Category Archives: Kim Smith

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.

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BLESSING THE CHILDREN AT MARIA CANNOVA’S SAINT JOSEPH ALTAR

Blessing the children at Maria Cannova’s home.Maria Cannova Gloucester Feast of Saint Joseph blessing children -2 Kim Smith 2016

Maria Cannova Gloucester Feast of Saint Joseph blessing children -4 Kim Smith 2016Maria and beautiful Giliana 

Maria Cannova Gloucester Feast of Saint Joseph blessing children Kim Smith 2016 -8Maria Cannova Gloucester Feast of Saint Joseph blessing children -3 Kim Smith 2016Rosalia and Pierina with Maria

Maria Cannova Gloucester Feast of Saint Joseph blessing children Kim Smith 2016Maria’s son Leo and Giliana Continue reading

UPDATE: GLOUCESTER’S FEAST OF SAINT JOSEPH COMMUNITY FILM

Gloucester’s Feast of Saint Joseph Community Film Project

Filming continues, with great joy, appreciation, and thanks to all the families for their continued help. Dislocating my elbow this past winter set me back a bit in the editing department, however, every cloud has a silver lining. We have filmed additional scenes and are adding more daily. I recently invested in a second hard drive for the film and now all the footage from the past several years is thankfully backed up and in one safe place.

First and foremost, my deepest gratitude and most heartfelt thanks goes to the Groppo Family and Friends, who for the past several years have included me and my camera in every aspect of their Feast of Saint Joseph Novena and preparations.

Tremendous thanks goes to Maria Cracchiolo and Joe Virgilio for allowing filming of their Saint Joseph bread and pastry making. Thank you to Mayor Romeo Theken for her suggestion to get in touch with both Joe and Maria.

Again, I would like to thank all the families who granted interviews and took the time to share their beautiful stories and traditions. Special thanks to Felicia Ciaramitaro and Mayor Theken for their introductions and help organizing the interviews during the project’s earliest beginnings.

I think an additional thanks is owed Sefatia for her wisdom in organizing the trolley tour of Gloucester’s Family altars, which allowed for a window into this world of deep devotion and community spirit.

If you would like to learn more about the film and how the project evolved, please go to the film’s website and click on the About the Film link and the Director’s Statement link. For periodic updates about the film, you can keep in touch on the blog page of the film’s website or friend me on Facebook.

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Caffe Sicilia’s Maria Cracchiolo Creates Her Signature Cassata Siciliana~ Order Yours for Easter!

During this year’s round of filming for Gloucester’s Feast of Saint Joseph Community Film Project, I had the wonderful good fortune to stop at Caffe Sicilia just as Maria Cracchiolo was about to decorate her signature Cassata Siciliana.

It was the morning of Saint Joseph Day and as you can imagine, Caffe Sicilia was bustling to fill the day’s special orders of delicious Sicilian pastries and altar breads. Nevertheless, I asked Maria if she would mind if I filmed her while she decorated the cake. No, not all, she graciously allowed. Maria is so deft at cake making that it took her only minutes to create this masterpiece. It’s all been captured for our film project! The Vine below gives a tiny glimpse of Maria’s artistry.

Caffe Sicilia Maria Cracchiolo Cassata Siciliana Gloucester ©Kim Smith 2015 copy

Cassata Siciliana is also traditionally served at Easter time. What a gorgeous gift Caffe Sicilia’s cassata would make to share at your family’s Easter celebration, which as you may know is coming up very soon, in less than two weeks, on Sunday, April 5th. Believe me when I write, Maria’s Cassata Siciliaina tastes as good as it looks–divine, actually! A partial list of the ingredients includes sponge cake, ricotta, liquor, marzipan, royal icing, and candied fruit.

Special orders may be placed by calling Caffe Sicilia at 978-283-7345.

New Film: Joe Virgilio Makes Saint Joseph Rolls

Joe Virgilio Makes Saint Joseph Rolls is a wonderful addition to Gloucester’s Feast of Saint Joseph Community Film Project. So many thanks to Joe for taking time from his busy work day to allow filming! Highlights include Joe sharing stories about the early days working alongside his grandfather  and cousins, when the thousands of rolls needed were all made by hand.

Filming for the Feast of Saint Joseph Community Film Project is continuing through Saint Joseph’s Day of this year. My deepest thanks and appreciation to our community for their ongoing support of the Feast of Saint joseph Community Film Project.

New Film: Jack Russ ~ Friday 2014 Greasy Pole Champion

With funny time lapse sequences!

Congratulations to Jack Russ, the 2014 Saturday Greasy Pole Champion. This was his first win and first walk. Jack was home on from leave from the United States Air Force.

Music by The Black Keys. “Fever” was the first single released from their latest album Turn Blue (2014).

Follow Kim on Twitter @kimsmithdesigns and be her friend on Facebook.