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Why are foodways important?

Foodways is the study of what people eat and why. Why we procure, prepare and serve the food we do has cultural, sociological, geographical, financial and political influences.

 

 

Why is recognition of diverse foodways valuable?

Preserving our past and present for the future by research, documentation and oral histories. It is culinary anthropology on the hoof, paw, root and leaf.

 

 

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Contestant, Wisconsin State Fair, 2013

 

Greater Midwest Foodways Alliance

FAMILY HEIRLOOM RECIPES

 

Wisconsin State Fair

August 4, 2013

 

 

Contestant:

CAPPELLETTIS

(pronounced khap-lay-tees)

Italian origin, meaning "little hat"

Sally Zorko, Greenfield, Wisconsin


 

Our annual family Christmas Day dinner is centered on celebrating the love of family, along with preserving our unique food tradition of Cappellettis and our Italian cultural heritage. This meal of Cappellettis is our most anticipated meal of the year and and has been a family favorite for generations!

 

My Mother, Mary, made pasta every Sunday since she was 12-years-old and was not allowed to go out to play until it was made. She grew up in a traditional Italian family where the food she made was enough to feed a village. When it came to making Cappellettis, Mom didn't have a recipe. We grew up with her making them and when we ourselves had to start making with her when we reached high school age, we had to watch and learn by doing, to know how to make this traditional delight.

 

We'd love to watch her turn the high mound of flour into a "volcano" where she'd put the eggs in the middle to make the foyas (dough). To roll the dough, Mom used a 38" (over 3 feet long) rolling pin. With deft hands, she would roll and wrap the dough around the long pin and then unroll and wrap, roll and wrap and wrap around again and again until it reached the thinness that she desired. To describe in words her skill doesn't do justice to her performance in person. While we never mastered her expert technique with that long rolling pin, we use a regular rolling pin method and not a pasta machine of any sort.

 

Every year, my Mom, two sisters and I would spend 10 to 12 hours at Mom's house, making Cappellettis for Christmas Day. My Mom passed away in May of2000 and we have re-created Mom's recipe from what we've witnessed her do throughout her lifetime. Since then, my sister and I make and cut the dough at my house. While my sister and I take turns making our own foyas and rolling out the dough, my husband, my two (2) children and their spouses join us to fill and make the Cappelletti.

 

It' s our tradition to get together before Christmas and spend an entire day making these. We start at 9:00 a.m. and usually finish around 6:00 p.m., stopping only for lunch. Last year in 2012, we hand-made 1,356 Cappellettis, but have made as many as 2,400 in previous years (we keep a running tally from year to year ). My sister and I take alternating years to make the soup at our houses and serve the dinner. We then cook 600 Cappellettis for our 12 family members who gather for Christmas Day dinner. We divide the remainder between my sister and myself and freeze them so we can make them another time during the year, as a special treat for our families.

 

We absolutely love this family tradition and Cappellettis are our favorite meal!

 

I'm celebrating my 70th birthday this month and I hope my family carries on this made-from ­scratch heirloom recipe for many more years to come!

 

 

Contestant:

CAPPELLETTIS

(pronounced khap-lay-tees)

Italian origin, meaning "little hat"

Sally Zorko, Greenfield, Wisconsin

FILLING:
5-1/2# boneless porkloin
2-1/4# butter, melted
4-1/2 t. fresh grated nutmeg
7 dozen large eggs
2 whole 5# chickens
1-1/2# grated parmesan cheese
3  5# bags of all purpose flour
Remove breasts from chickens. Cut into 1" pieces. Cook in 1 T. vegatable oil until cooked but not browned. Cut porkloin in 1" pieces. Cook in 1 T. vegatable oil until cooked through but not browned. Let both meats cool.
Put through a meat crinder. Mix both meats together in a very large bowl. Add parmesan cheese and nutmeg. Mix until well blended. Add melted butter and mix. Make dough.
DOUGH:
3 cups flour
6 large eggs
Mound flour on board. Make a well. Add 6 beaten eggs. Gently work in flour with a fork until it comes together without breaking wall of flour. With hands, knead until smooth and satiny. Roll to 1/8" and cut with cutter.
Cut dough with 1-3/4" round cutter. Put 1 level t. of meat mixture in center of each circle. Fold the circles over to make half moons. Press edges tightly together to seal. Bring pointed edges together to form little rimmed hats. Gently boil cappelletti in chicken broth for 1/2 hour!
SOUP:
Use the rest of the 2 chickens. Put in very large pot. Add 2 gallons of water. Boil gently. Remove scum. Add 3 stalks of celery, 6 whole carrots, 1 large whole onion, 2 t. dried parsley, 1/4 t. pepper and 5 T. plus 1 t. salt. Cover and simmer 2 hours. Remove chickens and vegetables. Strain. Add cappelletti and simmer 1/2 hour.
NOTE:
You just might get a solid dough one. We like to see who ends up getting one with no filling. If that happens, please try again.