My Father’s Easter Tradition #SOL16 Day 25


Today is Good Friday…the day my father insisted on driving up to “the Hill” to buy all the ingredients to make his pizza rustica.  It is a recipe steeped in tradition which is what my father loved about it.  His grandmother would roll out her own dough so every year he did the same.  He spent a LOT of money on the ingredients (much to my practical mother’s chagrin): all sorts of Italian meats and cheeses.  “Why do you do this, Joe?  It’s so expensive and we end up throwing so much away,”  was my mother’s refrain year after year.

He would sing (from Fiddler on the Roof) in reply, “Tradition! Tradition!” He spent so much time and energy making this Easter dish.  I didn’t really care for it so it was not something I looked forward to.  Yet there was a part of me that loved and respected his sentimental side.  He made this dish because it was an integral part of his Easters growing up with his parents and grandparents whom he adored.  He wanted to keep a piece of them with him.  He wanted us to remember where we came from.  And the man loved cheeses and cold cuts more than anyone I’ve ever known.

It is hard to believe he has been gone for a month now.  The reality of it is starting to set in for us all.  There will be no pizza rustica this year.  In fact, we made reservations to go to a restaurant for brunch.  We need to get through the first holiday without him.  But I can smile thinking of his beloved parents and grandparents eating it with their little Giuseppe once again this Easter.




13 thoughts on “My Father’s Easter Tradition #SOL16 Day 25”

  1. This piece tugged at my heart. You did such a beautiful job setting the scene of your father buying the ingredients. I could hear him singing and see his joy as recreated memories as he made the dough. I could see the shake of your mother’s head. And then the end. I was not ready for that. I am so sorry. This piece was a wonderful tribute to your father and the memories he left to you.

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  2. I bet this pizza rustica suddenly begins to taste delicious to you and your siblings. I think that this piece honors your father and his love of traditions well. I think your father must have been quite a character to ring out in tune to your mother’s plea for practicality. Finally, I feel your pain and understand that this will be a tough holiday without Dad. May you all find peace and tranquility.

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    1. Thank you, Maribeth! He was definitely a character. And I’m sure you’re right that I’ll think it’s delicious when my brothers and I carry the torch in the future.

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  3. Well said.. I was the biggest fan of his pizza rustica.

    He is celebrating for the first time with out pain and suffering. It will be difficult but we will get thru it.

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  4. I was also a fan of his Pizza Rustica so I have no idea why mom was throwing so much away. Dad was a big fan of upholding traditions and it served as his connection to the ones he loved on the other side.
    The month since his passing has been a long one to say the least. I simply don’t know how folks deal with this without faith and a very supportive family. I’m lucky enough to have both.
    Happy Easter to you Dad. I love you and miss you every single day. It’s time like these that I’m comforted by the belief your with Nanny and Pop Pop.

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  5. Traditions are important. Even if it’s just the time spent reflecting on the past, the people, the time spent together. The first holiday without a loved one is the hardest. Take comfort in your memories and each other.

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  6. Traditions, what’s a family without them? This first year will be hard when the grief is so raw and close. Being together and sharing memories will be the best remedy. I had no idea pizza rustica looked like that. When I saw your reference to the “the hill” I thought you were in St. Louis, since that is what the Italian section of town is referred to also. Will someone take up the pizza rustico tradition?


  7. That is so cool to learn that St. Louis has an Italian section called “the hill” as well! At some point I’m sure we will carry it on, Elsie. My brother Jay is confident in the kitchen so I’m sure he’ll pick up the torch. I may try my hand at it too since I definitely have my Dad’s sentimental streak.


  8. Those family traditions are the best! I’m sad that you are not able to carry this one on, but I loved your last line. I’m sure they will be having a wonderful one!


  9. Traditions are something to remember especially during times of loss. I’m so sorry about your loss. The firsts are tough. Thank you for allowing us, the readers, a glimpse into your traditions. That pizza sounds so yummy!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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