|Christopher J. Sauchelli|
When you were born, an angel smiled, As you became a child, an angel sat on your shoulder. When you became an adult, an angel held your hand. As your family grew, an angel walked down the road with you. And, when you died, another angel got their wings. --Unknown
This poem is in loving memory of my brother Christopher, who would have been 52 years old on Sunday. He passed away on Aug 1, 1999 from a brain aneurysm at 37 years old. He really was a true angel and I know that he is watching over our family from heaven.
There are so many happy memories of Chris; I guess I should start at the beginning. I was eight years old when he was born April 6, 1962. I remember vaguely when my parents brought him home. Chris was a very happy baby and had a head full of brown curly hair. He was 10 1/4 lbs when he was born so he was a roly-poly baby. He used to smile all the time.
|Chris at Halloween 1963-1964 ?|
Christmas time was another loving memory of excitement in the Sauchelli house. I remember going into my brother‘s room early in the morning to wake him up and see what Santa had brought us. We would try to be quiet as my parents were still sleeping at 6:00 am and we would go straight for the tree. We were so amazed at all of the toys, and gifts that were under the tree, that we thought we were still dreaming. Chris was very neat and organized. He would unwrap one package at a time and neatly put the wrappings in a garbage bag for trash. As he grew up this trait followed him. His room, his job, and even when he got married, and moved into his own house, his neatness continued. His clothes were immaculate and he always dressed appropriately. He had a good sense of humor and his passion besides the family was sports. He was a real sports fanatic. His favorite team is the Pittsburgh Steelers, and today his son Nicholas, and his daughter Lauren are following in his footsteps.
|Lauren & Nick|
Chris was a self made business man. At the beginning of his career he was part owner of his own company which he started. He was Vice President of a collection agency and had many people under him. He was a fair yet understanding person. As the years went on he branched out and became President of his own company. He enjoyed sales, and was able to talk about anything to anyone. I believe that he had the “gift of gab.” He worked hard and played hard as well.
As he became a husband, and a father, his family ties were an extension of his love. He would have been very proud of his children today, especially of the accomplishments in their lives. His family was extremely important to him. His heart was filled with joy and love. Chris was always there for my parents whom he loved very much. His friends were a group of very special men and women whom were there for the family when he died. Some even flew from California to be near his bedside at the hospital. They were a big part of his life, and were always there anytime they were needed. After his family, my parents, and his friends, I was the only one left, but Chris never left me out of anything. He was very attentive to me, his only sister. No matter where I was or lived he would call me at least once a week, and find out the scoop of what was going on, if I needed anything or any help. He was there for me no matter what. He was not just my brother, but my best friend.
One last thought about Chris was that he loved to cook and really enjoyed food. Among his favorites were my mom’s sauce (or gravy) and her meatballs. He used to make my mom’s recipe for his family. He loved all the Italian dishes that my grandmother’s and mom would make. Holidays were special and he really enjoyed being with the family. Especially when we would bake all the traditional Italian cakes, cookies, and pies. He was into traditions and the Italian way. So in honor of my brother, I am sharing my “Mama’s Marinara Tomato Sauce” (no meat). No store bought sauce can compare with the taste of a sauce that you make from scratch. This recipe was passed down from my grandmother to my mother and now I am sharing it with you. Hope that you enjoy!
“Mama’s Marinara Tomato Sauce”
2 cans of 28 oz. crushed tomatoes (Tuttorosso)
2 cans of tomato paste
Olive Oil or Wesson Canola Oil
5 large whole garlic cloves
Salt to taste
1 teaspoon of Oregano (flakes) *
1 tablespoon of Parsley (flakes) *
1 tablespoon of Basil (flakes) *
2 dried Bay Leaves
On medium heat sauté olive oil and garlic together. When garlic becomes pale gold and fragrant (do not burn) then add the crushed tomatoes and paste. Use the paste can and add 1/2 can of water. Stir, till well blended and now add salt, parsley, basil and oregano to taste, plus the 2 bay leaves. Stir well to combine and bring sauce to a boil, then reduce to a low simmer for 1 hour. You can add a small amount of sugar (optional) if desired, to cut some of the acid in the tomato. Cover on or slightly off to thicken sauce. Stir occasionally until sauce is thickened. When you lift the cover off of the pot, the aroma of your sauce will be so mouthwatering that you will not be able to wait to devour it. This recipe makes enough for about 8 people, but you can freeze the leftover sauce, if there is any left.
**Note: If you are using fresh herbs, then you have to use more than a tablespoon or teaspoon. Just break off the leaves and use a rough chop on your herbs.
Till Next Time………………………………........
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