Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Hello, Spring!

Signs that Spring is almost here:





Geese flying north again - yes!



Robins - yes, I've been seeing lots of them now



The bright tinge of color on the willow trees - yes (if you live in the north, you'll know that orange-y color that shines in the sun)



Flowers forcing their way through the hard soil -











Or, this......












St Joseph's Day pastries, YUM!


Each ethnicity has traditions which include food. My father's side of the family came from Italy, where most everything revolves around food. :) Here in the northeast, near NYC, was a large concentration of immigrants from Italy. You can still find Italian pastry shops in several of the towns near me. Small places with wonderful treats, and holiday specialties. You'll know the best shops in the area by the line of customers. At Easter they are so busy that it is common for them to hire someone to give out numbers as you walk in the door.

St Joseph's Day, March 19th, is marked by the baking of Sfingi and Zeppole. They usually start making them at the beginning of March and are finished by the end of the month. If you forget to stop by, you'll have to wait until next year!

The Sfingi is a cream puff style pastry with cannoli filling, candied citron, and teeny chocolate bits, topped with a dusting of powdered sugar. The Zeppoli is crunchy, sometimes known as a lobster tail. I wouldn't even try to make these at home. There's something so special about going to the shop to buy these. It's a memory and routine from my past. And judging by the people lined up in the store, it's a routine from the past of most folks around here :)

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Don't forget to add a comment to my earlier post, to be included in the drawing for The No Impact Man book, in thanks for all of you who have given your time and kind words to me. I really do appreciate all the folks I've come to know as friends. I enjoy stopping by your blogs to read your posts and love to have you stop by here and comment.

4 comments:

Courtney at Scattering Lupines said...

My dad's family is Italian, too! They all live in New Jersey-- Parsippany and Newark. We're going up to visit at the end of April. YOu wouldn't happen to be in those areas would you???

And, yes, SO many signs of spring. My steps have been lighter this week.

MyStory of HiStory said...

I wanna try a "lobster tail" sometime! Sounds interesting. I heard birds singing this morning! Hooray! Another sure sign of spring! Hooray again! :)

Maria said...

I haven't seen a robin yet, but I'm hopeful that it will be soon. I am all Italian also and St. Joseph's day is also the day you get to taste the wine you made the previous October.....now that is fun!!!

A glass of wine with a zeppole sounds decadent!

The 4 Bushel Farmgal said...

Hi Courtney,
My mother's side of the family had a branch that came from the Freehold area in NJ. I was born in the southwestern tip of CT, part of the "tri-state" area - NY, NJ, CT. (Although I have spent many summer days on the Jersey shore!)

Hi MyStory,
I love birds singing in the morning!

Hi Maria,
Now you're talking! Wine and pastry!
After that I'd have to take up Zumba for sure!!!

Happy Spring, folks!