From the Presidents Desk
Brothers and sisters,
It's with mixed feelings and a degree of sadness that I write this final letter to kick off the April monthly newsletter, my 144th in all. The years have flown by too quickly. As I step down I do so with confidence because I know Dan Squeri will do an outstanding job as your next president in keeping the lodge alive and in growing the membership.
Our lodge's April meeting was to be one for the installation of officers but there is one small problem and it is the fact the Grand Lodge demands a FULL council of officers before proceeding and we still have one position that has not been confirmed, financial secretary. While we have a possible candidate who is not now a member, we can't go forward until she is installed and confirmed and will be in attendance at the meeting as required. With that in mind I have petitioned the Grand Lodge to allow us to postone our installation of officers meeting until May! My request has been granted!
NOTE: ALL FUTURE MEETINGS WILL BE HELD ON 3RD THURSDAYS!
As a result, our April meeting will be of the usual nature and discuss any pending issues we may have. Since Dan will not have been sworn in as yet, I will not be available for several weeks, and Pat Moreno is unavailable, one of our other officers will be called upon to run the meeting.
I am pleased that we have all finally come together in an effort to save our lodge and that we have future members in the pipeline. A change of leadership is always a good thing for any organization and I look forward to our lodge growing again as we did when I first took over many years ago.
In closing this note I wish to extend to all our members my personal feelings in getting to know all of you and to nurture so many good and lasting friendships. Each and every one of you made my life richer through your support and friendship and I enjoyed every meeting or function with you over the past several years. The years have been very rewarding. Thank you!
I hope everyone can attend the next meeting on Thursday, April 20th at 7:00! By then, perhaps, if we're lucky, great spring weather will be with us and everyone will be able to attend. No matter the agenda, it’s ALWAYS a good night out to enjoy the company of our fellow lodge members in an atmosphere of friendship.
President, Burlington Sons of Italy Lodge 2223
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
The BSOI Newsletter is published monthly from September through June. Newsletter topics will include items of interest to members, as well as occasional local/general news and information.
If there is something you would like to see in the Newsletter, please notify:
Deborah Squeri - Dsqueri@yahoo.com
New Lodge Officers
President: Dan Squeri
Vice President: Pat Moreno
Treasurer: Ann McGowan Financial Secretary: (TBD)
Recording Secretary: Lola Lombardo
Orator: Marie Patrick
Past President: Don McGowan
Trustees: Toni Faria
Master of Ceremonies:
Mistress of Ceremonies:
Sergeant of Arms:
Articles Of Interest
The following is a web article written by Catherine Edwards for www.localit.com
Six unmistakable signs that spring has
Wildflowers along the Amalfi Coast. Photo: Gene/Flickr
March 20th is officially the first day of spring - but what does the new season typically bring to Italy? Expect to see delicious food at your local market, foreigners shedding layers of clothing while Italians merely reach for their sunglasses, and a healthy dose of quirky local festivals. Here are six tell-tale signs of an Italian spring.
1. The clothing
We're being deliberately vague here, because choice of springwear often depends on whether or not you're a native. Italians tend to dress for the season, not the weather, so late March means swapping black and navy for white and pastel hues, and shedding the winter coat, while holding off from raiding the summer wardrobe.
Among expat communities, Brits and others from cooler climes show no such restraint, often opting for sandals and shorts as soon as the temperatures reach double digits.
According to reader Rochelle Ferreri, you know spring has reached Italy "when us British expats start wearing flip flops... to the Italians' horror!"
2. The animals
Plenty of readers said the sounds and sights of the animal kingdom were a tell-tale sign of Italian spring.
"The sound of hundreds of bees on our blossom tree," said Janice Mitchell, when we asked what were the surest signs of the new season's arrival.
"Battling against ticks on the dogs!" was another suggestion.
You can also expect to start seeing wall lizards - the small reptiles that come out of hibernation around this time of year and love to sun themselves in gardens, rocks, and Roman ruins. And look out for birds and baby farm animals too!
Photo: Andrew and Annemarie/Flickr
3. The flowers
If you visit Italy in the spring months, you'll see it in full bloom. Take a trip to your local garden, park, or flower market to take in the colours and scents of spring, from bluebells to crocuses, poppies to magnolia.
But there's no need to feel left out if you live in a city either. Most of Italy's urban centres can boast plenty of green space - which in the springtime turns red, yellow, pink and blue with wildflowers.
In Rome, the Spanish Steps in the very centre of the city are adorned with pink azaleas for one month each spring (not to mention the capital's Orange Garden and Rose Garden, both well worth visiting). And this year, for the first time, a huge tulip field has been opened just outside Milan, where you can pick the flowers for yourself.
4. The food
Watch out for the three 'a's of springtime cuisine: Artichokes, asparagus, and agnello (spring lamb - OK, we've cheated a bit using the Italian for that one). Each can be prepared a myriad of ways, with every restaurant and nonna swearing that theirs is the best, so try as many varieties as possible.
And perhaps most excitingly, after a winter of hibernation, the gelato shops start opening up once again.
5. The festivals
Carnival may be over, but there are plenty more opportunities to celebrate up and down the country. In April there's the anniversary of the founding of Rome, then Liberation Day on the 25th, and not forgetting the Easter weekend - what's more, most towns and villages will have their own traditional feste too.
For those who were disappointed at the lack of fuss over Valentine's Day, you could always check out the Festa di San Marco in Venice on April 25th. It's also called the Blooming Rose Festival and is known as a day to celebrate love and romance.
And then there are the quirky options to look out for: what about heading to the Snake-Handlers' Festival on the first Thursday of May in Abruzzo, or the annual Frog Race just after Easter in Le Marche?
Photo: Christiano Cani/Flickr
6. The weather
The arrival of spring means more daylight, warmer weather, and less rainfall. Time for long evening strolls, outdoor dining, and perhaps even a swim if you live by the water.
It's also the perfect season to visit the country's lakes and beaches - just before the hordes of tourists descend, but while the locals still think it's too cold for sunbathing.
But be warned - Italian weather can be variable and spring still sees rain and even snow, so you might want to take your umbrella out as well as your sunglasses.
An easy-to-prepare ricotta-based dessert, with delicate, savory flavor.
FOR SHORT CRUST PASTRY
· ⅝ lb all-purpose flour
· 5 oz sugar
· 5 oz butter
· 2 egg yolks
· 1 egg, whole
· salt to taste
· ½ lemon zest, grated
· 1 lb cow's ricotta cheese, fresh
· ½ lb sugar
· 1 ¾ oz chocolate
· 1 egg
· 2 egg yolks
· 1 pinch cinnamon
· 3 ½ oz mixed candied fruit
· skin of 1/2 a lemon and 1/2 an orange, grated
· 1 half cup Rum
· 1 egg, for brushin
With the flour, butter and eggs,
prepare a short crust pastry, and add a pinch of salt and the grated rind of
half a lemon.
Leave to rest for a while wrapped in aluminum foil.
In a bowl, prepare a mixture containing the sieved Ricotta, sugar, two yolks and a whole egg, the grated rind of half a lemon and an orange, a pinch of cinnamon and a small glass of rum, and stir until it forms a homogeneous mixture.
Roll out part of the short crust
pastry on the buttered base of a round oven-dish, letting the edges come over
the rim and pour in the Ricotta mixture in an even layer.
With the remaining dough prepare the strips to form a circular edge around the outside and a grid over the Ricotta.
Brush these strips with the beaten egg and bake in a moderate oven (350°F) until the strips are golden and crunchy.
Allow to cool and before serving dust with vanilla sugar.
It is not surprising, therefore, that there are many recipes calling for ricotta in various ancient books, including the recipe for this tart, created by Francesco Palma. He refers to it as “pizza di ricotta” on page 75 of Il principe dei cuochi, o la vera cucina napolitana (The Prince of Cooks, or the True Neapolitan Cuisine), 1881.
It is said that ricotta tart was Alberto Sordi’s, a famous Italian actor, favorite dessert?
These “little ears” perfectly scoop mouthfuls of tender green peas and crispy pancetta in each bite. You can substitute ricotta in place of the cream if you want to lighten up on the calories.
· 1/2 pound Pancetta, cut 1/4-inch thick, then cubed into small pieces
· 4 tablespoons butter
· 1 small white onion, finely diced
· 2 tablespoons chicken stock or water
· 1 cup light cream
· 2 cups frozen peas, thawed
· 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese
· Salt and pepper to taste
1. Bring a large pot of water salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package instructions.
2. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, heat the olive oil and garlic on a medium setting. Add the pancetta to the pan and cook until golden brown. Transfer pancetta to a dish and set aside.
3. In the same pan, melt butter. Add onions and cook until soft and translucent. Add chicken stock and season with salt and pepper. Stir in pancetta and cook for 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low and add cream. Simmer for 5 minutes until slightly thickened.
4. Add the hot cooked pasta to the pan. Mix well to coat.. Stir in the peas and cheese.
5. Serve immediately.
LAUGH OUT LOUD!!
The Ninth Hole
One day three golfers were playing a round of golf. They were on the ninth hole near the highway getting ready to tee off. One of the golfers had his club in mid swing when he noticed a funeral procession coming up the highway. He lowered his club and took off his hat as he stood there reverently waiting for it to pass. The other two golfers followed suit and all three stood quietly until the last car was out of sight. The first golfer then made a beautiful drive right down the middle of the fairway. "You know Jack?" One of the other golfers said. "That was really nice the way you waited for that funeral procession to pass." Well I felt it was the least I could do." Jack responded. "After all she did give me 30 of the best years of her life.".”
A Highway patrolman pulled
alongside a speeding car on the freeway.
Glancing at the car, he was astounded
to see that the blonde behind the wheel was knitting!
Realizing that she was oblivious
his flashing lights and siren, the trooper cranked down his window,
turned on his bullhorn and yelled, “PULL OVER!”
the blonde yelled back, “IT'S A SCARF!”
Submitted by Don McGowan
The Break Out
A man escaped jail by digging a hole from his jail cell to the outside world. When finally his work was done, he emerged in the middle of a preschool playground. "I'm free, I'm free!" he shouted.
"So what," said a little girl. "I'm four."
April Baking Volunteers:
The following people have very graciously volunteered to bring baked goods to the April meeting:
Thank you in advance to these fantastic volunteers! Your efforts are greatly appreciated by all!!
If you have anything exciting news you would like to share with the members of the Burlington Son's of Italy, please let is know and we will post it here. It can be anything from engagements, weddings, births, etc.
Just for Fun