T Vinegar

4 T Water

1/2 tsp salt

Cut flour and shortening together. Add egg, vinegar, water and salt and combine. Form into 2 balls. Roll out and put into pie tins. Bake 375 degrees for as long as your favorite pie requires.

Zucchini Bars

3 large eggs

2 c flour

1 c sugar

1c oil

1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla

1 c chopped nuts, optional

Mix ingredients in order given. Pour into greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or when knife inserted in center comes out clean. Frost when cool.

Frosting

1/2 stick butter

3 oz cream cheese

2 1/2 c powder sugar

1T vanilla

1T milk

Beat until fluffy.

Cheese Potato Wedges

5 lb bag of red potatoes

3 large onions, chopped

1 stick butter

2 c sharp cheese, shredded

Clean and boil potatoes until soft. Drain and cool. Cut into quarters and then put into greased glass 9-inch by 13-inch casserole. Saute onions in butter and then pour over potatoes. Bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees. Add cheese and continue baking until cheese is melted, about 5 minutes.

COMMENTS