If you are lucky enough to be a Facebook friend of Carole Pepe, you will receive an inspirational or uplifting post from her each day. Inspirational and uplifting best describe Carole’s life.
Reared in a typical Italy family living in Plymouth Meeting, after graduating from high school, she went to work for Bell of Pennsylvania in Conshohocken. Younger than most of her co-workers, she excelled at her job. She moved quickly up to being a service rep for the company — always with a smile, always a lady.
On her 19th birthday (of all times), she learned that her present boyfriend was moving to Florida immediately. The unhappy birthday girl was persuaded to go out to celebrate by a group of friends.
They wound up at a club in New Jersey called Dicky Lees. The attraction was the band called Ricky & the Rockets. One of her friends persuaded Carole to move across the bar with her to be closer to a guy of interest. With this guy of interest was his cousin, Thomas.
Need I tell you that Carole and Thomas Pepe after two years of courting have been married for 42 years. They have lived for 41 years in West Norriton (Jeffersonville), 31 or those years in their present home.
There are two sons — the oldest is Thomas (who likes to be called Tom) and Christian. There is an 11-year age span between them. So for those 11 years, Tom was an only child. When Christian was born, things changed — not only for the young Tom but the family.
Young Christian, after many difficult illnesses, was diagnosed after years of testing to be profoundly deaf. Carole’s fight was that of a “mother bear” protecting and navigating the school system to educate her child.
Today, Tom Jr. is a media marketing executive, and Christian’s job is in building and grounds. May I mention Tom Sr. is the webmaster for Montgomery County. Rounding out the family is Leo, a Shihpoo (shih tzu and poodle mix).
Through all this, Carole continued to work for Bell and Verizon. She then earned a degree and taught for seven years in the Norristown Area School District.
Carole’s passion and drive are to bring people together. Her motto is “We’re better together.”
She is the founder of GrowthologyHub.com, an easy economical social media marketing site. There is a choice of packages to chose from to tap into this new twist on social media for the small business. An off-shoot of this is a network for the local entrepreneur. They meet weekly to share and support each other in their endeavors. It is believed when local businesses thrive, the local community thrives.
Carole is a summer person; she enjoys warm weather, the beach and the Jersey shore. She shares with us one of her favorite recipes.
5 tbsp. butter (divided)
¼ cup onion (minced)
10 oz. package of spinach (chopped, cooked, cooled and squeezed dry
½ tsp. oregano
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
2 lbs. flounder fillets
½ cup dry white wine
3 tbsp. flour
½ tsp. dried mustard
1 cup milk
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese and paprika for garnish
Melt 2 tablespoon butter in a skillet. Add onion, and sauté until translucent. Add in spinach, oregano, ¼ teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Place about 1½ tablespoon of spinach mixture on each flounder fillet, and roll up. Put the fish rolls into a baking dish, seam side down. Add the wine. Cover and bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees. Drain and reserve half of the liquid. While keeping the fish warm, melt remaining butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Add flour, remaining salt and pepper and dried mustard. Add reserved liquid and milk. Stir until thick and bubby. Pour over stuffed flounder roll. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and paprika before serving.
Let Bette hear from you: firstname.lastname@example.org. Search YouTube for “Look Who’s Cooking with Bette Banjack,” as well phoenixvillenews.com (search bar: Banjack) for this column. Find Bette on Facebook by searching “Bette Banjack’s Downtown Kitchen.” Her book, “2 Cups of Yesterday,” is available at Gateway Pharmacy or by contacting her.