Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Eyes Have It

Seems my thoughts have been on the past, and various family traditions that were honored which came out of devotions to religious "feast" days  leading up to Christmas.


The most important one for us was the Feast of St. Lucy on December 13th.  St. Lucy is know as the Patroness for Eyes.  My grandmother was blind from diabetes, so many a candle was lit in church and many a prayer said near her statue.


St. Lucy
No pasta was eaten on this day.  But we would have a dessert made with hard wheat berries, soaked first then mixed with ricotta cheese, chocolate and a sprinkle of cinnamon called cuccia.  Chickpeas are popular for this feast day.  We would have chick pea fritters (panelle).  


In Scandinavian countries, little girls dress up 


from Pinterest


and sweet buns in the figure 8 shape to represent eyes are eaten.


from Mary at One Perfect Bite. blogspot via Pinterest
I fondly remember these old family traditions.  I might actually have a panelle special this Tuesday, but from a restaurant which originated in my old neighborhood of Gravesend, Brooklyn, NY called Joe's of Avenue U.  They recently opened another place on Staten Island (yeah!). 


Chickpea fritters topped with ricotta cheese 
Any words in red or green have a link to more information.  Now it is back to holiday stuff.  Shopping 98% done, cards mailed, decorating 50%.  It has been so foggy and grey (but mild) so photos haven't been possible.  But they are coming......I know I know so's Christmas!

Joining Jenny for Alphabe-Thursday's Letter E (eyes),
The Tablescaper for Seasonal Sundays, Designs by Gollum for Foodie Friday and Natasha at 5 Minutes Just For Me for Singing & Pinning.  Meanwhile, I leave you with a lovely song and a young handsome Elvis (oh those blue eyes)


xo














49 comments:

  1. Cara Barbara,conoscerai il detto:Santa Lucia il giorno piu' corto che ci sia!E la canzone:"Sul mare luccica l'astro d'argento!Placida è l'onda ,prospero il vento.Venite all'agile barchetta mia ,Santa Lucia,Santa Lucia........................."Buone le panelle,le fa mia zia!Baci,Rosetta

    ReplyDelete
  2. Interesting info here. That is one of the great things about blogland, is meeting people from different places, and learning about their beliefs and traditions, religions. I think all of these things are most interesting, thanks for sharing! This is our third day of gray skies, cold rain, and this morning, it has snow mixed in with it! Stay warm and dry!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks for sharing your family's traditions to celebrate the feast day of St. Lucy. I really enjoyed all the links. I am so glad we were able to visit St. Lucy's Parish in the Bronx this past summer. I know it meant a lot to you.

    ReplyDelete
  4. What an interesting post! Thank you for Elvis; he was and still is my idol; what a voice. I did not know about St Lucy; really enjoyed all the information.
    Rita

    ReplyDelete
  5. That food looks so good. I hope you are getting everything done, as Christmas is coming. Richard from My Old Historic House.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi there, yes, tradition..what an awesome time for it all..have a wonderful December! :D

    ReplyDelete
  7. Barbara, how wonderful! That is something I had never heard. Thank you SO much for stopping by too! Although I really try to schedule things so we don't get too busy, it seems like everything comes at once. We don't really buy a lot of gifts except for the children, an dI have some of that done. We are in the midst of Christmas programs at church and the veteran's shelter and just enjoying the season. We are drenched in about 3 inches of rain that should turn to ice later today, but thankful for a warm, dry house:-) Take care!!

    ReplyDelete
  8. What an interesting post Barbara - I loved it!
    Lisa

    ReplyDelete
  9. I love love love this post. So fun to learn about other cultures. What a wonderful slew of memories you have. Thanks for dropping in.. xo marlis

    ReplyDelete
  10. Oh, that Elvis song is one of my favorites! I have an Elvis Christmas cd..I think it's time to listen! Hugs! ♥

    ReplyDelete
  11. How I used to love to read the lives of the saints. I had forgotten about St Lucy as patron saint of the eyes! I never knew about the pastry though. Very interesting post, Barbara!
    Glad you have accomplished so much!
    Yes it was dreary today, but warm, so I won't complain. But I want to get out tomorrow, so I hope it clears up!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Chickpea fritters ... Yum! And thanks for the history lesson. I loved learning about your traditions.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Fascinating information and delicious sounding food...
    My apologies - we have the same "E" posting title...I had everything done before noticing your own link...

    ReplyDelete
  14. Barbara, if I had more time when I was in New York City, I surely would have tried to get together with you! Thank you for this enlightening post.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Interesting post never know about Chickpea fritters but they look so good....

    ReplyDelete
  16. I didn't know that about the buns representing eyes. What a beautiful representation. I have decided that childhood traditions are such a huge part of us. It is fun to start new ones but the old ones are so wonderful. Sounds like you are doing so great - I got started on my cards and then stopped - need to finish. I am all decorated and mostly shopped, but seems like I am never done until the stores finally close!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Barbara, my husband and I go over to joe's every now and then to enjoy some panelles and a few of their other Sicilian dishes that we enjoy. The restaurant looks exactly the same as it always has..lol!

    Thanks for this information about St Lucy and the cookies that are made in her honor.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I have never heard of cuccia before but it sounds delicious! I think I will always remember now that the sweet buns represent eyes. I love learning about traditions remembered from someone's childhood.

    ReplyDelete
  19. We have the same weather I'm in Jersey.

    Italian dishes are always good food.

    I missed the lighting of the tree but will be in Rockefeller Center soon.

    Dee

    ReplyDelete
  20. My darling niece is named after St. Lucy, but I didn't know when her feast day was! Interesting customs and traditions!! :)

    ReplyDelete
  21. The chickpea fritters are new to me, too, but they look delicious. I had falafel for dinner last night. I am a big fan of chickpeas!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Simply EXTRA lovely...and Elvis always makes Everything wonderful!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Dearest Barbara,
    Oh, that is ONE wonderful information!!! Feast of St. Lucy, Patronfor Eyes, I wish I could light the candles for her myself. My eyes are kind of bad condition now. The figure 8 shape buns are SO interesting.
    Wow, I LOVE Elvis♡♡♡ Thank you very much, I never knew this song "Santa Lucia"
    You seem to have done quite well for the Christmas, my friend♬♬♬

    Blessing to you, xoxo Miyako*

    ReplyDelete
  24. Love the traditions! And you are way ahead of me with those lists - better get a move on here!
    xo Cathy

    ReplyDelete
  25. What a wonderful post, Barbara. Thank so much!

    ReplyDelete
  26. I haven't heard of this festival before. How lovely to remember and be grateful!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Hi Barbara! Thank you for sharing this as I've never heard of this! My mother's name is Lucille and some call her Lucy! :)
    Thank so much for popping in to see me.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

    ReplyDelete
  28. Barbara -- once I had a friend's daughter show up at my door bringing St. Lucia buns -- this was a new tradition for me -- so fun. I have never heard of Panelle (sp?). Joni

    ReplyDelete
  29. wow! that was interesting. I never even hear of this. Thanks for sharing and enlightening us!

    ReplyDelete
  30. How interesting! I like anything with ricotta cheese! I am also getting most things done. I think the weekend will be about the cards and maybe a little baking. It will be here before we know it!

    ReplyDelete
  31. Barbara, what a wonderful post. Such interesting information about St. Lucy. The sandwich with the chickpea fritter and ricotta looks so good! I would love to have that for lunch today! Thank you so much for visiting my blog. I hope you try the Osta Kaka, I think you will really like it. Have a Merry week! ~ Diane

    ReplyDelete
  32. Superb ‘E’ post – great to be reminded of wonderful traditions like this!

    Have a great weekend too & look forward to *seeing* you soon.

    Here’s mine

    ReplyDelete
  33. Barb I love your posts, blog and your informative sweet way of writing. Thank you for haring it all with us. I'm so sorry about your grandmother.

    ReplyDelete
  34. I would love to make some of those buns. (OK, technically, I would love for someone else to make some so I could eat them.) This was really interesting, and now I'm clicking to hear Elvis sing.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Barb, What a sweet post. I love hearing about your traditions. Sounds like you had a loving family. I know the memories are precious.
    Thanks for sharing about the Feast of St Lucy.
    Blessings, Ginger

    ReplyDelete
  36. Friends of my family immigrated from Sweden to Canada when I was a child & they invited me to take part in the St. Lucy ceremony. I remember the procession, I just wish I remembered the traditional songs we learned!

    ReplyDelete
  37. Wonderful traditions... and Elvis... wonderful!

    Blessings, Debbie

    ReplyDelete
  38. You have wonderful family traditions. Thanks for sharing these wonderful different cultures. I always enjoy learning how others celebrate Christmas. Great photos and I love Elvis.......
    Hope your weekend is wonderful.

    ReplyDelete
  39. I enjoyed your post very much today, Barbara. It is so interesting to read about your traditions and the significance of the shape of the Scandinavian sweet buns. I remember collecting little cards with pictures of the saints on them when I was a child.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Lovely traditions! It sounds like you are very organized already. I'm almost there!

    ReplyDelete
  41. This was a lovely post ...and what lovely traditions. It's good that you are keeping them going. I really loved reading this!

    ReplyDelete
  42. Oh how I love family traditions. It's what keeps our heritage alive. Always enjoy hearing about celebrations and traditions in other countries. My father died when I was just a baby. My mother remarried when I was 7. My new grandmother was blind. She had gone blind as a young bride. I remember her asking if she could feel my face to see what I looked like. Loved your E post. Thanks so much for visiting me!

    ReplyDelete
  43. Lovely post! Thanks for sharing.Hope you find my post.I started my first Christmas post the 29 of November.I dont know if I am popping up any where.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Hello.
    Lovely post & who doesn't like Elvis...the man could sing & act!
    Thanks for sharing.

    For ref:
    Eleven Roses And You

    ReplyDelete
  45. I enjoyed your post on some of your traditions. I never knew you could make fritters from chickpeas, but they sound delicious. I also learned about Saint Lucy. If I come to NYC, I'm going to follow you around because you know where to find all the good food!

    ReplyDelete
  46. How very interesting, Barbara!! I have learned so much this Christmas from great bloggers like you! Thank you for visiting. I may have looked at ease, but I sure wasn't!! ;0) There were over 250 women out there watching me!!! YIKES!!

    ReplyDelete
  47. Such a great post. I know of the holiday, but it's so neat to learn about it. Thanks for bringing this post to Seasonal Sundays.

    - The Tablescaper

    ReplyDelete
  48. What beautiful and timeless traditions.

    Your pictures were glorious. And I loved your descriptions!

    Thanks for an elegant link to the letter "E".

    A+

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...