Tag Archives: Gloucester’s Feast of Saint Joseph Film Project

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 NinaAl working hardKathy, Marissa, and Enza

Last batch, fini!

BEST PASTA-MAKING DAY!

When you get to spend the day with these wonderful friends. Lots of photos to post later 

Kathy and Enza rocking the pasta making ❤️#pasta #stjoseph

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Littlest pasta-makers Kenzie and Leila 🌟#stjoseph #pasta #stjosephsday

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That Sophia❣️showing Luca how to roll out the dough #pasta #stjoseph

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Last one of adorable kids I promise #babylove 💖 Nico and Giada

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Enza and Layla

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY! AND HAPPY SAINT JOSEPH’S DAY!

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.

Maria Cannova Gloucester Feast of Saint Joseph blessing children -5 Kim Smith 2016Three generations of Cannovas, Maria’s son Leo, Giliano Mari, and Grandfather

Saint Joseph Gloucester gropp feast Kim Smith 2016

Caffe Sicilia Maria Domenic zeppole Saint Joseph. 2016 Kim SmithFather and Daughter Domenic and Maria making zeppole at Caffe Sicilia

Groppo Feast of saint Joseph Gloucester Kim Smith 2016Kensie and Grandfather Tony

A SEA OF ZEPPOLES (AND SFINCI, TOO)!

Caffe Sicilia’s sea of zeppoles, and sfinci, too!

Caffe Sicilia Maria Domenic sfinci Saint Joseph. 2016 Kim SmithSfinci

Caffe Sicilia Maria Domenic zeppole -2 Saint Joseph. 2016 Kim Smith .JPGZeppole in progress 

So many thanks to Maria, Nina, and Domenic for their continued help with Gloucester’s Feast of Saint Joseph Community Film Project. 

Caffe Sicilia Maria Domenic zeppole Saint Joseph. 2016 Kim Smith

Live Saint Joseph sfinci making with Caffe Sicilia's Nina – part one

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MARIA CRACCHIOLO DEMONSTRATES HOW TO CREATE SAINT JOSEPH ALTAR BREAD

Artists-in-the-Kitchen Maria Cracchiolo, and her parents Domenic and Nina Damico, demonstrate how to create beautiful bread in shapes symbolic of Saint Joseph and inspired by nature. Watch as Maria, Nina, and Domenic artfully shape angels, a carpenter’s saw, San Giuseppe scroll, Saint Joseph sun, snails, flowers, butterflies, grapes, and more.
As you will hear Maria’s story unfold (while deftly shaping the dough), her family’s tradition of making the Saint Joseph altar bread began several years ago, for a very heartfelt reason. In 2010, her young daughter was facing a very serious operation. Maria had never made the special Saint Joseph altar bread, but decided that year to make it her devotion to Saint Joseph. Maria taught herself how to shape the bread, finding inspiration in old photos of altars, and also from images, which she found online, of bread made in Sicily. Maria lived in Italy for five years, attending art school and studying fashion design. When I write “Artists-in-the Kitchen” you’ll see why after viewing the video.

Both of Maria’s parents, Nina and Domenic, were born in Sicily and grew up celebrating the Feast of San Giuseppe in the Sicilian tradition of feeding the poor and orphaned, and welcoming all who came to their table. Thank you Maria, Domenic, and Nina for graciously welcoming me into your Caffe Sicilia’s kitchen!

Saint Joseph Bread is available by special order at Caffe Sicilia. Call to place your order at (978) 283-2345.

Many thanks to Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken for the suggestion to contact Maria and her family to interview for Gloucester’ Feast of Saint Joseph Community Film Project.

JOE VIRGILIO MAKING 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 for Saint Joseph’s Day were made by hand.

To order your Saint Joseph rolls call 978-283-5295 or stop by. Store hours are from 8:30am to 5:00pm.

Originally posted 2014.

copy-st-joe-header-final-saturated

To learn more about Gloucester’s Feast of Saint Joseph Community Film and the real story about 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.

The hands that teach

Feast of Saint Joseph Gloucester Groppo -10 Kim Smith Designs 2016The gentle hands that teach

If you would like to learn more about Gloucester’s Feast of Saint Joseph Community Film and the real story about 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.

 

SAINT JOSEPH PASTA MAKING WITH THE GROPPO FAMILY AND FRIENDS

The Best Day!

Feast of Saint Joseph Gloucester Groppo Kim Smith Designs 2016Nina and daughter Enza

From beginning to end, the pasta-making team is well cared for. When you arrive, Nina and friends have fresh bread baking in the oven and large vats of homemade ricotta steaming on the stove top. The friendships, the fun and conversation, and especially enjoyable is observing how greatly the children love to participate. From the oldest grannies to the teens, tweens, toddlers, and everyone in-between, making pasta with friends and family makes for a simply wonderful day!

Feast of Saint Joseph Gloucester Groppo Kim Smith Designs -6 2016Feast of Saint Joseph Gloucester Groppo Kim Smith Designs -5 2016DSCF8091Feast of Saint Joseph Gloucester Groppo 17 Kim Smith Designs 2016Tower of Pasta Power!

Feast of Saint Joseph Gloucester Groppo -28 Kim Smith Designs 2016Feast of Saint Joseph Gloucester Groppo -19 Kim Smith Designs 2016Feast of Saint Joseph Gloucester Groppo -20Kim Smith Designs 2016Resident Photo Bomber Leo

If you would like to learn more about Gloucester’s Feast of Saint Joseph Community Film and the accurate account of 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.

SEE LOTS MORE PHOTOS HERE

Read more

UPDATE: GLOUCESTER’S FEAST OF SAINT JOSEPH COMMUNITY FILM PROJECT

 copy-st-joe-header-final-saturatedGloucester’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.

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 for Saint Joseph’s Day were made by hand. 

For store hours and menu visit Virgilio’s Facebook page here.

Read more about Virgilio’s Saint Joseph rolls here.

Limoncello Making: Part Two

See Part One Here

Last night we strained and bottled (and sampled!) out-of-this-world-delicious limoncello. The first time I had ever tasted limoncello that I found to be enjoyable was while filming at the Groppo Family’s Feast of Saint Joseph celebration. Nina serves her icy cold homemade limoncello in the traditional tiny glasses and I think it is so much better tasting than commercially bottled preparations. The flavor of her limoncello is intensely lemony fresh, sweet, and tart all at the same time, without the alcohol burn on the way down.

limoncello making ©Kim Smith 2014

The limoncello doesn’t look that appetizing in the pre-bottled stage.

As part of the film’s sequence on Feast preparations, Nina and friends Cathy Gunn, Kathy Pratl, and Jane Beddus very graciously agreed to allow me to film during the different steps of limocello-making, along with inviting me to participate and make my own batch! Nina and her family and friends have been so wonderfully helpful and accommodating with Gloucester’s Feast of Saint Joseph Community Film Project and I will be eternally grateful. Making limoncello with these sweet ladies has been so much fun and a wonderful reminder of the delight and joy that comes from sharing a project with friends.

Cathy Gunn, Nina Groppo, Kathy Pratl, Jane Beddus ©Kim Smith 2014

Catherine Gunn, Nina Groppo, Janer Beddus, and Kathy Pratl

After bottling, we sampled each other’s batches, the reason being that they were all made in slightly different ways; several types of lemons were used, some had more vodka, and some had more simple syrup. Kathy pointed out that the because the recipe is so super simple, the only real error in making would be if you were to grate the lemons to close to the pith, which would make the beverage bitter.

Nina Groppo Kathy Pratl © Kim Smith 2014

Needless to say, we had a ball sampling all, as well as indulging in the beautiful array of cookies and treats prepared by Nina. To see more photos visit Jane Beddus’s FB page here.

The sieve we found to be the easiest and most effective for straining the pulp was a simple wooden flour sifter, used with cheese cloth, that Nina had purchased in Italy (see below in the Vine).

Chestnuts ©Kim Smith 2014Nina served hot, freshly roasted chestnuts. To remove the shell, simply give the chestnut a slight whack. The nut opens and the meat is easily removed by hand.

Making Limoncello with Friends and Nina Groppo’s Cucuzza

Groppo limoncello Feast of saint Joseph -2 ©Kim Smith 2014 copy

Left to right, front: Nina Groppo and Kathy Pratl; back: Jane Beddus and Catherine Gunn

Groppo limoncello Feast of saint Joseph ©Kim Smith 2014

Kathy Pratl limoncello Feast of saint Joseph ©Kim Smith 2014 copyThis past weekend filming continued on the Feast of Saint Joseph Community Film Project. Nina and Frank Groppo serve the most wonderful homemade limoncello during the Feast and we decided back in March to include limoncello-making in the story of how Saint Joseph’s special day is celebrated in Gloucester. Nina, Kathy, Catherine, and Jane not only graciously agreed to allow filming, but also included me in the preparations and you’ll see what fun we had in the forthcoming film!

Kathy Pratl cucuzza limoncello Feast of saint Joseph ©Kim Smith 2014 copy

While at the Groppo’s garden you can’t help but notice their amazing crop of cucuzza (pronounced ku-koz-za, also goo-gootz), hanging from their handmade arbor. Cucuzza is an Italian squash that from what I understand, in English, means something like “super long squash.” A single squash can grow ten inches in one day!

For our first of several limoncello-making days, Nina created a beautiful lunch. She served cucuzza soup, made from both the fruit and the leaves. It was fabulous and delicious and like no other soup I had sampled before. She also baked wonderfully fresh hake filets and prepared a lovely tomato salad, with heirloom tomatoes from her garden.

Nina described how she hand pollinates the fruit ~ Each plant produces male and female flowers. She explains that it is easy to identify the female flowers as they have a small swollen fruit (ovary) on the stem, just behind the flowers. She plucks the male flowers off the vine and gently brushes together the male’s anther and female’s stigma, the flower’s reproduction parts, which insures good pollination. By removing the male flowers from the vine, you are not eliminating any potential fruit because the male flowers don’t bear fruit.

Cucuzza Groppo ©kim Smith 2014

I have been planning an arbor for my garden patio for sometime and after seeing and tasting the Groppo’s fabulous cucuzza, I am not waiting any longer to build one!

Thank you dear Nina, Kathy, Catherine, and Jane for your continuing help with the Saint Joseph Film Project!

 

 

It’s a Wrap ~ Viva San Giuseppe!

Saint Joseph Feast ©Kim Smith 2014 -2Nina and Frank Groppo

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.

Saint Joseph Feast ©kim Smith 2014

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.

Sicilian cassata cake ©Kim Smith 2014.Sicilian Cassata Cake

Saint Joseph Feast -©Kim Smith 2014. -6 JPGReturning 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.

Saint Joseph Pasta ©Kim Smith 2014After 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!

Saint Joseph Feast  -2©Kim Smith 2014.

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.

Saint Joseph Feast ©Kim Smith 2014-5I 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!!!

Saint Joseph Feast Pasta ©Kim Smith 2014.

Updates will be added periodically to the film’s website: Gloucester’s Feast of Saint Joseph Film Project

Making Saint Joseph Altar Bread

Saint Joseph Altar Bread ©Kim Smith 2014Saint Joseph Altar Bread

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