Want to get back to a day when life was easy, children did as they were told and your grandmother cooked on Sunday? It all begins with you. Laughter, Humor and Joy expert Yvonne Conte shows you how in this very different book about Life, Love and Italian Cooking. Includes over 45 authentic Italian recipes from three generations of Conte's. Introduction The Conte Family trace our origin to Amaroni, a small town in the Province of Catanzaro, in southern Italy, in the Region of Calabria. My great Grandparents, Francesco and Francesca (DiVito) Conte had three sons and two daughters. Their eldest son was my grandfather, Antonio Conte. We called him Pa. He came to this country as a young boy and hoped for a good life in the new world. He married Philomena Marrotta and had four children. The eldest was my father, Frances William Conte. My Dad came from a strong, dedicated and loyal family. He knew the power of that kind of family strength and he passed that knowledge down to my sisters and I. Somehow that made me feel very safe and protected as a child growing up in the 50's and 60's. I always knew my family had my back, no matter what. They would always be there for me. I could count on that. If ever there was a disagreement with one of us kids, he would look at us and say, "That's your sister. You're family. I don't want to hear anymore. Kiss and make up." And we always did. My father would not tolerate any sort of discord. We cried a little bit, we laughed a little bit and then Daddy would get us in the kitchen and we'd cook! Somehow a wonderful meal and sitting around the table together made everything alright. He taught me that nothing is as important as the family. He has been gone now since 1995 and much has changed. Our families have gotten bigger and some of our traditions have gone by the wayside. I think that happens in most families as time goes on. I wrote this book because I want my grandchildren to know that same kind of family strength and loyalty that I grew up with. I think it's time for Americans to go back to their roots and back to the values, respect and beliefs that this country was founded on. In the first section you will find a collection of essays. Some essays are funny, some are emotional and some are just my random thoughts. I've tried to be descriptive so that you can almost hear the laughter from my many Conte, Gerace, Scarano and Paone cousins, smell the aromas and envision us around the table. The second section offers the same kind of values, respect and beliefs in conversations with Gary Dunes, a long time fixture in the Central New York radio market. The third section is my real gift to you. I'm giving away all the family secrets! Forty-five recipes from three generations of Conte's fill the pages. I'm telling you, you can almost smell the sauce. I hope you enjoy this book. Of everything I've ever written, this book offers more of me - my heart and soul, my thoughts and dreams, and the food that made me who I am. Mmmm, molto bene! Enjoy. Yvonne "My task which I am trying to achieve by the power of the written word, to make you hear, to make you feel - it is, before all, to make you see. That and no more, and it is everything." - Joseph Conrad
Forward How often do we talk about our lives growing up? Do we think about how our relationship with our siblings has changed over the years? Do we recognize the humor all around us? What lessons have we learned, what traits do we embrace, and what foods take us back home? This is the fabric of our lives---our history. Recording the experiences and ideals that carry us through life is one of the greatest gifts we can give to our family. This book is an example of one way to share the gift of who we are. The book will not be read just once. The threads of family life are vivid and compelling. The conversations are a reminder of the importance of humor in everyday life. And the recipes are simply delicious home cooking. We may think the book will find a place on the bookshelf but it will be more at home in the kitchen. So here is the simple recipe: Read about a vibrant life, find the humor in everyday living, and complete the cycle by sitting down with those close to you for a wonderful, home cooked meal. Enjoy!
Yvonne Conte is a former award winning sales executive. She has spent the past 22 years studying the benefits of Humor, Laughter and Joy. Today she helps fortune 500 companies create a positive corporate climate where laughter and humor is encouraged. Her clients include; Xerox, Time Warner, AT&T, G E Global and Merck Pharmaceutical. Her first book Serious Laughter sold over 50,000 copies, is printed in two languages and used in colleges to teach students how to think funny. Her first printing of Cry, Laugh Cook! has received rave reviews. Yvonne has literally laughed and cooked her way through the worst times of her life; chronic illness, divorce, complete financial ruin, loosing her home and suddenly becoming a single parent of two infants. Yvonne transformed her negative emotions into empowerment, positive action and self-determination. She now helps others examine their thoughts, behaviors and change their perspective on life. Yvonne has taken her seminars and advice to over 5,000 corporations and groups nationally. Her speaking career has taken her to 33 states and 7 countries.
She is the recipient of the Syracuse Women in Leadership Award and is an internationally recognized Stress Management Consultant, Corporate Culture Expert and Motivational Humorist who has been lecturing and writing for over 22 years on the subject of turning emotions into positive action, productivity, laughter, and joy!