Beginning in the early 1900s, the American Father’s Day was brought to Italy, a sort of reverse sharing of holidays! Fittingly, in Italy, Father’s Day is celebrated on Saint Joseph’s Day.
Caffe Sicilia’s sea of zeppoles, and sfinci, too!
So many thanks to Maria, Nina, and Domenic for their continued help with Gloucester’s Feast of Saint Joseph Community Film Project.
The kids (and adults) were wonderfully fascinated by Maria Cracchiolo’s mermaid birthday cake–the details were simply charming–with shade-dyed waves, sea creature candles, fondant mermaid, and chocolate covered rock. Believe me, it tasted as good as it looked!!
You may recall that we featured Maria making the special Saint Joseph altar bread at Caffe Sicilia back in March. Maria makes beautiful, whimsical cakes such as this, by special order, and may be reached by calling Caffe Sicilia at 978-283-7345. To see more of Maria’s creations, visit her Facebook page here.
Yesterday, March 19th, The Feast of San Giuseppe was celebrated in Siciliain-American homes throughout Gloucester. Filming concluded last night for Gloucester’s Feast of Saint Joseph Community Film Project at the home of Nina and Frank Groppo.
I arrived shortly after 9:00 am to the Groppo home, already packed full of friends and family prepping and cooking and organizing the house to accomadate the multitudes expected. For fear of missing any wonderful moments, I was sorry to leave even briefly, but I needed to pick up the exquisite Sicilian cassata cake created by Maria, Nina, and Domenic at Caffe Sicilia.
Returning to the Groppos ~ After days of preparation, cooking was in high gear, with enormous pots of Saint Joseph sauce simmering, vats of oil bubbling, and everyone working at their jobs. One of the most amazing aspects of the Groppo feast preparations is that no one person is giving orders; everybody just knows what to do and does their job perfectly!
At 11:30 guests began to arrive, and arrive they did! Literally hundreds of friends and family poured through the Groppo’s welcoming doors throughout the day.
After the extraordinary feast–extraordinary for the variety of, and deliciousness of, traditional Sicilian dishes, a feast for several hundred guests, I should add–many stayed for the afternoon; for conversation, coffee, desert, more wine, and tidyng the house for the next wave of family and friends, which began to arrive at 4:30.
The most beautiful of all prayer services was held at 5:00, where at the conclusion everyone stood shoulder to shoulder, holding hands, singing, and praying. Nina gave a most heartfelt speech of thanksgiving and then everyone embraced. The loving spirit of Saint Joseph, and the love and kindness of family and friends sharing a tradition together, was felt by all. And then we ate again, the second feast of the day!
Filming at the Groppo Family’s Saint Joseph Feast was simply beyond wonderful and I have a trunk full of memories I will treasure all my life. My most heartfelt thanks to Nina and Frank Groppo, and to their their extended Family and Friends for more than just allowing filming during their cherished Feast of Saint Joseph preparations, novena, and feast day, but for for making me feel welcome and completely at home! The thing is, they make everyone feel that way. Many come to the Groppo’s Feast straight away from work, fisherman and marine railway workers eat alongside businessmen in suits, and all are welcome at the Groppo table.
Words cannot accurately express my gratitude and appreciation to all the families that participated in the filming of Gloucester’s Feast of Saint Joseph community film project. My sincerest hope is that the film will hold stories and moments for all to treasure.
I think the most challenging part of the upcoming editing is going to be in following the documentary’s screenplay, which I wrote several years ago, about the history and significance of the traditions, while weaving together everyone’s stories, and including all the priceless, spontaneous moments captured on film.
This post is a little hurried and I would like to write more, but it is my son’s 21st Birthday celebration tonight. Time for birthday dinner cooking to get underway. Viva San Giuseppe!!!
Updates will be added periodically to the film’s website: Gloucester’s Feast of Saint Joseph Film Project
Recorded on March 25th, 2013 and originally posted on GMG:
City Councilor At-large Sefatia Romeo Thekn and friends help raise funds to support Megan Cole’s participation in the Boston Marathon to benefit the Hoyt Foundation. She and her commares cook breakfast and lunch for Jack Ventola and his employees at National Fish & Seafood.
Congressman John Tierney, Mayor Carolyn Kirk, and State Representative Ann-Margaret Ferrante join Sefatia and friends. Wicked Tuna Captain Dave Carraro and First Mate Paul Hebert stop by to share lunch.
~ Starring ~ Sefatia Rome Thekan
~ Featuring ~ Megan Cole, Congressman John Tierney, Jack Ventola, Mayor Carolyn Kirk, Ann-Margaret Ferrante, Dave Carraro, Paul Hebert
~ Commares ~ Giovanna Margiotta, Gus Margiotta, Liz Margiotta, Rosalia Favazza, Pietra Locontro, Maria Cannavo, Rosaria Floyd, Lia Romeo Oliver, Tonianne Enes, Domenic Enes, Megan Cole, Mark Cole, Jane Fonzo, Frances Ferrante, Jennifer Arson, National Fish Employees
~ Music During the Event by Torianne Enes
~ Pastries and Bread Donated by Jim’s Bagel and Bake Shoppe, Sclafani Italian Bakery, Cafe Sicilia
Opening Credit Music: “Fritto Misto;” Closing Credit “Music: Don Pietro.”
A note about the song “Fritto Misto” ~ Searching for fun lively music for the video, I came across the song “Fritto Misto.” Google search led to many recipes for Fritto Misto, which loosely translated means ‘fried seafood and vegetable medley’–how perfect for this little film about cooking seafood with Sefatia and friends!
Filmed at National Fish and Seafood, March 25, 2013.
Click the picture below to check out the interactive map which brings you free places to grab a wifi connection on Cape Ann.
If there are more locations that I missed feel free to drop a note to the GMG email address- firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks to Giuseppe Bonini for the heads up.
Pasticiuti is my favorite Italian Pastry. The old Gloucester Mike’s Pastry which was located in the space where West End Sweets will now occupy used to make them filled with creme or ricotta. Cafe Sicilia does a good job too
I’m just going to reiterate for the dads of sons or daughters out there that haven’t bought a Mothers Day gift yet.
Locally First Impressions Mens and Womens Apparel in the West End of Main Street has some beautiful clothing and handbags for that special mother in your life and the prices are very very reasonable.
Another “go to” womens gift place is The Village Silversmith with locations in Gloucester and Rockport. They make hand crafted silver jewelry. It’s another place I’ve had success without having to head up the line.
Order up some fantastic canolis from Cafe Sicilia a couple doors down from First Impressions and pop in on your mother for coffee bearing gifts.