Sharing A Precious Resource for St. Joseph’s Day

Among the many wonderful web sites devoted to the customs and cuisine of St. Joseph’s Day, the one created by a webmaster named Nancy Piatkowski,  for a site called buffalolore emerges as a true treasure trove.

Though Piatowski passed away in July, 2003, the site exists as an online memorial to her “hard work and dedication to the preservation of Buffalo’s heritage” which, by extension, produced an extraordinary document on St. Joseph’s Day.

Visit and you’ll encounter more than you ever expected to learn about this marvelous feast. The blessings and prayers are there as are the customs and traditions connected to the feast. Visit and you’ll learn all there is to know about setting up a St. Joseph’s Table and a St. Joseph’s Altar. There’s a real focus on the foods of St. Joseph Day including the breads and pastries.

There are many recipes to choose from including: pasta con sarde (pasta with sardines and fennel); frittatas composed of spring vegetables; vegetables in batter; Sfinge Di San Giusepppe (St. Joseph’s Cream Puffs) and one of my all time favorites, Strufoli-Pignolata (pine nut clusters).

She also offers a recipe for the classic Farfallette Dolci (Bow Ties) which you might like to try.

The Monitor’s faithful foodies are also contributing favorite recipes over the next couple of days. We begin with a recipe for Farfallette Dolci contributed  graphic designer and fellow faithful foodie, Valerie DiGiacomo who graciously offers her Grandmom Millie Spadaro’s Bows.

Grandmom Millie Spadaro’s Bows

Ingredients: 4 egg yolks; 3 whole eggs; 1/2 cup of sugar; 1 teaspoon vanilla; 1/2 teaspoon orange zest (optional); 3 1/4 cups all purpose flour; vegetable oil (about 3 inches deep); nonpariels.

Directions: Combine eggs, sugar, vanilla and zest in mixing bowl. Add in flour and knead till it becomes a soft dough.

Dough should be a little tacky. Take a walnut sized piece of dough. Put through pasta machine at wide setting (#2).

Then dust with a generous amount of flour on both sides, continue putting through pasta machine using #3, then #4, then #5 setting.  Lay out on table or cutting board and using a pizza cutter cut into about 2 x 4 inch pieces, then pinch each piece firmly in middle, this strip yields about 4 bows.

Heat oil in a medium size pot, using no less than 3 inches deep of oil. Oil has to be very hot, but not smoking. Place one or 2 pieces into hot oil. After about a few seconds flip cookie for another few seconds. Dough will bubble slightly and turn golden brown. Drain then place on paper towels to cool. (Tip: If dough does not have small bubbles oil isn’t hot enough)

Place Bows in a layer, then drizzle with honey, sprinkle with nonpareils, continue layering, adding honey and nonpareils as you build upward.  Powered sugar can be used in place of honey and nonpareils.

On Friday, March 19, St. Joseph Day, look for a really tempting mudica – linguine dusted with bread crumbs symbolic of the sawdust in St. Joseph’s carpenter shop.


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