Happy Saint Joseph’s Day! 

I realize I am day early but could not resist sending each of you early wishes of joy and prosperity.  As an Italian American, I have celebrated this day with pride since I was a child wearing red and enjoying a Zeppole.  Although true Confession, I am still thinking of where I can find this pastry in my neighborhood. 

At the same time holidays such as these make me think of my Uncle Bob.  He was a hard worker while he also appreciated celebrations.  I took a walk down memory lane to my many memories of Uncle Bob’s open houses.  These moments are very vivid in my heart and mind and it a pleasure to share them with you in this post.  

Eddie and Lucy enjoying a Zeppole.

Dear Readers,

Tomorrow is Saint Joseph’s Day!  Although it is the eve, I wish you a most happy day of good food and joy!!!  In Italy this feast day is celebrated annually in honor of Saint Joseph listening to the petitions of the people.  During the Middle Ages, Saint Joseph answered people’s prayers in ending a legendary drought in Sicily.  This day is also celebrated by many Italian Americans including the Italian community in Rhode Island.  Growing up in Rhode Island and from an Italian family, my Mother acknowledged this day with pride.  As our neighbors, we wore red and happily ate Zeppolies.  I clearly recall wishing I lived in Rhode Island because the schools were closed in honor of this feast and the annual procession.

This holiday also arises many warm memories of my Uncle Bob.  He was the youngest brother of my Grandmother and quite the character.  Uncle Bob was a very direct man, a hard worker, an animal lover, and a friend of many.  Most importantly, he loved hosting a good party.  Several times a year he and my Auntie Dot would host gatherings in their home which drew a bustling crowd of all ages.  Regardless of how full the house was, you always knew where to find Uncle Bob.  I can close my eyes and still see him at the head of the dining table with a drink in one hand and commanding the room with the other.  If he was not at the head of the table, he was at his bar.  The kitchen was my Auntie Dot’s territory but the TV tray that served as his bar was his domain.  Uncle Bob and Auntie Dot’s home was a staple visit on holidays and provided a sense of consistency to a childhood routine.

Although I did not get to spend this particular holiday with him due to school, I have a good hunch of how he spent the day.  He would go to mass in the morning and most years of his life participate in the procession.  Uncle Bob was very generous in his time with the church and would not miss an obligation.  Afterwards he and his close friends would get together.  I imagine they shared meal and a Zeppole, a traditional pastry for this feast day.  Although, he would not have a drink for he always gave up liquor for his Lenten fast.  I loved visiting Uncle Bob on Easter Sunday.  It was always a very entertaining visit.

If you are wondering how I am celebrating this day, I am not quite sure.  I am debating baking an Italian treat for friends and will see where my imagination leads me!  Although I do have images of what my family above is thinking.  My Auntie Dot may scold me for not being more prepared, my Uncle Bob might shrug his shoulders as to say “what’s the big deal”, but Grandmother will always smile and be happy with whatever path I choose.  In the end I cherish these memories of them and wish them a most Happy Saint Joseph’s Day!

Love Always,

Kristina Lucia xoxo