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November 22, 2013     Post-Gazette
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November 22, 2013

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Page 4 POST-GAZETTE, NOVEMBER 22,2013 L'00nno00e00-A00arin,ta,00nFo,,,00re00.n. 00ood l'U''' 1 00any 0000ffereot comes own 00reaO- most famous one00 sounds of Thanksgiving and-fruit stuffng. My mother place on St. Martin's Day, or by Sal Giarratani  .... conjure in my mind, stirred makes a wonderful sweet November 11 th, when vii- i ...... together like a perfect herb- potato casserole, blended lages gather for banquets spiced stuffing. I think of with enough spices to give featuring chestnuts, goose The Day Our Country Changed Forever it a permeating sense of warmth and a crunchy nut topping that adds texture. This year, I am excited to contribute two special, sea- sonal treats to my Thanks- giving dinner: a salad ac- cented with crisp apples and New England cranberries, and a pumpkin cheesecake over a gingersnap crust. No matter what food is on the table, however, Italian or American, what matters is that we are honoring the autumn bounty of the Earth. Thanksgiving occurs at the time of the year when the crops have already been harvested and vegetation is withering; as such, the holi- day calls us to gather in warm places with family and friends, forming a shield against the cold, dark win- ter. Because of this symbolic connotation, I believe that no one should be alone on Thanksgiving, but rather join celebrations with others, partaking in com- munal sharing and love. Recently, my cousin and his girlfriend moved to Boston from Venezuela, and I can- not wait to spend Thanks- giving with them, allowing them into the warmth and company of our family feast. In Italy, c(ommunal food festivities lilke Thanksgiv- ing occur throughout the autumn and winter. Perhaps pale gold light shining dappled on the floor, as it filters through the last remaining leaves stubbornly clinging to gray tree branches. I feel the warmth of a crowded house, as relatives bustle through the kitchen with steaming plates of food, their peals of laughter erupting through the air. I hear the far-off cheers emanating from the television, whether because of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade or a football game, at times interrupted by jolly jingle bells or Santa Claus's laugh. And, most of all, I taste an explosion of cozy flavors in my mouth: creamy sweet potato, tart little cranberries, and the silkiness of a pumpkin pie. Thanksgiving holds a spe- cial corner of my heart because it is a holiday of home and hearth, one that celebrates the very concept of togetherness. My Thanks- giving is a blend of Italian and American customs, but its sense of love and family proves universal. Food forms a major part of Italian culture, and as such my family treats Thanksgiv- ing as the pinnacle of ritual meal sharing. Every item on the table is prepared with care -- even my vegetarian Tofurkey, which I can as- sure you, tastes just as good as the real thing, and even NEW LOCATION Since 1969 FOR ALL YOUR INSURANCE NEEDS AUTO " HOMEOWNERS " TENANTS COMMERCIAL Experience makes the difference 209 BROADWAY, REVERE, MA 02151 Tel. 781.284.1100 Fax 781.284.2200 Free Parking Adjacent to Building NORTH END00 Owned and operated by Pamela Donnaruma, Publisher, Post-Gazette Quality Printing for all your o Commercial and Personal Needs Stationery * Business Cards Menus Flyers Program Books Wedding and Party Invitations Announcements Business Forms and Documents -- COMPETITIVE PRICES I 617-227-8929 and the year's new wine. Now that Christmas is ap- proaching, Italians will be busy in the kitchen pre- paring delectable treats for holiday gatherings, pepper throughout the season on various saints' days. These celebrations tap into a pow- erful human desire not only to gain strength and suste- nance from the community, but also to maintain an in- nate connection to the past. According to Italian-Ameri- can author Helen Barolini, who writes about Italian cus- toms and traditions and holi- days in her book Festa, the most important aspect of sharing food is the ritual, the repeated practices that link people to larger themes and events. When I partake in a Thanksgiving meal, or any other holiday celebra- tion, I feel a kinship with my Italian ancestors who also congregated around tables on brisk days and paid homage to the generous abundance the Earth be- stowed on them before slum- bering for the winter. Tradi- tions, no matter how small, are important because they symbolically remind us of the timeless motifs in life that merit gratitude, such as family, love, hope for the fu- ture, and humility. On years when my husband does not work the day after Thanks- giving, we always go out for a simple meal of sushi, as a way to eat light after' the ex- cesses of the previous day and eschew the commercial- ization of Black Friday. People who deny the signifi- cance of traditions lose an invaluable link to their past. This Thanksgiving, there are many ways we can ex- press our gratitude to our family and count our bless- ings. We should donate to local food banks, giving fami- lies in need a chance to con- nect with loved ones on this special day. We can relish the time we spend around relative and friends, making sure that we laugh a lot and help each other out and con- stantly express our love for one another. And finally, we can share food together, an intimate symbol of compan- ionship and community, honoring both our ancestors and staying enthusiastic for the new memories we are creating in the present. Happy Thanksgiving to all! Ally Di Censo Symynkywicz is a Graduate Student in History at the University of Massachusetts Boston. She appreciates any comments and suggestions about Italian holidays and folklore at Small Ads Get Big Results For more information, call 617-227-8929. I cannot believe 50 years have lapsed since that sunny Friday afternoon of Novem- ber 22, 1963 when President John F. Kennedy was assas- sinated in a motorcade leav- ing Downtown Dallas. I re- member I was in English class at Boston English's Brighton annex. My French teacher came running into the classroom with his small transistor radio plugged into his ear. He whispered some- thing to Mr. Dennehy and ran out. We all knew some- thing was up but had to wait until we showed up for French class with Mr. Aron- son. All of us -- teachers and students -- appeared dazed for the rest of the school day. Back then, I was a news- paper boy at Boston City Hos- pital. Editions of all three Boston newspapers, Boston Globe, Boston Herald and Record-American kept getting printed. There was no Inter- net, no email, no facebook, no nothing but radio, TV and newsprint. I never sold more newspapers in one day in my life before or since. Most of us young and old alike seemed to be on auto- matic pilot. We were all seemingly in shock and dis- belief. How could this hap- pen in America? Suppertime that night was horrible. Who could digest anything except the news on the TV set? We watched the same thing over and over again. Many thought we were under attack by the Russians. It seemed like a terrible movie being played out and we were all bit actors in this show. I also remember that weekend from hell and wit- nessed live on TV with my family the live killing of alleged assassin Lee Harvey Oswald by Jack Ruby in the basement of the Dallas police headquarters. After watching that on TV my father called his niece in Somerville and asked if we could come over and visit and share the grief with other members of the family. I do not remember taking the train to Sullivan Square from Dudley Station, but I do re- member my mother, father, brother and cousins and I all just crying over this whole ugly chapter in American history being played out in front of our eyes. I also remember President Kennedy's funeral a few days later as the national grief just continued to the point most people just wanted to scream. The following week was (Continued on Page 12) Tis The Season/H=/H=/H=/ Merry Christmas St. Agrippina DiMineo Benefit Society 19 th Annual Christmas Program for North End Children Only SANTA CLAUS IS COMING WITH GIFTS FOR ALL THE NICE BOYS & GIRLS. on Sunday, December 8th from 12:00 to 2:00 pm at St. Agrippina's Chapel at 459 Hanover Street - -- 617 * All who wish to attend please call -363"2678 between November 18 and December 1st. To confirm you must supply your child's name, age, gender, addresis and phone number so that we can report to Santa's elves. * Please, you must confirm no later than Decemb" 1st. All children 10 and under will receive a picture with Santa and a gift. CKildren must be present & accompanied by an adult.Also: Face Painting, Balloons, Characters, Gift Bags. Please Bring a Camera! * Saint Agrippina's Christmas Program is for North End Residents Only. Don't Seearg "Santa C/aus" "VIVA ST. AGRIPPINA" JUST A MERRY GOOD TIME " God B/ess Amera