Friday, November 29, 2013

Christmas Schkatalata in Italian Brooklyn

From Regina Magazine, which is well done and free, comes this beautiful article by Camille Loccisano. 

"There’s no getting around it. As an Italian-American, my holidays have always included great food, especially at Christmas.

I grew up in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn — a middle-class neighborhood which nestles like a small jewel under the Verrazano Bridge. In the 1960’s, 70’s and 80’s, it was home to many Italian and Irish immigrant families, and offered a harmonious life for one and all in our Catholic community.

At St. Patrick’s Grammar School, I can still recall the month-long Advent season, with the frigid December days leading up to the breathless excitement of Christmas Eve. In every comforting classroom at St. Patrick’s, the polished oak floors were warm beneath our feet as Sister Muriel Agnes taught us about the Advent wreath. My family attended 9 a.m. Mass every Sunday morning, and I sang in the choir – ancient Catholic carols about the birth of our Savior.

At home, there was a whirl of tremendous energy as we prepared for Christmas, centering on the person of Grandma Sue. When I was growing up, she lived in the ground-floor apartment of my parents’ home. Though she was the perfect picture of an old-fashioned Italian grandmother, Grandma Sue was not actually my grandmother. Nonetheless, she was like a grandma to me in every sense of the word."

To find out what Schkatalata is, click here to read the whole article.

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