In helping Felicia with her Kickstarter Program to raise money to publish her first cookbook, Good Morning Gloucester FOB Hannah Scialdone Kimberley sent the following release to the National Italian American Foundation ~
Hi, my name is Hannah Scialdone Kimberley, and I am a resident of Gloucester, MA. I grew up with my grandparents in Virginia, who inspired so much Italian American pride in our family. One of the greatest gifts my grandfather gave us was the publication of his 1987 cookbook, A Neapolitan Peasant’s Cookbook, which not only left us with a wonderful collection of recipes, but also educated others and us about what it means to come from Italian Heritage and live in America. What started as a gift to his family, my grandfather’s book gained local and national recognition. In fact, his book was selected as one of 17 books on the National Italian American Foundation’s reading list during a conference at the Smithsonian Institution on life in an Italian village.
My grandparents have passed on, but their traditions remain with me. I now live in Gloucester with my family, and I came across a story so similar to my grandfather’s, that I am compelled to bring it to your attention. A local woman in our town, Felicia Ciaramitaro, has written a cookbook that includes recipes passed down for generations. Like my grandfather, she met with her family members and learned their recipes – often stopping them half way through the cooking process to actually measure how much a relative’s “handful” amounted to so that she could record precise measurements for their previously unrecorded recipes. Without my grandfather, our family recipes and traditions would have been lost. I am betting the same goes for the Ciaramitaro family.
While I am not related to the Ciaramitaro family, I believe that Italian cultural preservation is more important now than it ever has been for the national Italian American Community. In the face of atrocious stereotypes created by programs such as “The Jersey Shore” and “Housewives of New Jersey,” it is up to us to keep our culture not only alive, but also maintain it in a positive public light. From her Kickstarter Page Sista Felicia’s Kitchen and her write-up in our local blog, Good Morning Gloucester, it seems that all Ms. Ciaramitaro needs is more publicity and support to keep yet another positive Italian American tradition alive for all of us.
I am asking that you highlight her story on your Facebook Page and/or website, so that your fans might know more about “a unique & colorful cookbook that will bring to life lost recipes & traditions from Ms. Ciaramitaro’s Sicilian kitchen to yours.” These recipes are Felicia Ciaramitaro’s “Gifts of Gold,” which she has written for us all.
Thank you in advance for your time and consideration, and for all that you do for keeping Italian American culture and heritage alive and well in our country.
Best, Hannah Scialdone Kimberley
BEAUTIFUL LETTER Hannah! Thank you for sharing!
Please if you are reading this, take Hannah’s advice and “highlight her story on your Facebook Page and/or website, so that your fans might know more about “a unique & colorful cookbook that will bring to life lost recipes & traditions from Ms. Ciaramitaro’s Sicilian kitchen to yours.” These recipes are Felicia Ciaramitaro’s “Gifts of Gold,” which she has written for us all.”
Amanda, Felicia, and Pat