January 2017 - NEWSLETTER










Next Meeting Date: January 17,  2017

Meeting Location: Burlington Senior Center 61 Center Street Burlington
3rd Tuesday of the Month @
7:00 PM

Address: P.O. Box 193, Burlington, Ma. 01803

Email:  bsoilodge2223@aol.com  Website: Website: www.burlingtonsonsofitaly.org

News Editor: Deborah Squeri - Dsqueri@yahoo.com











From the Presidents Desk

Happy New Year!


It's 2017 already and another year has gone by.  I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas as we all look forward to a new beginning in 2017.  It's time for us to make those same resolutions we make and break every year but insist on saying “This time we'll keep them.”  Yeah, right....good luck with that!  The road to hell is paved with good intentions!   


Last year at this time we were on the verge of a very mild winter as far as snow is concerned.  So far we're doing well and we had a storm-free December and warm weather.  My lawn never looked so good!  A 'White Christmas' fizzled out!  Can January do the same?


ATTENTION LODGE OFFICERS: Please be reminded that there will be a council meeting on Thursday, January 5th at 6:30 in the library.  It's our semi-annual meeting where we will make plans to set sails for our Burlington Lodge 2223 ship to get on course for either a rescue in 2017 or else to discuss lodge closure in June.  I'm STILL hoping for the former.  Please attend and bring along your ideas.


Here's an idea:  We've not had a lodge social since we had one a few years ago at the Billerica Elks.  Because of our tenuous position as a continuing lodge, would a final dinner/dance such as was our traditional Spring Fling of many years ago be considered?  It's something we should discuss.  Any volunteers?


Meanwhile, as of the first of the new year, our Financial Secretary, Marie Saia will be sending out notices for 2017 dues.  Due to the uncertainty of our future, dues have been set at $20/member which will permit us to be able to pay our Grand Lodge per capita assessment for one half of a year.  Should we be fortunate to find someone to take over as president and keep our lodge alive, we can always come back for the 2nd half of the dues at that point in time.  Let's have faith we will survive!  It's my hope ALL current members will renew their membership and respond right away.  Once again,semi-annual dues are ONLY $20.   


For those who attended our annual Christmas Dinner at Lucia's, a wonderful time was had by all 39 attendees.  For those who chose to go elsewhere or not go at all, you missed an exceptional meal with your fellow members and entertainment by Enzo Amari who had everyone up and dancing wildly!  It was quite a sight to see with so many senior citizens throwing age [ and dignity  :-) ]   to the winds and dancing up a storm to the music, canes and walkers included!  It was wonderful! 


 I've not yet secured a date in 2017 for the second Sunday in December at Lucia's pending status of our lodge.


Our very successful Italian Classes program will soon continue in the new year and the information has been posted on our web site.  Please check it out.  Our registration date is Wednesday, February 1st with classes to start the following week, February 8th.  Remember the classes are 12 weeks per semester and the fee is ONLY $120.  We had to cancel Beginner Classes last semester due to lack of enrollments. 



Won't you help find new students which are essential to provide 'feeder' students to intermediate and advanced levels?. We offer classes for ALL levels of expertise but depend on NEW students every semester.  If you know of anyone who may be interested in learning Italian, please make them aware of our program now.  Remember, we depend on the Italian Class tuitions for a very large and significant source of lodge revenue to keep us going, still a possibility.  I've not yet given up!


The Wilmington Lodge will be holding its annual comedy night on the first Friday of February once again at the Tewksbury/Wilmington Elks in Tewksbury (same place as last year). Doors open at 8PM and Show starts at 9PM. Tickets are the same as last year, $20/pp. It's always a fun evening and a very inexpensive one. I have 10 tickets for those who raised their hands at the last meeting.  If interested, let me know ASAP because they won't be available within another week or so.  Those planning to attend are invited to bring in their favorite food(s) for their table. There will also be a raffle, silent auction and cash bar. Everything will be set up the same as in the past with the usual three comedians and a host.  Ifor those whose hands were raised at the December meeting, please bring a check to our January meeting made payable to Burlington Sons of Italy.  As always, once checks are deposited there can be no refunds.


I hope to see everyone at our next meeting on Tuesday, January 17th at 7:00! So far, and my fingers are crossed, except for some rain and some predicted cold temperatures, I’m hopeful our luck will hold out with the weather on our meeting dates 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


I wish everyone a Happy, Healthy, Prosperous New Year!


Don McGowan

President, Burlington Sons of Italy Lodge 2223


Articles Of Interest

Da Vinci – The GeniusTemporary Exhibit - On Exhibit Through
February 26, 2017 Da Vinci – The Genius

As noted in last months newsletter the Leonardo da Vinci exhibition is still available for viewing through February 26, 2017 at the Museum of Science.




New Year's Celebrations and Events in Italy

La Festa di San Silvestro and Il Capodanno
By Martha Bakerjian

Italy Travel Expert


Taken from www.goitaly.com


IMG_3210.JPG - photo by The Roman Guy, used by permission

New Year's Eve at the Colosseum, Rome photo by The Roman Guy,


Italians love festivals and the ending of the old year and beginning of the new year, il capodanno, is a great time to celebrate in Italy.

New Year's Eve in Italy - La Festa
di San Silvestro

La Festa di San Silvestro is celebrated December 31 on New Year's Eve. As with most Italian festivals, food plays a major role. Families and friends get together for a huge feast.

The star of the dinner is lentils, symbolizing money and good fortune for the coming year. Traditionally, the dinner in many parts of Italy also includes a cotechino, a large spiced sausage, or a zampone, stuffed pig's trotter. The pork symbolizes the richness of life in the coming year.

Fireworks and Dancing

Huge midnight fireworks displays celebrate the coming of the new year. Most towns have public displays in a central square but private parties will also include firecrackers or sparklers, too, and will continue for a long time. Naples is known for having one of the best and biggest New Year's fireworks displays in Italy. Some smaller towns build a bonfire in the central square where villagers will congregate into the early morning. If you're near the coast, lake, or river you will hear boats and ships blowing their horns.

Dancing is also popular and many towns have public music and dancing before the fireworks. Rome, Milan, Bologna, Palermo and Naples put on huge popular outdoor shows with pop and rock bands. These events can sometimes be seen on television, too.

More New Year's Eve Traditions in Italy

Guests of private or public parties are sometimes entertained with a game called "Tombola", similar to Bingo.

The New Year is also celebrated with spumante or prosecco, Italian sparkling wine. New Years parties, whether public or private, will often last until sunrise in order to watch the first sunrise of the newborn year.

An old custom that is still followed in some places, especially in the south, is throwing your old things out the window to symbolize your readiness to accept the New Year. So, keep an eye out for falling objects if you're walking around near midnight!

Oh, one more thing, don't forget to wear your red underwear to ring in the new year! They say it'll bring you luck in the coming year


casina_fuochi.jpg - photo credit: Casina ValadierFireworks at Casina Valadier in Rome photo credit: Casina Valadier

New Year's Eve sees many festive events throughout Italy but the biggest and most popular are in these Italian cities.

Note about New Year's Eve events in Italy: Major events draw huge crowds. Plan to arrive early or watch from afar. Driving and parking will be difficult (or impossible) in most places so check out public transportation options ahead of time and remember that they'll be crowded, too.


Rome's traditional New Year's Eve celebrations are centered in Piazza del Popolo. Huge crowds celebrate with rock and classical music and dancing and of course, fireworks.

The celebrations last well into the night. On New Year's day (while the adults are sleeping), children will be entertained in the square by performers and acrobats.


Another good place to celebrate is near the Colosseum on Via dei Fori Imperiali where there's live music usually starting around 8PM and midnight fireworks. A new event is a concert held in the Circus Maximus, featuring several popular Italian bands, starting about 9:30. There's usually a classical music concert outdoors on the square in front of the Quirinale, off Via Nazionale, around 11:00 also followed by fireworks at midnight.

For an elegant evening with dinner in a great restaurant, panoramic views of Rome and live jazz, try the beautiful Casina Valadier in a park overlooking the city. Several theaters present symphony or opera on New Year's Ever and Rome nightclubs also have special events.

Next to the church of Santa Maria del Popolo, you can still see the exhibit of traditional nativity scenes (through January 8) from 100 regions of Italy and other countries of the world.


Rimini, on the Adriatic coast, is one of Italy's most popular nightlife spots and a top place to celebrate. Besides parties in numerous nightclubs and bars, Rimini holds a huge New Year's Eve festival in Piazzale Fellini starting at 9:00. There's music, dancing, and entertainment and a spectacular display of fireworks over the sea. The Rimini New Year's Eve festival is usually televised in Italy.

Naples and Capri

Naples is known as having one of the best New Year's Eve fireworks displays. They also have huge outdoor music events, especially in Piazza del Plebiscito in the city center where there are usually classical, rock and traditional music concerts. In some parts of Naples, people still throw their old things out of their windows.

A tradition called Lo Sciuscio originated in Naples. Although it has pretty much died out there, it still exists in some smaller towns nearby. Groups of amateur musicians (now mainly children) go from house to house playing and singing on New Year's Eve. A small gift of money or sweets is given to them to bring good luck in the new year and turning them away may bring bad luck.


On the island of Capri near Naples, local folkloric groups usually perform in the Piazzetta in Capri and Piazza Diaz in Anacapri on January 1.


Bologna traditionally celebrates New Year's Eve with the Fiera del Bue Grasso (fat ox fair). The ox is decorated from horns to tail with flowers and ribbons. The church bells are rung, spectators light candles and of course, fireworks are set off. At the end, a special lottery is held with the winner getting to keep the ox. The procession ends just before midnight in Piazza San Petronio. In Piazza Maggiore there's live music, performances, and a street market. At midnight an effigy of an old man is thrown into a bonfire.



Many restaurants in Venice go all out with huge feasts on New Year's Eve, starting around 9:00 and lasting until midnight. Although expensive, they tend to be very good with many courses and lots of wine. Be sure to make a reservation ahead of time. Many restaurants will be closed on New Year's day, however. You can usually expect pizza places, hotel restaurants, and Chinese restaurants to be open.

St Mark's Square has a huge celebration with music, a giant fireworks display, bellini brindisi (toast), and a huge group kiss at midnight. The group kiss is also held in Piazza Ferretto in Mestre.  New Year's Concert, Concerto di Capodanno, at La Fenice Theater is performed on December 30, December 31, and January 1. Following the December 31 performance (4PM), there's a huge New Year's party starting at 8PM with welcome drinks, dinner, and midnight toast.

On New Year's Day, many bathers take a chilling dip in the waters of Venice's Lido Beach. That's one way to get over your hangover!


Many restaurants in Florence will have extravagant meals, too. Be sure to reserve early. Fireworks will be set off at midnight and a good place to see them would be on one of the bridges on the Arno. Florence usually holds public concerts in Piazza della Signoria and Piazza della Repubblica.


Pisa has music and a good fireworks show over the Arno River in the center of town. Pisa's Verdi Theater usually has both a New Year's Eve and New Year's Day concert.


The city of Turin, in northern Italy's Piedmont region, holds public festivities in Piazza San Carlo which you may recognize from the 2006 Winter Olympics. Live music, DJ music, a parade, and fireworks highlight the evening's events.


Cotechino with Lentils... a New Year's Eve tradition. Cotechino is an Italian fresh pork sausage that has a creamy, mild flavor. It is usually produced in links under a foot long with a diameter of nearly three inches. Clove and nutmeg seasonings give the sausage a unique flavor. You may find this sausage online, or in authentic Italian butchers. - recipe image

Cotechino with Lentils


·  1 Cotechino - about 1 Lb

·  1 large onion (diced)

·  1 carrot (diced)

·  1 stalk celery (diced)

·  1 clove garlic (chopped)

·  2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

·  2 tbsp fresh Italian parsley (chopped)

·  2 cups lentils

·  4 cups chicken or beef broth (recommended) or water

·  Lentil to liquid ratios may vary depending on brand so follow directions on packages

·  To Cook the Cotechino:

·  1 Onion, sliced

·  1 Stalk of celery

·  3 Bay leaves - See more at:




  • In a pot start with olive oil, when hot add onion, carrot, celery and garlic until lightly browned.
  • Add lentils and stir. Cover with broth; bring to a boil, lower heat to simmer and cook until lentils are tender, stirring occasionally.
  • Add fresh parsley and remove from heat. Salt and pepper to taste.
  • Lentils should not be to dry or to soupy.


  • Take the Cotechino and poke with fork.
  • Place  the Cothechino in a pot with in cold water.  Add the onion, clery d bay leaves.
  • Bring to boil, lower to simmer for 45 minutes.
  • Remove the Cothechino and let cool.
  • Slice it  1/2 inch thick and place on top of lentils.

Happy New Year!


- See more at: http://cookingwithnonna.com





Risotto Bianco | Plain White Risotto

taken from papasitalianrecipes.com


In this risotto recipe we are going to show you how to make the deliciously simple risotto bianco, which means “white rice”.  this basically means that it is not tomato based.  This is a good starter risotto if you have never made one and from here you can expand and try different risotto recipes.

Let’s see what we need to make the risotto bianco.


·                     1.1 litres (2 pints) organic stock (chicken, fish or vegetable, as appropriate)

·                     2 tablespoons olive oil

·                     1 large onion

·                     2 cloves of garlic

·                     4 or 5 sticks of celery

·                     400 g risotto rice

·                     2 glasses of dry white wine

·                     black pepper

·                     90 g butter

·                     115 g freshly grated Parmesan cheese

·                     salt



1.              Firstly get a pan and heat up the stock. If you are making the stock yourself then this obviously needs to be done first and you can find out how to make fish stock by checking out our how to page.

2.              Firstly we need to prepare all our vegetables. Slice and dice them all up and then get a saucepan and add in a knob of butter and oil and put on a low heat. 


3.              Add to the saucepan your finely diced celery, onion and garlic. Cook this for about ten minutes or until very soft.

4.              Now we can add in the rice turn up the heat and stir well.

5.              Now add in your white wine and keep stirring.

6.              The smells now will be amazing and when the rice is absorbing the wine and it has reduced slightly we can move onto the next step.

7.              At this point the wine should have been absorbed by the rice and we can now start to ladle in the stock.

8.              Turn the heat right down to simmer and start off just with one and stir it in as you pour. Add in a pinch of salt or two as well.

9.              Keep stirring and add the stock in ladle by ladle and only when it starts to thicken up. This should take around ten to fifteen minutes and if you taste your rice and it still needs a little longer then keep going and if you run out of stock just use some hot water. Remember though that the rice still needs a little bite.

10.          When the risotto rice is ready add in the parmesan cheese and the rest of the butter and stir well. Remove from the heat and sit aside covered with a lid for a few minutes. 

That’s it your risotto is now ready and it is good to eat it as soon as you can

Buon appetito!





Little Johnny and his family were having Sunday dinner at his Grandmother's house.
Everyone was seated around the table as the food was being served. When Little Johnny
received his plate, he started eating right away.

"Johnny! Please wait until we say our prayer." said his mother.


"I don't need to," the boy replied

"Of course, you do." his mother insisted. "We always say a prayer before eating at our house."

"That's at
 our house." Johnny explained. "But this is Grandma's house and she knows how to cook!"


Submitted by Don McGowan



After 37 years of marriage, Jerald dumped his wife for his young secretary.  His new girlfriend demanded that they live in Jerald and Catherine’s multi-million dollar home and since the man’s lawyers were a little better, he prevailed.

He gave Catherine, his now ex-wife, just 3 days to move out. She spent the 1st day packing her belongings into boxes, crates, and suitcases.

On the 2nd day, she had to movers come and collect her things.  On the 3rd day, she sat down for the last time at their beautiful dining room table by candlelight, put on some soft background music, and feasted on a pound of shrimp, a jar of caviar, and a bottle of Chardonnay.

When she had finished, she went into each and every room and stuffed half-eaten shrimp shells dipped in caviar into the hollow of all of the curtain rods. She then cleaned up the kitchen and left.

When the husband returned with his new girlfriend all was bliss for the first few days.  Then slowly the house began to smell. They tried everything – cleaning, mopping, and airing the place out. Vents were checked for dead rodents and carpets were cleaned. Air fresheners were hung everywhere. Exterminators were brought in to set off gas canisters during which they had to move out for a few days. In the end, they even replaced the expensive wool carpeting. NOTHING WORKED!

People stopped coming over to visit. The repairman refused to work in the house., the maid quit. Finally they could not take the stench any longer and decided to move.

A month later even through they had cut their price in half they could not find a buyer for their stinky house.

Word got out and eventually, even the local realtors refused to return their calls. Finally, they had to borrow a huge sum of money from the bank to purchase a new place.

The ex-wife called the man and asked how things were going. He told her the saga of the rotting house. She listened politely and said that she missed her old home terribly and would be willing to reduce her divorce settlement in exchange for getting the house back.

Knowing his ex-wife had no idea how bad the smell was, he agreed on a price that was about 1/10th of what the house had been worth, but only if she were to sign the papers that very day. She agreed and within the hour his lawyers delivered the paperwork.

A week later, the man and his girlfriend stood smiling as they watched the moving company pack everything to take to their new home.



A little old couple walked slowly into McDonald's that cold winter evening. They looked out of place amid the young families and young couples eating there that night. 


Some of the customers looked admiringly at them.  You could tell what the admirers were thinking: "Look, there is a couple who has been through a lot together, probably for 60 years or more!"


The little old man walked right up to the cash register, placed his order with no hesitation and then paid for their meal. The couple took a table near the back wall and started taking food off of the tray. There was one hamburger, one order of french fries and one drink


The little old man unwrapped the plain hamburger and carefully cut it in half.  He placed one half in front of his wife. Then he carefully counted out the french fries, divided them in two piles and neatly placed one pile in front of his wife. He took a sip of the drink, his wife took a sip and then set the cup down between them.


As the man began to eat his few bites of hamburger, the crowd began to get restless. Again you could tell what they were thinking: "That poor old couple.  All they can afford is one meal for the two of them."


As the man began to eat his French fries one young man stood and came over to the old couple's table.  He politely offered to buy another meal for the old couple to eat. The old man replied that they were just fine. They were used to sharing everything.



Then the crowd noticed that the little old lady hadn't eaten a bite. She just sat there watching her husband eat and occasionally taking turns sipping the drink. Again the young man came over and begged them to let him buy them something to eat. The man again explained that no, they were used to sharing everything together.


As the little old man finished eating and was wiping his face neatly with a napkin, the young man could stand it no longer. Again he came over to their table and offered to buy some food. After being politely refused again, he finally asked a question of the little old lady: "Ma'am, why aren't you eating?  You said that you share everything. What is it that you are waiting for?"


She answered, "The teeth."


Submitted by Don McGowan



January Baking Volunteers:

The following people have very graciously volunteered to bring baked goods to the January meeting:



                     Lola Mastracci

                     Lina D'Alleva

                     Joanne Margi


Thank you in advance to these fantastic volunteers! Your efforts are greatly appreciated by all!!



Member Happenings:


December's Christmas dinner At Lucia's in Winchester was enjoyed by all who attended.



Briana Squeri will be running on the team Homes For Our Troops in Jaunary in Disneyworld in Florida.  HFOTS builds mortgage free homes for severely disabled post 9/11 veterans.


We look forward to posting updates in next months newsletter.











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












































Italian Poetry

Times Square

    by Chiarelli Lidia


Times Square

Switch on
switch on once more
lights at Times Square.

Switch on for me
in my last night in
New York.

The hot air in the streets is a gentle cloak
that wraps me up.

Like windmills moving and moving
don’t stop your dance.

Let my eyes get lost
into your
so sweet
so intoxicating.

Times Square (Italian version)

accendetevi ancora una
luci di
Times Square.

Accendetevi per me
in questa ultima sera a
New York.

L’aria calda delle strade è un manto leggero
che mi avvolge.

Come girandole in perenne movimento
non fermate la vostra danza.

Lasciate che i miei occhi
si perdano
nel vostro vortice
e inebriante.

Lidia Chiarelli, Torino Italy

Copyright ©: Lidia Chiarelli



Taken from www.bestpoems.net