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

New Film: Joe Virgilio Makes Saint Joseph Rolls –By Kim Smith

REPOSTING FROM 2015 AS THE POST IS GETTING LOTS OF INTEREST THIS WEEK 🙂

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.

SAINT JOSEPH DAY PASTA MAKING WITH THE GROPPO FAMILY AND FRIENDS <3

Early morning and friends and family gather at the Groppo home. Nina has laid out trays of warm bread and pastries, a medley of fresh fruit, and vats of homemade ricotta steaming on the stovetop to greet the pasta-makers. Everyone pitches in, from the very youngest to the very oldest, men and women, boys and girls. The house is overflowing with helpers. The time goes by way too fast and in a few short hours, racks and racks of pasta are drying, in preparation for the March 19th Feast of San Giuseppe.

At another pasta-making station, Grace and Frank Sciortino made a special batch of maccarruna pasta, just for the helpers. After all the pasta-making mess was cleaned up, Nina served heaping bowls of maccarruna topped with homemade canned tomato sauce, from tomatoes grown in her garden last summer. A delicious lunch was had by all and as I looked around the room at the many generations gathered around the table, I thought of the memories being created from this very special community tradition of honoring Saint Joseph each year at the welcoming home of the Groppo Family. Happy San Giuseppe Pasta-making Day! 

 

Littlest pasta makersđź’–

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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 đź’– 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.

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!

 

 

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