“My wife grew up across the street. We got together eleven years ago. After six months of being with me, she realized that the photography business was changing dramatically from film to digital and the investment it would have taken to continue in that field,” Domenick says.
“I was getting tired of it. Doing weddings for 25 years was taking its toll,” he says.
So Domenick heeded his parents’ wishes of working more at the shop and soon after he started living right across the street, he was opening the doors most days as they worked less.
While he says he’s passionate about photography, he’s quick to point out that interacting with families on shoots was one of things he loved the most about his previous life.
“I’m a people person. I love meeting people. My mother says there’s a lot of my grandfather in me. He was a hard worker and he loved working with the customers. He had a second grade education and worked on farms [in Italy] and came here. I went to college but I enjoy being with the people. Being able to have a meaningful relationship with them,” Domenick says.
While Antoinette and Harry Sr. may put in lighter hours now—they’re usually there from Thursday through Saturday from late morning until about 5—you’re assured an earnest connection marked by steady movements holding memories of so many faces pouring in through those double doors.
Stop by and step into an ongoing history while congratulating them on their 67th wedding anniversary, which they celebrated back on November 14th. And try the tripe. Antoinette and Harry Sr. will be thrilled to tell you how to cook it.
Here are two recipes from Antoinette Crimi that were handed down to her from her mother.
Mamma Crimi’s Gravy Recipe
¼ cup olive oil
4 garlic cloves
1 medium onion
2 cans of crushed tomatoes
11 tablespoon Dried Parsley
salt and pepper
1/2 lb each of Ground Beef
Veal and Pork mixed together
1 cup Italian bread
1 tablespoon of Grated Parmesan Cheese
gravy meat: a large pig’s foot, quartered; a piece of pork (spare rib or belly); beef or some Italian sausage.
Make the meatballs:
Add 1 cup of Italian bread softened with water along with 2 crushed garlic cloves along with the parmesan cheese to the ground meat. Then add the beaten egg, dried parsley, salt & pepper to the meat and mix well by hand to form the meatballs.
Prepare the gravy meat: In a sauté pan, “brown” the meat with a little olive oil. Do not cook thoroughly—simply fry until brown on all sides. For the pig feet, bring a pot of water to boil then place pig feet in with 1 bay leaf and boil until for about 5 or 10 minutes.
In a large Pot heat 2 table spoons of Olive Oil. Add 2 crushed cloves of garlic and ½ medium onion cut in small pieces. Sauté until brown on both sides then remove after browning.
Add 2 cans of crushed tomatoes with 1 can of water. Add the Dried Parsley, salt and pepper to taste. Let cook for approx. 1 ½ to 2 hrs on low heat. Then add the meat to the pot and continue to simmer the gravy and taste until done— approximately 2 more hours or so. Stir frequently so the gravy doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot and burn.
Here are two of Antoinette Crimi’s recipes based on her mother’s dishes.
Mamma Crimi’s Baked Lamb’s Head Recipe
1 fresh baby lamb head split in half [by your butcher at Cappuccio’s]
1 can crushed tomatoes
3 cloves garlic
parsley, oregano, salt & pepper
Wash Lamb head and place in a baking dish with the inside of the head facing up.
Season with breadcrumbs, 2 or 3 cloves of crushed garlic, dried parsley, oregano, salt and pepper.
Add crushed tomatoes on to the top of the heads. Add 1 cup of water to the baking dish. Cover the dish with foil and bake at 375 degrees.
Bake for 1 hour for smaller heads or longer for the larger ones, adding water as needed so they don’t dry out. Remove the foil and let the heads brown for a few minutes. Remove from the oven and let stand before serving.