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Happy St. Joseph’s Day!

19 Mar

Are you ready for some Zeppole?

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON MARCH 19, 2012

Are you wearing your red today? I am!

It’s March 19 and that means it’s one of my most favorite dessert holidays ever!

Happy St. Joseph’s Day to you!!

I’d personally skip right over St. Patrick’s Day and go right to St. Joseph’s Day because if it’s St. Joseph’s Day then it means……zeppole!!!

You might ask: What on earth is a zeppole??

My answer is: It’s the most wonderful cream filled, fried dough dessert in the world; kind of a cross between a donut and a cream puff I guess, although from what I understand, they have changed in nature over the years. However, the way you see them here is the way I’ve always known them to be and the way that I love, love, love them.

More than a decade ago, when we were first married, we lived in another state for a few years. That first year we were there,  St. Joseph’s Day rolled around. We went out that day, searching for a zeppole, and had the hardest time finding them. When we did, they weren’t even all that great. I was so disappointed. We’d only been there three months and I already knew we were going to have to come back. There was no way I was going to live in a place where there weren’t any good zeppole to be had.

Near us you can get a zeppole almost any time of the year, but we never, ever do, except on St. Joseph’s Day. It just wouldn’t be the same. It probably wouldn’t even TASTE the same!

I’m sure it’s no coincidence either, that my daughter Alex was due to be born on St. Joseph’s Day. She wasn’t, but still, there’s something significant in that, I just know it.

Being in city where there are just zillions of Italians, it means that there are also zillions of fantastic Italian bakeries in the area, so you can take your pick as to where you want to get your zeppole from. Everyone seems to have their favorite spot where they go each year.

Our family has gotten their St. Joseph’s Day zeppole at Solitro’s for decades and it thrills me to share this tradition with my kids.

To me it’s a really big deal to go and get them. I go to the same bakery where my family has gone forever and ever to get them. The first time I took my children there with me, I almost cried, I was so overwhelmed with the emotion I felt. I remember waiting with them in a line that stretched from the bakery counter to the door. I remember lifting them up so they could see into the back where the zeppole were being made; it looked like what I’d imagine Italy itself to look like. I remember pointing to the shelves that held trays upon trays upon trays of zeppole, all lined up in rows. It’s even magical to me how they put them into the white bakery box and tie it with string. There’s nothing like it. The zeppole taste wonderful, but the tradition and memories that go with it are such a big part of the day for me as well.

The case was full, both baked and fried zeppole, and this was only the day *before* St. Joseph’s Day.

And so, today I will again have my zeppole. My family doesn’t love them as much as I do, and I have to say, I’m glad. It means all the more for me.

I hope you’re able to get a zeppole today too! If not, I’ll be thinking of you all as I indulge.

Happy St. Joseph’s Day!

I hope you get your zeppole fix today too!

Monday Musings: A Saint Joseph’s Day to Remember

25 Mar
This St. Joseph's Day was one I won't soon forget.

This St. Joseph’s Day was one I won’t soon forget.

If you’ve been a longtime reader, you know I love my sweets. If you’ve been reading even for a short time, you probably know I love my sweets.

And if so, then you also know how much I love my zeppole on St. Joseph’s Day. So much so that I was literally counting down the hours this year. I could not wait for the day to arrive.

I had a whole plan in my head: Tuesday was St. Joseph’s Day and it’s also the day I normally type all my stories for the Cranston Herald. My plan was to get up and ready like a normal day and as.soon.as the kids got on the bus, I’d get right in the car, go and get a zeppole, and come home and savor it, all alone while I typed the morning away.

Sounds like a very good plan, right?

Right.

Wrong.

6:50 am Tuesday morning I go in to wake Child #1, who lifts her head and says, “Oooh I don’t feel good at all. My head hurts, my stomach hurts, my throat hurts.”

Yikes. I talk her into going in. I knew she’d be missing another day that week due to some oral surgery coming up and her attendance record has been less than stellar already. She’s had a tough year. So I gave her some Advil for the headache and she dragged herself out the door.

7:20 am I wake up Child #2, who lifts her head and says, “Ooooh I don’t feel good. My head hurts, my stomach hurts, my throat hurts.”

No. No, no, no, no.

No way.

7:22 am…I’m sure you can guess. Child #3. Same wake up. Literally, she said the same thing.

I see my zeppole dreams fading. Fast.

By 7:45 am, I had one kid in tears and one kid heading in that direction.

I let them stay home, knowing full well that it meant no zeppole for me and also meant one pretty mad oldest kid when she got home and realized all the other sickies got to stay home and she didn’t.

By 8:00 am I had started my typing. It was snowing, sleeting, raining. Miserable day out. Two sick kids in and NO zeppole for me.

This was not what I had planned at all.

As I typed, I shared on Facebook that I had sick kids, that I had no zeppole, that I was eating Apple Jacks while I typed.

I was so sad.

And I never let on to my kids that it was St. Joseph’s Day. I didn’t want them to feel bad about being sick.

Suddenly though, a Facebook friend, another mom from our elementary school put a comment under one of my pathetic status updates:  Do you want me to bring you a zeppole?

Well, yes. Actually I do. I would love for someone to do that for me.

But do I say yes?

I did. I said yes. I wanted one so badly. But then I said to her she didn’t have to because she didn’t really live close by, probably 10 minutes away and it was nasty out. Raining, snowing. I didn’t want her dragging her kids out, going to the bakery, in and out, coming here, all just for me.

But she did.

She did that just for me. Just so I could have a zeppole.

I was so incredibly touched.

In a world where there’s such terrible news out there: murders and missing people and fires and robberies, joblessness and more and more and more, there are some truly very nice people out there too.

A zeppole may not seem like a lot to some people, but to me on Tuesday it was huge, and it was such a downer to be missing out on that.

Not only did I get my zeppole, I got a boost in my confidence in people overall.

It was a St. Joseph’s Day I won’t soon forget.

Thank you Angela!

My box of zeppole. My name is on the box and everything. And, you can see by all the raindrops how nasty it was outside.

My box of zeppole. My name is on the box and everything. And, you can see by all the raindrops how nasty it was outside.