Category Archives: Gloucester’ Feast of Saint Joseph

SHORT FILM: BEST PASTA-MAKING DAY EVER!

The film is password protected. If you would like to see Saint Joseph Pasta-Making Day, please contact kimsmith.designs1@gmail.com.

Gloucester’s Feast of Saint Joseph: A Community Film Project
Part Two: La Famiglia
Saint Joseph Pasta-Making Day

When late winter snow melts while March winds blow blustery, Gloucester’s Sicilian American community begins to prepare for the annual novena and feast celebration in honor of Saint Joseph, the father of Jesus, husband of Mary, and many consider, the patron saint of Sicily.

The fishing port of Gloucester has a long history of welcoming immigrants. Around the turn of the previous century four million Italians immigrated to the United States. Little Italys sprang up all over the country and within these communities today, Sicilian traditions continue to be celebrated.

True heroes of the festa are the parents, nonnas, nonnos, aunts, and uncles who each year open their homes and hearts to the community. They grew up with a deep sense of security provided by la famiglia and are devoted to keeping these traditions alive for the children of the next generation.

Each year at the home of Nina and Franco Groppo a troupe of family and friends gather to make pasta for Saint Joseph’s feast. The pasta complements a traditional sauce made of fava beans and cauliflower. Legend has it that the during the great famine of the Middle Ages, prayers to Saint Joseph—and the lucky fava bean—saved the Sicilians from starvation.

A HEART FULL OF MEMORIES – VIVA SAN GIUSEPPE!

With love and deepest gratitude to the Groppo Family and Friends. My most heartfelt thanks to all and especially to Nina and Franco. Viva!

***

CAFFE SICILIA’S SAINT JOSEPH CASSATA CAKE

Beautiful Cassata Siciliano from Caffe Sicilia

First bites of Maria’s cassata cake, oh the concentration!

 

THE BEST PASTA IS SAINT JOSPEH’S PASTA!

As is done in many homes throughout the community, Saint Joseph pasta is served at the Groppo’s home with traditional Saint Joseph sauce (the main ingredients are fava beans and cauliflower), or with Nina’s homemade jarred tomato sauce. Everyone is always welcome at the Groppo’s Feast of Saint joseph and well over one hundred pounds were made to severe well over several hundred dinners. Viva San Giuseppe!

Groppo Saint Joseph pasta simmering. Viva San Giuseppe❣️

A post shared by Kim Smith (@kimsmithdesigns) on

Photos from the Best Pasta-Making Day with the Groppo Family and Friends

Sophia and Luca

St. Joseph pasta-making day began with Franco and the gentlemen heading over to Gloucester Fraternity to make huge batches of pasta dough with the Fraternity’s new mixer machine. Thanks were given to the club’s Mario for making it possible. Back at the Groppo’s kitchen, Nina and Fina were making steamy hot vats of homemade ricotta on the stovetop to serve for breakfast to all the helpers. Friends and family arrived in waves throughout the day and all were there to lend a hand making pasta.

After all the St. Joseph Day pasta that was needed was made, an extra batch of pasta was made for we pasta-makers. Nina heated up her divinely delicious tomato sauce that she had canned over the summer, with tomatoes from her garden. We had a wonderful lunch feast and as I looked around the table at the many generations gathered, I thought of the memories being made that will be cherished by all, created from this very special community tradition of honoring Saint Joseph each year at the welcoming home of the Groppo Family.

Geri, Jaclyn, Nico, and Giada

Rolling Pins!

Rosaria and Nina

Al working hard

Kathy, Marissa, and Enza

Last batch, fini!

CAFFE SICILIA’S LAMBS OF EASTER

Maria Cracchiolo Lamb of Easter Pecorella di Pasqua Gloucester -3 2016 Kim SmithPecorelle di Pasqua are a traditional Sicilian Easter treat although, when Easter falls very close to Saint Joseph’s Day as it did this year, Maria shared that the Lambs of Easter are often found on Saint Joseph altars. Maria’s are so charming I am planning to purchase several to Not eat but to decorate our Easter table. They are very reasonably priced, especially considering all the work that is involved with making and how expensive is the marzapane.

Maria Cracchiolo Lamb of Easter Pecorella di Pasqua Gloucester -4 2016 Kim Smith

Each lamb is molded from almond dough and after drying, skillfully hand painted by Maria. I popped into Caffe Sicilia Wednesday morning to say hello and happily caught Maria just as she was beginning to paint and decorate the Easter lambs. We filmed her working with my movie camera for Gloucester’s Feast of Saint Joseph Community Film Project and here is a glimpse with iPhone photos and Instagrams.

Bare tints of color for the marzapane lambs faces and ears

A post shared by Kim Smith (@kimsmithdesigns) on

Maria Cracchiolo Lamb of Easter Pecorella di Pasqua Gloucester -2 2016 Kim Smith

With thanks, appreciation, and the deepest gratitude to Maria Cracchiolo and her parents Nina and Domenic Damico for their continued help with Gloucester’s Feast of Saint Joseph Community Film Project. From the project’s onset, they have opened their kitchen doors and very generously shared Sicilian traditions and baking techniques. We are so very fortunate to have Maria, her family, and Caffe Sicilia in our Gloucester Community. With thanks again to Mayor Sefatia for suggesting we knock on Maria’s door!

Happy Spring! Happy Easter!

Maria assembling the Easter lambs

A post shared by Kim Smith (@kimsmithdesigns) on

Maria Cracchiolo Lamb of Easter Pecorella di Pasqua Gloucester 2016 Kim Smith