INTRODUCTION

 

Just Like Mother’s Cookbook

 

When Mother makes cookies, she makes kisses

Sprinkled with nuts, dates and best wishes.

When she makes salads, she makes dreams,

Laden with oranges, coconut and cream.

Even the hotdogs are rarely just plain,

She adds spicy sauce and gives them a name.

The fruits of her conserves, jams, and jellies

Touch our hearts, as well as our bellies.

Her spirit is in everything we cook,

And to preserve this recipe, we write this book.

 

This collection of treasured recipes is dedicated to our loving mother Jane Cartano, without whom we would never have learned the wonders of home-cooked meals.  Now our brother, David Cartano, who refuses to eat anything pre-made, can make his own home-cooked meals “just like Mother’s.”

 

Dinners at the Cartano family home on Lake Washington were more than meals—they were events.  It is amazing to recall how night after night our mother worked to prepare delicious feasts.  The meals, filled with laughter, argument, and spilled milk, were sweetly seasoned by the delicious fare served. 

 

Many of our memories revolve around these raucous meals.  As children, Dad taught us manners.  As we graduated to young adolescents, we unlearned most of those manners.  Following Bob and David’s lead, we did our best to stir the pot of controversy, and some may even say we succeeded.  But despite the efforts of those suffering from the “junior high attitude,” as we called it, one element was a constant in our lives—the delicious flavors and smells coming out of Mother’s kitchen. 

 

Mother never prepared just one vegetable or an ordinary salad; every tidbit was pleasantly perfect.  She was always experimenting with delicious, albeit economical, meals for the ordinary sitting of ten. 

 
ABOUT OUR FATHER
 
The John Cartano Story
 ~Radio Special
 
“For every American’s war . . .

 

In this dramatic story, which you hear James tell, Bethlehem Steel, builders of ships for victory, brings you a message, which we cannot afford to forget.

 

He was always a great sports fan.  He loved baseball, football and basketball, and played a darn good game of golf and tennis.  His dad loved these games, too, and they played a lot together, all this was back in their hometown of Seattle Washington.  By the way, we’re talking about John D. Cartano of that city.  John did a good job of playing the game of life, too.  He graduated from both high school and college with honors.  Then he became a successful practicing attorney in a Seattle law firm.  Finally, he decided to get into the biggest game that’s being played right now, the game of war to victory.  He’s now Lieutenant John D. Cartano of the United States Navy. 

 

The U.S.S. John Penn, a transport cargo ship, was just off Guadal Canal.  It was August 13, 1943, and she was bringing to a large troop fighting in the Solomon’s area a much-needed cargo of ammunition.  Suddenly out of the sky screamed a formation of Jap torpedo planes.  One enemy plane put her fish right through the engine room of the John Penn.  A terrific explosion tore a great hole in the vessel and almost immediately she was a blazing popping inferno. 

 

Nearby lying off Guadal Canal was an army patrol craft, the USS APC 25.  Her commanding officer, Navy Lieutenant John D. Cartano, saw what was happening to the helpless transport.  While the radio communications systems in the vicinity crackled with various opinions on what should be done, he had already made up his mind.  In those radio contacts, they were agreeing that it would be too dangerous for other vessels to approach the burning exploding USS Penn. 

 

It appeared obvious that there was little chance of saving anyone.  The danger of getting anywhere near that exploding inferno was great.  But Lt. Cartano and his small craft was already proceeding at full speed toward the quickly sinking cargo ship.  The USS Penn went down twenty minutes after the torpedo struck.  The sea around the sinking ship was aflame with burning oil.  But Lt. Cartano brought his small craft in as close as he dared and began the job of picking up survivors.  He realized he would have to work fast.  Some of the men in the water had on life jackets, but others, and among them were many wounded, had none. 

 

Lt. Cartano got search, rescue, and first aid parties into action immediately.  He and his men worked hard, and they worked fast, and later when they counted the survivors, they found Lt. Cartano’s little patrol craft had pulled out 33 men.  The USS Penn’s Capt. Roberts suffering from a bad shoulder and burns turned up among the survivors, too.  The rescued were given pajamas and coveralls for something to wear, and as they lined up on the beach for roll call to check the missing, another alarm sounded.  The Jap planes were coming again and Lt. Cartano’s rescue had been effective just in time. 

 

For his courageous action and splendid initiative, Lt. Cartano was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Medal.  Yes, it’s men like Lt. Cartano who are showing what courage and initiative can accomplish in the conduct of this war, but without ships this war would be impossible.  Ships of all kinds are urgently needed to carry a live cargo and to fight the enemy. Men are needed now with or without shipyard experience at the Hobocan Yard of Bethlehem Steel Company to repair recondition and convert ships required for war service.  Here is your chance to get directly behind our boys.  Men not in essential industry, also veterans or those classified as 4F or otherwise draft deferred, can learn a technical trade that pays while learning..”

USS John Penn

DEDICATION

 

This collection of treasured recipes is dedicated to our loving mother Jane Cartano, without whom we would never have learned the wonders of home-cooked meals.  Now our brother, David Cartano, who refuses to eat anything pre-made, can make his own home-cooked meals “just like Mother’s.”  

 

FOREWORD

 

Dinners at the Cartano family home on Lake Washington were more than meals—they were events.  It is amazing to recall how night after night our mother worked to prepare delicious feasts.  The meals, filled with laughter, argument, and spilled milk, were sweetly seasoned by the delicious fare served. 

 

Many of our memories revolve around these raucous meals.  As children, Dad taught us manners.  As we graduated to young adolescents, we unlearned most of those manners.  Following Bob and David’s lead, we did our best to stir the pot of controversy, and some may even say we succeeded.  But despite the efforts of those suffering from the “junior high attitude,” as we called it, one element was a constant in our lives—the delicious flavors and smells coming out of Mother’s kitchen. 

 

Mother never prepared just one vegetable or an ordinary salad; every tidbit was pleasantly perfect.  She was always experimenting with delicious, albeit economical, meals for the ordinary sitting of ten.  Memories of zucchini casserole and scalloped potatoes make us cringe at the thought of canned vegetables or TV dinners.   Even dessert was rarely a neglected item.  We savored delicious sliced peaches on meringue shells, cantaloupe halves filled with vanilla ice cream, warm baked apples and cobblers seemingly made in heaven. 

 

In those days, many of us did not fully appreciate the many courses Mother prepared for the family or the delicious salads with sugared almonds and orange slices that were standard fare.  We hope, however, that we will relive those memories through this cookbook, and that generations to come will experience sweetness of our childhood meals. 

 

The following recipes include some of Mother’s favorite recipes, as well as favored recipes by the sisters, Julie Rourke, Anna Gascoigne, Helene Marcelia, Margaret Hewes, Joan Savard, and our sister-in-law Maureen Cartano, as well as a few from our nieces and mother-in-laws. We hope you enjoy a homemade meal every day hereafter!na

 

~Margaret Cartano Hewes

Christmas, 2003

                            

DAD’S GRACE

 

Dear God,

Thank you for all the love and beauty in our home,

Thank you for all our blessings

Help us to keep this home a happy home

Guide us all of our lives

Help us to be good to one another

And may we help other people

 

~John D. Cartano

 

DAVID’S GRACE

 

Bless this food

Bless this meat

Thank you God

Now let’s eat

 

A WORD FROM THE NEXT GENERATION

         

It seems like every time my friends come over, my mom is cooking.  My friends call my mom Mama Martha Stewart.  It is funny my friends call her that name considering every one of my aunts is also an Auntie Martha Stewart.  Whenever my friends comment on my mom’s cooking, I think how lucky I am to have the pleasure of delicious homemade meals every night.  Being a Cartano means to me not only eating good food, but also sharing delicious, homemade, family meals that are meant to be enjoyed together.  

 

~Julie Hewes