To Feed and be Fed
St. Patrick's day was a labour love.
We joined friends at their place, unfolded simple tables and placed them in a row, covering the crowded space with white linen and matching pfaltzgraff dishes. The pattern: arbor and vine.
Corned Beef, cabbage, and buttery potatoes were passes 'round, and the soda bread, laden with currents and raisins, was slathered in thick Irish butter, tinged yellow. Though husband and I are barely Irish, this holiday has become one of our favourites.
There is a certain amount of fearless giving that happens around a table where food is shared. There is nothing like small gatherings. To feed and be fed.
Yesterday was St. Joseph's Day: a holiday barely mentioned in the U.S. but far more important to my Italian familia. We celebrated just the two of us, husband and me, with tall glasses if shiraz and a heaping bowl of fried Zeppola between us. While a quick internet search with reveal that the sweet form of Zeppola is more common than its savoury brother, these little pizza frittes have been a St. Joseph's day tradition in my family since before I was born.
They can only be eaten once a year, on March 19th. Though growing up, I always requested them for my birthday dinner, and every year we fudged tradition and feasted on Zeppola in December. Twice a year, then.
The method is simple:
Take a small ball of bread dough, flatten it in your palm and close it over your inner ingredients of choice A cube of cheese (I used classic mozzarella), a small piece of meat (I used prosciutto, though plain pepperoni or deli ham work as well), or vegetables (make sure they are pre-cooked). Roll the dough around the filling, making sure that there are no holes or openings in your dough ball.
Pour oil into a shallow pan and deep fry the pizza fritte until the outsides are warm and golden. Drain on a paper towel for a few minutes and then keep warm in the oven until ready to serve. Eat plain or dipped in homemade tomato sauce. I used my Dad's secret recipe. Because, truly, there is nothing better.
Feast with your loved ones. Enjoy.