Sunday, March 18, 2012

St.Joseph's Day

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,


  1. Boy, the pasta looks so good. I buried a St. Joseph when I put my house on the market too. Mine was for sale for over a year, I buried him and it sold in 4 months! Go figure?? Loved this post. Happy Sunday.

  2. Barbara F.,
    Thank you for posting this story.
    I would love one of those desserts, for sure.

  3. I've never cooked the bucatini, but it always looks like a fun pasta! Have a great day:@)

  4. I used to work at a religious store years ago and remember all about the statue for selling your house! Ciao Italia has some great recipes!! The bucatini has a mind of it's own! Great recipe!

  5. The pasta looks delicious and much more interesting than the soup and sandwich I had for lunch!

  6. Cara Barbara conosco la ricetta delle sarde!La faceva la mia nonna siciliana:che buone le zeppole.Ma dive vivi tu le vendono?Buon San Giuseppe!Rosetta

  7. I enjoyed this post, Barbara. The food looks wonderful!
    Hugs, Beth

  8. Happy St. Joseph's Day, Barbara! I made some cannoli for you!

  9. Happy Saint Joseph's day, Barbara! My husabnd and I like pasta con sarde, but we leave the raisens out when we prepare it. We also like the cannoli cream filled

  10. Dearest Barbara,
    Oh, I have never heard of the "St. Joseph's Day". And how wonderful you said that you were channeling your Grandma Jennie, she must be thrilled and happy with you♡♡♡
    Thank you for the information and yummy looking food and dessert for the day!!!
    I hope you started a wonderful new week, my friend,
    Love you always, xoxo Miyako*

  11. I will skip the pasta and go for two helpings of the dessert!

    I did not know anything about St. Joseph. Enjoyed the post!

  12. Oh my, everything looks so pretty ... and delicious! I'm glad you reposted this and with pictures!! :)

  13. Hi Barbara! Oh, this is s great post and I love the snaps you've added. You have made me hungry and I'll take one of those lovely desserts.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  14. Your information about St. Joseph is very interesting! I especially love your posts about food! Yum!

  15. I'm glad you decided to repost. I missed this the first time and I'll keep it this time. This dish looks delicious! Jim loves pasta dishes and I'm sure he will like this. I think I will love those cream puffs.......I'm glad you took those little statutes with you! who knew?
    When you get to Atlanta you will love it. It's the big city with a small town fell, does that make sense? Something for everyone.
    Hope your week is grand.

    The French Hutch

  16. Both dishes look absolutely delicious! I once tried to bury a statue to sell a house, but it didn't work. Sigh. I guess taking the Joseph out of my nativity scene wasn't what I was supposed to do.

    That, or St. Joseph knew that it just wasn't the right timing and refused to move.

    Have I ever told you how much I like the way you do the "informative" posts like this? Well, I do.

  17. Thanks for sharing your lovely post Joann

  18. I think this is so interesting...and the food looks so good! I'd like one of those sweet treats right now!

  19. Love this post, Barbara.

    Sister Mary Ann prayed to St Joseph the entire time we were building our home. She's a sweetheart.

  20. Girl, I wanna grab me a fork and dig into that fabulous lookin' pasta. I'm kinda a pasta nut anyway.

    What a great post sweetie!!!

    God bless and have a fantastic week my friend!!! :o)

  21. Hi Barbara! I did not know that Italian families celebrated St. Joseph's Day, but I do know that the Polish do also! My mother and her family always remind us and in fact you can go to Hallmark and buy a card in Polish. They are usually much more religious in nature than the Irish St. Pat day cards next to them. I also recently found out about burying the statue, and I'm definitely trying it next time we sell--especially if the market doesn't improve! Linda

  22. St. Joseph helped sell my house a few years back, but now I don't think I took him with us! I think I will have to go get another statue and keep it in the house. I am glad you reminded me of him!

  23. Wonder where I could find some bucatini! That looks fabulous - so fat and beautiful in the dish. The sauce sounds wonderful too. I am so glad that you sold both of your houses and that you took your figurines with you. I didn't know that about selling a house! Beautiful desserts too. Hope you had a wonderful day!


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