Domenick Palmer is a second-generation Italian-American. His grandmother and grandfather emigrated from Naples, Italy.
"Our family name was Palimeri," he said by email. "I was the seventh child of eight."
Palmer was introduced to the kitchen by his mother, who needed all the help she could get.
"My mother taught me to start dinner when I got home from school," he said. "She would instruct to start the pasta sauce or whatever else was to be cooked."
Palmer cherishes his Italian background. He belongs to the Dan DiMucci Lodge of the Sons and Daughters of Italy. The group supports several local charities, gives scholarship to its members and holds an annual Columbus Day Dinner Dance.
But group members also enjoy all things Italian.
"Celebrating my Italian heritage is the main reason that I enjoy belonging to the Sons and Daughters of Italy," Palmer said.
The Sons and Daughters of Italy meet the last Tuesday of each month. They alternate their meetings between the Morris Frock American Legion Post 42 in Hagerstown and St. Joseph School cafeteria in Martinsburg, W.Va. The April meeting will be in Martinsburg.
Palmer said one of his favorite holiday dishes was braciole, a southern Italian dish.
"No one then or now made it like my mother," he said. "My recipe is from memory, as she never had a recipe. She just ‘threw it together.'"
— Chris Copley, Lifestyle assistant editor
2 pounds round steaks, pounded thin
6 ounces bacon, uncooked
1/2 cup chopped Italian parsley
4 cloves garlic, minced
5 hard-cooked eggs, shelled
6 tablespoons white raisins (see cook's note)
Salt and pepper
4 tablespoon olive oil
4 cups pasta sauce
Lay each steak on the work surface, short side near you. Top each piece with a slice of bacon, parsley, minced garlic and raisins and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place whole egg at the short end and roll up. Secure with kitchen string.
Heat oil in frying pan over medium heat. Brown each bundle on all sides, about 8 minutes.
Place in pasta sauce on stove top and cook for at least 1 hour.
Before serving, slice rolls about 1 inch thick and arrange on serving dish.
Cook's note: Regular dark raisins may be used in place of white raisins.
— Courtesy of Domenick Palmer, a member of the Sons and Daughters of Italy. For more information about the group, contact Glenda at 304-263-5004 or Domenick at 304-264-8678.