AMESBURY, Mass. — “The Recipe Lady” is gone but she is not forgotten.
Having spent 15 years as the director of both the Amesbury and Merrimac housing authorities, Bob Mazzone would often end his newsletters with a recipe from his mother Angelina, whom his tenants knew as “The Recipe Lady.”
While his mother died at the age of 98 in 2014, Mazzone has cobbled together 131 of her best recipes to make sure her legacy and dishes live on in his self-published “The Recipe Lady Cookbook.”
“I wanted to do something that was positive in remembrance of my mom,” Mazzone said. “My tenants had seen her recipes for years and had treated her like a celebrity when I would bring her to dinners. I wanted to make sure there was some kind of lasting memorial to her, so the best way to do that was to do a lot of good things, all at once.”
Putting together seven chapters, including, “Desserts,” ”Family Favorites,” ”Meat Dishes” and “Seafood,” Mazzone made his 60-page cookbook available at Our Neighbors’ Table’s Main Street location once it opened in the spring of 2016.
The cookbook is free and donations can be made to Our Neighbors’ Table instead of a fee.
“This is raising money for a great cause,” Mazzone said. “I worked with (Our Neighbors’ Table) for my entire tenure and they were great. If there was ever someone who needed something, they were right there.”
A Medford native, Mazzone grew up one of four kids in a working-class Italian household. While his father worked at First National, Angelina was a homemaker who thrived on simple recipes to feed the family.
“Her name was Angelina but unfortunately it became Angeline when she entered the school system,” Mazzone said. “She was born a DeSalvo and her father was a barber in Coolidge Corner for 50 years and she was 98 when she passed.”
Screened by a committee of Heritage Tower residents, the recipes in Mazzone’s cookbook focus on quick, simple and inexpensive dishes.
“These can all be made with no special equipment,” Mazzone said. “You don’t need a Cuisinart. You don’t need a $400 beater and there is no saffron or any other expensive spice.”
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