This is a reprint of one of my very first posts. I did not know how to upload photos when I did this post. So I edited it to add some. I will be sharing this with Seasonal Sundays.
Today is the feast day of St. Joseph. St. Joseph is known as the spouse of Mary, and foster father of Jesus. He is the Patron Saint of hearth and home and also venerated as a model for laborers. With the economy today and lack of jobs, I say it couldn't hurt to say a few prayers to him.
St. Joseph has also gained fame as the go-to saint when you want to sell your house. I am not ashamed to admit that I actually had two statues of St. Joseph at work when my home went on the market. You can buy kits with a tiny plastic figure of him, a plastic bag to place him in, a cloth sack to store him in (you must remember to take him with you when you move) and a prayer card. You then bury the statue in your backyard upside down and facing the house. No yard, you can use a flower pot. I did sell my house but it was probably a year after I buried my first statue.
My second statue was a gift, and since St. Joseph was holding Baby Jesus in his arms, I opted to place this one in my front window. I made sure to take both statues with me!
My paternal grandmother, who was born in Sicily, was very devoted to St. Joseph. Each year she would cook and bake and prepare a huge feast for family, friends, and neighbors. There would be a statue predominantly displayed, surrounded by flowers. Her best linens, china, glasses, silverware would all be taken out and scrubbed til it shone. One of the dishes guaranteed to be on la tavola di San Giuseppe (the St. Joseph's table) was pasta con sarde.
Thick-cut bucatini pasta (a fat spaghetti) topped with a sauce of fresh sardines, raisins, pignoli nuts, fennel, a hint of tomato, onion, and toasted breadcrumbs. Not a dish for the faint of heart, it is definitely an acquired taste. I tasted it for the first time when I was in my twenties, and was immediately hooked! There are many recipes on the internet. One that I use is from Mary Ann Esposito of Ciao Italia.
For dessert, there are two delicious pastries. One is zeppole,
a cream puff filled with a rich vanilla pastry cream and topped with a cherry (old fashioned pastry shops use a brandied cherry), and sfingi,
a deep-fried cream puff filled with cannoli cream and topped either with a cherry or a strip of candied orange peel. With a cup of espresso (or as my mother and grandmother would say, "demi tasse") it is a true decadent indulgence.
Although St Joseph's Day follows on the heels of St. Patrick's Day, there is certainly a lot less fanfare with St. Joe than there is with St. Pat. But I guess I was channeling Grandma Jennie today when I decided to do this post. That and the thought of a dish of pasta con sarde and perhaps a sfingi. Yum! xo,