by JoAnn Serpico
I just arrived home from a beautiful luncheon hosted by the Sicilian American Cultural Association. Judge Orlando and Rosemary Ragano were honored for all of their contributions to that organization and to the entire Italian-American community.
I had the pleasure of sitting next to Donna Amari, wife of Leonard Amari, president of John Marshall Law School. Donna told me that, while she was shopping recently at Macy’s in Oakbrook, she met a lady who was talking about making Sicilian cookies, and Donna, of course, shares that interest. I reminded Donna about the Joint Civic Committee annual Cookie Walk, and Donna reminded me that she and her daughter Catherine Amari, immediate past president of the Justinian Society of Lawyers, attend the cookie walk every year. “You certainly do,” I responded, and we are very proud of that.
At the Cookie Walk, everyone is asked to bring two batches of Italian cookies with their recipe. You will go home with an equal amount of assorted cookies made by those attending. After the Cookie Walk, all participants will receive a free recipe book of all cookies from this 2012 walk. If you want recipe books from past years, they will be available for $5.
This event is the passionate idea of Enza Raineri, who is determined to ensure her daughter, and all of our daughters and families, have the recipes for the traditional holiday cookies that our mothers and grandmothers made when they arrived here from Italy.
So far, the Sicilians are leading with their cuccidati recipe. I am Calabresi, but in six years, I have not been able to have some Calabresi bakers come forward with their recipes for scalille (egg cookies) and turdilli (wine cookies). We need recipes from every region. No one has made strufoli (honey clusters) yet. And we also need recipes for torrone (nougat bars) as well as panettone (Christmas sweet bread).
I know some of these are readily available in the Italian grocery stores, but we need to know how our families made them so we can make them ourselves.
The Cookie Walk takes place at noon on Sunday, Nov. 18, at Villa Brunetti, 9755 W. Grand Ave., in Franklin Park.
Our afternoon starts with a traditional Sunday dinner of foccacia, rigatoni, farfalle, meatballs, bracciole, salad, lemon ice, coffee, tea and soda. There is a cash bar, with red and white wine on the tables. The cost is $25 for adults and $15 for children 3 to 10.
We want the children to be part of this, so bring them with for our new holiday tradition of making cookies and memories for all.
Please join us!