Soup ‘n spirituality


In my grandparent’s house, especially during the winter, there was a big focus on eating to combat “influenza” as it was called back then. That was only natural since Mae and Gaetano Racioppi and a number of their children lived in times when whole populations were decimated by the Spanish Influenza pandemic of 1918-1919 and … Continue reading

What to do with way too many carrots


A visit last week to the Trenton Farmers Market resulted in the purchase of numerous harbingers of the bounty of fall, all Jersey Fresh and bursting with flavor: crunchy red apples straight from area farms, many varieties of squash and, much to the delight of our fierce brown kitchen rabbit Holly, a bunch of carrots … Continue reading

Cooking for Columbus


Joining Father Alphonse Stephenson, conductor and founder of the Orchestra of St. Peter by the Sea, and his cousin Anotinette Scillieri in the family kitchen for a sampling of the foods that appear in their “Le Canzoni Della Cucina – The Songs of the Kitchen” cookbook was a real “Keeping the Feast” highpoint.  It was … Continue reading

Gifts from family kitchens


Some years back, I used an old family recipe in Keeping the Feast, mentioning our little ancestral Italian town in the process. This set off a flurry of geographical sparks via the Internet.  E-mails came in from as far away as California and Florida from descendants of folks who had immigrated from Teora to the same … Continue reading

What would St. Francis eat?


Conventual Franciscan Father Kurt Kreml, pastor of St. Peter Parish, Point Pleasant Beach, where a three-day celebration of the saint’s life will unfold Oct. 2-4, not only answered the question but offered inspiration for a recipe. “In the accounts we have of him,  Francis and the friars always ate simply. He and the friars would go … Continue reading