20 March 2007

Joseph and the Amazing Ricotta-Filled Pastry

So yesterday was St. Joseph's Day. No parades, no one dressed like a carpenter. I have always felt that St. Joseph didn't get his due. Part of the reason I didn't post a picture of him yesterday was because in all of the ones I saw and considered, they either had him a) as a very elderly man, or b) with Jesus. The poor guy, he's either got one foot in the grave, or is background for his kid - it's just not fair. I remember I was on a one-child crusade to give him equal time vs. Mary when I was around ten years old. I would always try to get my parents to sit on his side of church (meaning next to the altar with his statue); however, they liked Mary's side of the church better (quoting my mother: "It won't change a damn thing if we sit over there"). At Christmastime, the Nativity scene was *always* covering up St. Joseph's side - which really made no sense, since everyone was so focused on Mary anyway, covering up her altar wouldn't have been a problem! Finally, I accepted the fact that unless we were members of a parish called St. Joseph's, he would always be sort of sidelined.

(You may have noticed that my bouts of religious zeal have very little to do with actual religion. What can I say, it works for me.)

Anyway, when we moved to Philadelphia, we were introduced to an aspect of St. Joseph's Day that we were not acquainted with:


These are incredible. They are similar to a cream puff, except the pastry isn't exactly puff pastry, like in a cream puff. They are filled with ricotta cheese and chocolate chips. You can get them here at the Termini Bros. bakery in the Italian Market on St. Joseph's Day only, and the place is so festive, it's worth it just for the experience, even if you don't want to get a zeppole. (Now, why someone wouldn't want to get a zeppole is beyond me, but that's their business ...) As far as I'm concerned, the zeppole gives St. Joseph some extra recognition on his feast day, and the best part is, you don't even have to go to church to get one!

(You may have also noticed that I particularly enjoy events related to food. See parenthetic comment above.)

As you may or may not know, March 19 is also the traditional return of the swallows to San Juan Capistrano, California. Which leads to a favorite family story. My niece Lauren was driving from her college in Santa Barbara late one Friday evening down the freeway in California, to visit her parents in Orange County for the weekend. She called my sister late at night, upset because she was lost, and had missed her exit. My sister said to let her know where she was, and she could give her directions to get home. But Lauren was so upset, my sister realized she would need to drive to wherever she was calling from, and let her follow my sister's car home. So she said, "Well, OK, I'll come and get you. Where are you?" To which Lauren replied, "I'm just off the exit for San Juan Cappuccino."

I tell ya, it just writes itself.


teabird17 said...

And ya know, sometimes you have to laugh immoderately... Great post, except for the question about why anyone wouldn't want a zeppole. How about, you and I can share one. You can have the cream puff outside, and I'll take the cheese and chips inside. Fair?

Bridget said...

Sorry, Teabird, I like the *whole* thing! But if you find someone else to share with by next March 19, then your plan would work just fine ... :-)

Kim said...

Share? Isn't that part of Bridget's complaint about Joseph? In the spirit of full spotlight on full figure (oooooh. . .) a whole zeppole for each of you!! And one for the mediator!

teabird17 said...

Excellent idea!

Bridget said...

Yes, Kim, you have indicated the perfect solution!

Maureen said...

I'm so glad you were my fcs partner - how else would I have found your blog? Now I can read your posts and regularly get a good chuckle!

This Saturday the Italian club my husband's family belongs to is hosting their annual St. Joseph's Day dinner....and guess what's for dessert?

jasmine said...

First, if you are going to tell me about Cream Puff like deserts that you can only have once a year you need to tell me to get on the train Monday morning instead of me reading my bloglines after days with fever...Now forgive me for my lack of Dictionary of the Saints (yes, I grew up with one but don't seem to own one anymore) but isn't St joe the patron of fatherhood? One of my favorite interjections (don't you go accusing me of taking the lords name in vain) is Jesus, Mary and half a dozen Josephs but on further research I had trouble coming up with more than two. God, I need to get a life...excuse my fever addled ramblings