"A family tree can wither if nobody tends its roots."

Aug29th2014

“C” Is For Ciolli

by  Phyllis Zeck

Pizzelle Recipe Card FBarbara has graceously shared Charles Ciolli’s Pizzelle pastry recipe.  The recipe is not Charles’ original recipe, but it’s pretty close.  Barbara made the cookies this year at Easter. Carmino (Charles) Ciolli is Barbara’s grandfather and is the brother of my great grandmother Elvira.  You can read a blog post about Charles by clicking here or by clicking on his name in the category section on the right side of the page.  Barbara sent me the photo below of Charles’ press and it’s handle.  The press was used over an open flame on a gas stove.  Barbara said “it weighs a ton and dates back to 1923″.  Click on recipe card above or the photo below to see enlargements.

Press_Final_edited-1The following is some information I found about these cookies. Pizzelle pastries were originally made in Ortona, in the Abruzzo region of south central Italy.  The name comes from the Italian word for “round” and “flat”. The Pizzelle iron was held by hand over a hot burner on the stove top.  The iron stamps a snowflake pattern onto both sides of the thin golden brown cookie.  Pizzelle are popular during Christmas and Easter and are often found at Italian weddings.  It is also common for two pizzelle’s to be sandwiched with cannoli cream (ricotta blended with sugar) or hazelnut spread.  Pizzelle can also be rolled while still warm using a wooden dowel to create cannoli shells.

So I ordered a Pizzelle Press.  It does not have my initials in it and does not weight a ton and it plugs into the wall.  I bought it on Amazon.com.  Yesterday Ashley, Abby, and I made our own Pizzelle cookie memories and started a new tradition.  Next up – Ashley wants to make Cannolis.

Barbara also shared photos of the Lamb cake that she made at Easter.  The mold is her mother’s and is at least 60 years old.  I love that Barbara continues these family memories with her children and grandchildren.  Thank you for sharing with us Barb!

 
 

Aug21st2014

Turning Family Recipes into Memories

by  Phyllis Zeck

Gilbert Del Principe

My Grandfather Gilbert

My cousin Gina emailed me a few days ago to see if I had her mother’s (my Aunt Phyllis’) recipe for Pasta Fagioli. I told her that I didn’t and she replied that it made her sad that the recipe is now lost forever. That is sad!

Auntie Phyllis told me that she remembered visiting her Grandmother Elvira as a young child. She’d sit in the kitchen and watch Elvira cook.  Auntie Phyl said her grandmother knew very little English. Auntie told me “I didn’t speak much Italian, but it didn’t matter, we understood each other perfectly”.

So come on cousins, let’s share some recipes. Email me your favorite family recipe and I will copy and paste it into a blog post. Let’s spice up our heritage by turning delicious family recipes into memories.

 
 

Jun7th2014

Who Do You Think You Are?

by  Phyllis Zeck

WDYTYA
One of my favorite summer shows returns for a 5th season on TLC Wednesday July 23rd!  This season the series spotlights Valerie Bertinelli, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Lauren Graham, Kelsey Grammar, Rachel McAdams, and Cynthia Nixon.

Check out the new season highlights at TLC with Cynthia Nixon by clicking here.

 

 
 

Jun1st2014

Ancestors Lost and Found

by  Phyllis Zeck

It sure makes me happy when I get a message on this website from a “new” relative. Kathy posted the following comment “I am the granddaughter of Emil and Rose Del Principe and the daughter of their daughter Eleanore.” Kathy told me that she remembers Uncle Gilbert (my grandfather).  Kathy has generously shared some memories and some wonderful family photos.  Thank you Kathy for stories and photos of Emil and Rose and their descendants that have been missing from our lives for many years!

Amelio (Emil) was the third son born in 1891 to Pietro and Elvira Del Principe. Emil immigrated from Pescasseroli, Italy with Elvira and his two older brothers Antonio and Giuseppe aboard the ship The Wester and arrived in the United States on August 21, 1893.

Emil and Rose 1943

Emil and Rose 1943

Emil and his wife Rose Solomon had five children: Bernie, Anne, Nora Filomena (born in 1915, she survived only 12 days), William, and Eleanore.  Click here for Bernard Del Principe’s Birth Record 14 Nov 1911.  Emil worked for the Sears company in downtown Chicago and passed away in 1948.  

The photo below is Kathy in front of the music store at 5516 W. North Ave. Rose lived above the store with daughter Annie and her husband Henry after Emil passed away.  

Kathy (Emil & Rose's granddaughter)

Kathy (Emil & Rose’s granddaughter)

Next door at 5518 W North Ave was the Chicago Public Library. Kathy lived in the back apartment with her sister Emilia (CeeCee) and parents, Eleanore (Emil’s daughter) and Ted until she married in 1966. Emil’s son William and spouse Caroline lived in the front apartment.

Emil’s son Bernie and wife Florence lived across the street at 5517 W North Ave with their 3 children Bernie (Skip), Patricia, and Rosemary. Once again you can see that back in the “olden” days families did not move far away from each other which is one of the reasons I love my large Italian family!


Click on the photos below to enlarge them. 

 

 
 

May4th2014

My DNA – Add A Large Splash of Scandinavia

by  Phyllis Zeck

Two weeks ago I received my Ancestry.com DNA results and the breakdown really surprised me.  Click on the photos below to see a larger view of the images.  My approximate lineage is: Scandinavia 33%, Italy/Greece 25% (no surprise here), Great Britain 18%, Iberian Peninsula 9%, Ireland 5%, and West Asia 9%. I am stumped by these results.  If any of my cousins out there know something about my Scandinavian ancestors please send me an email ASAP.

 

DNA Results 2

 

My Great Britain DNA extends to Germany.  My mother’s mother Bertha Marie Christina Reher was born in Hamburg, Germany in 1901.  I believe Bertha’s parents Caroline and August were also born in Germany.  

When I expand on each region I get a closer look at the countries of my ethnicity.  Scandinavia includes mostly Denmark, Norway and Sweden. Hamburg is a 3 1/2 hour drive from Denmark.  Perhaps Bertha’s grandparents were born in Scandinavia. 

The Iberian Peninsula region is mostly Spain and southern France.  West Asia includes Turkey, Iraq, and Iran.   Below is a detailed photo of my Italian ethnicity and how my DNA compares to a typical person native to the Italy/Greece region.

 

DNA Italy

 

I keep saying this, but I’ve got to start digging into my father’s lineage.  After seeing the results of my DNA breakdown I wonder if his ancestors were Scandinavian.  My father’s mother was Grace M. Norder, born in Monroe Wisconsin. Grace’s father Edwin C Norder (born in 1880) and Grace’s mother Tilly (born in 1879) were born in Wisconsin. According to the 1910 census Edwin’s parents were born in the U.S. but Tilly’s father was born in Germany, her mother was born in New York.  My father’s father was Frank Winike.  I know nothing about him or his ancestors.  Maybe they were born in the Scandinavian countries.

Along with my ethnicity chart came a very, very long list of 3rd, 4th, and distant cousin matches.  The research never ends…