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October 7, 2016     Post-Gazette
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October 7, 2016

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PAGE 4 POST-GAZETTE, OCTOBER 7, 2016 L'Anno Bello: A Year in Italian Folklore The Fruits of Fall by Ally Di Censo Symynkywicz It is no secret that I love to bake. The bookshelf adja- cent to my kitchen brims with dog-eared cookbooks whose chocolate-stained, worn pages tell the stories of delicious treats past. I especially enjoy baking when the calendar turns to the months of autumn, when chilly dark nights propel me into the warmth of a cozy kitchen. Fall is also an optimal time for baking because of the abun- dance of fruits and vegetables harvested around this time of year. As surely as the colorful leaves swirl gracefully in the October wind, I know that crisp apples, juicy pears, and creamy pumpkins will form an essential part of my fall baking repertoire. However, baking is not the only way to enjoy the generosity of Earth's harvest. Autumnal produce makes a wonderful addition to salads, pastas and drinks, and of course nothing can quite compare to a fresh, seasonal fruit eaten in its plain natural state. One can develop an even deeper appreciation of fall's bounty when one ex- amines the manner in which these fruits have shaped not only culinary creations, but the very culture and traditions of societies around the world. So as the autumn unravels around us in all its rustic and comfort- ing glory, let us take a look at the folklore, superstitions, and recipes of four of our favorite seasonal treats. Apples: Apples are synony- mous with the fall for me. They conjure memories of collecting bags of bright jewel-toned fruit at a sunny apple orchard, of the tingle of tart apple cider dancing on my tongue, and of fresh-baked breads and streusel-topped crisps cooling on the kitchen counter. I have a difficult time thinking of an apple recipe I did not enjoy, and apples eaten straight from the trees are equally delicious with their burst of juicy, bittersweet pulp. As one of the quintessen- tial fruits of the season, with a fairly long harvesting period, apples also figure heavily in European myths and legends. The Greek demigod Heracles (or Hercules to the Romans) had to obtain golden apples as one of his arduous .twelve labors, and the Celtic King Arthur re- covered from his wounds in a mythical land called Avalon, or "isle of apples." Apples symbol- ized wisdom and immortality to the ancient Nqrse, while in the Germanic fairy te~[e Snow White, an apple causes the titular princess to fall into an enchanted slumber from which only a true love's kiss could save her. Popular tradition equates the apple with the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge in the Garden of Eden, though it was never actually identified as such in the Bible. Apples also formed the crux of many Halloween divination rituals, as unmarried girls would interpret the shape of an apple peel or eat an apple in front of a candlelit mirror to reveal her future spouse on this spooky night. In Italy, apples are known as mele and are often Happy Columbus Day from the O riv#era ""amt'ly baked into tarts or dumplings. Northern Italians axe particu- larly fond of malting German- inspired apple strudels. Pumpkins: Ah, the pump- kin! This rotund, sunny fruit -- and yes, pumpkin is a fruit] -- carries the connotation of cozy, communal festivities. After all, pumpkins are one of the most recognizable symbols of Halloween worldwide, and pumpkin pie has become a mainstay at autumnal harvest celebrations like Thanksgiving. October means pumpkin to me, and whether I am mak- ing pumpkin-chocolate chip bread, pumpkin butter cake, or pumpkin scones, the aroma of this fall favorite wafts through my kitchen on the darkened evenings of the season. Like apples, pumpkins also hold an important cultural history. Na- tive Americans used pumpkins, including pumpkin seeds, for culinary and medicinal purpos- es long before the Europeans arrived on the continent. After pumpkins were introduced to Europe, the orange fruit found its way into several familiar fairy tales and tidbits of lore. In the French folktale Cinderella, a fairy godmother turns a pump- kin into a horse-drawn carriage, which then takes CindereUa to a much-anticipated royal ball. Strange superstitions became attached to pumpkins, includ- (Continued on Page 13) JOHN F. KELLY, Executive Director 68 Central Square East Boston, MA 02128 617-569-3221 ,# MARIO REAL ESTATE 620 Bennington Street East Boston, MA 02128 Office: 617.569.6044 Fax: 617.567.3303 by Sal Giarratani Everything is Just So Beautiful in Campaign '16, Is It Not? "We grew up in an Ozzie and Harriet world.., where everything was safe and fine, where Barman always won against the bad guy ... That's not the way it is in real life." -- Larry Goettler I have no idea who Larry Goettler is, but his quote appeared in a recent Boston Globe news piece about life in America today. I believe the most confused voters today are members of the Baby Boom generation. We can remember the way things used to be in the '50s, '60s, and 70s. We lived through Vietnam, Watergate, and the Reagan Revolution. In many ways, America has changed, and not for the better, over our lives. Once everything was black and white, and right or wrong. That doesn't seem like today's world. This year's presidential elec- tion pits two aging baby boom- ers against each other, and yet their world views couldn't be more different from the other. Hillary Clinton is wearing her rose-colored glasses, and Donald Trump just keeps say- ing everything is beautiful like that old tune from the late '60s. Well everything isn't just beautiful. Both candidates seem deficient to this baby boomer. At the moment, the election is looking like a toss-up despite everything stupid that Trump keeps doing. There is now be- tween 9 to 1 1 percent of the electorate still undecided, and this election" seemingly hinges on them. I watched half of the first debate. I couldn't take much more than that. It was becom- ing a form of mental torture akin to waterboarding. Some of my friends only watched about 15 minutes, others not at all. One friend was forced to watch it all with his high school son because it was homework for the kid. The biggest story of the night was a rehash of a 20-year-old story by Clinton about a former beauty queen that Trump called an "Eating Machine." Clinton tried her best at resurrecting the Republican War on Women, but coming from her and her jaded past on this issue thanks to Bubba, it should have been less of a story. However, the liberal mainstream media is doing everything possible to aid Clinton like Lester Holt did as debate moderator. This year reminds me of 1980 when I was debating between Ronald Reagan and Congress- man John Anderson because no way could I vote for President Jimmy Carter. I chose Reagan, and think I did the right thing. I could vote for Jean Stein or Gary Johnson, but I don't know nearly enough about Stein :and the Green Party, and after watching CBS-TV's 60 Minutes, I could never go with the Johnson-Weld Liber- tarian Party. It is all coming down to putting a clothespin on my nose and voting Trump to Make America Great Again, whatever that means, or cast my ballot for Daffy Duck, be- cause the choices in this year's election are, as Daffy often says, despicable! Jtappy Columbus gay INSURANCE MICHAEL F. NOBILE, CPCU Email: ALBANO F. PONTE, CEP Financial and Estate Planning Email: Phone: 617-320-0022 ROSE GIAMMARCO, AAI Accredited Advisor in Insurance BOSTON 30 Prince St., Boston, MA 02113 617-523-6766 FAX: 617-523-0078 MEDFORD 39 Salem St., Medford, MA 02155 781-395-4200 FAX: 781-391-8493 Happy Columbus Day Grand Lodge of Massachuseffs Order Sons of Italy in America Antonio Sestito, State President and the State Council