St. Joseph Day Pastries

Yesterday, March 19th, was St.Joseph Day. My sister bought two special pastries at Pasticerria Rocco on Bleecker Street. On the left is Sfingi On the right is Zeppole, baked to honor the occasion. “St. Joseph’s Pastries or Zeppole di San Giuseppe are traditional cream filled pastries from Campagna region of Italy.” -Click for recipe from Italian Recipe Book.

From Rocco’s in New York City photographed by my sister

Nine years ago I photographed Carmela at La Tavola in Pittsburgh. These are all the breads she baked for St. Joseph Day. Here’s that post

The 24 foot tall St Joseph the Worker statue is still in a church parking lot in Homestead. Here’s that story from ten years ago. I revisited a couple weeks ago to see if he was still there. He is.

Bread Making- Guest Blog

Kristin sent these photos of her husband  making bread.
Rick is really good at bread making.  
He’s okay with the photos being posted. 

I added the first photo of my grandmother’s ode to bread and the last photo of Rick kneading his famous and delicious bread in 2016. 

This is a photo of my grandmothers recipe box. there’s a is a poem about bread, glued in the lid. Ella Beyer was my godmother and I was given Ella as my middle name .

A clip of Rick kneading bread from a video I took in 2016

 

Babka or Paska for Easter

This loaf was purchased at Weiland's Market in Clintonville Ohio
Babka or Paksa.  That's what's on the Reinecker's Bakery label.

Babka 

“the Polish and Belarusian noun babka and the Belarusian,Ukrainian, Macedonian, Bulgarian and Russian baba means “grandmother” or “old woman”, and as applied to the pastry probably refer to its shape, a tall cylinder, sometimes with corrugations resembling a skirt’s pleats.[1]

or Paska.

“Paska breads are a traditional element in the easter holidays of Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, Armenia, Romania, Moldova, Georgia and parts of Bulgaria” 

“Paska is made with milk, butter, eggs, sugar, except in Romania, where the recipe most commonly includes sweet cream, cottage cheese and/or sour cream with eggs, sugar, raisins and rum.  An egg and water mixture is used as a glaze.”

 

I can tell you that it tasted delicious.  It is said to have a Brioche-like quality and there is a richness due to those moist golden raisins and the bread has just a hit of sweetness.  Add a little butter.  Mmmmm.

Here is a recipe from the Brown Eyed Baker for Paska Easter Bread and it has FIVE egg yolks.

Here is a recipe for Polish Babka Easter Bread from King Arthur’s Flour with three whole eggs.

 

Pita Breadmaking at Pitaland Guest Blog

A couple of dear friends flew from Florida to Pittsburgh to see my art show and attend the closing reception. They’d gone online at home and arranged to go on a walking food tour of the Pittsburgh neighborhood, Brookline.

Yesterday, Shuey sent me the photos and captions. They really enjoyed the ‘Burgh Bits and Bites tour. There are tours in other neighborhoods,the Strip District, Bloomfield and Shadyside. In fact, two were already booked up and so they chose Brookline.

Shuey made it easy for me by numbering the photos and text.

Pitaland in Brookline.  #1

I’m sending individual pics to tell the story of how pita bread is made.  First the secret recipe dough is made fresh, formed into a biscuit of dough and comes out here where it makes a left turn and heads into a machine that flattens it out.

Pitaland in Brookline.  #2

After it’s flattened into a super thin pancake it makes a few turns and heads into the oven.

Pitaland in Brookline.  #3

In the oven for 22 seconds at 1200 degrees.  They are so thin entering the oven that I couldn’t even see them until about half way through they just materialize out of thin air in a second . . . like magic!  Out of the oven they continue their journey cooling off.

Pitaland in Brookline.  #4

The cooled pita breads drop off the conveyer onto a table where they are manually deflated and stacked then handed off to another worker who bags them up for shipment to stores in 14 states.

Pitaland in Brookline.  #5

This is Joe Cuchines, owner of Pitaland and two of his employees.  He came to America with 1 dollar in his pocket and . . . he’ll tell his story best.  

Pitaland History

Thank you Shuey for such a great guest blog. I’m going to have to take the tour.

Shuey was a guest blogger with his fabulous Barred Owl Photo in 2012 https://rutheh.com/2012/03/12/barred-owl-niceville-florida-guest-post/

Light Caught in a Pyrex Bowl

When I sat at the dining room table and looked into the kitchen, I saw the yellow bowl with the light shining through it. Right after I took this picture, the sun disappeared and it was a regular old Pyrex bowl. This is a bowl like the one my mother stirred her whole wheat bread dough, covered with a tea towel, let it rise. Large yellow Pyrex bowl on kitchen table

vintage Pyrex large Yellow bowl with sunlight

 

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