The Grapevine: Thanksgiving to Give Way to Making of Pita Piatas - a Sure Sign Christmas Season at Hand

By Rosalyn Queen on November 24, 2022 via

When approaching you friends or neighbors home and the smell of raisins, nuts, orange peel, cinnamon and wine surrounds your smell, then you know Christmas is near and the season for Pita Piata has arrived.
We all know that this is the Italian version of the fruit cake.  Although it is popular all over Italy it is most common in the southern part of Italy.  It is very popular in the Clarksburg and Bridgeport area and many churches use it as a fundraiser.  This is all well and good and offers the opportunity to enjoy this great Italian desert.
You will find that most Italian families use the making of Pita Piata as a time to get together and an extension of family customs.  Most families will gather after Thanksgiving to start the ritual of the making of Pitas.
Generally this will take place at Nona's house or at one of the oldest sisters house. By the time everyone gathers most of the ingredients have been purchased and the raisins and nut mixture is ready and has been seasoning for several days. 
The first part is to mix the dough so that it can raise before the rolling starts. While everyone is waiting, the coffee pot is put on and hot chocolate is made for the younger generation. Someone will have shown up with doughnuts.   
By the time this is over and everyone is caught up on the kids' projects and their wish list for Christmas, the dough is ready.  Everyone is assigned their part; two will roll the dough, two will spread the nut mixture and prepare for the pans, and two will fasten with the toothpick.
Some aunt will be teaching the younger girls how to measure, cut, and place the paper in the pans. If making 10 pounds of flour, this will take about three hours. The baking will take longer and while the young ones are making their own mini pita out of the left over dough, lunch is being prepared.  Generally it will be salami sandwiches with cheese and peppers.
The last part to the pitas is soaking them with honey as soon as they come out of the oven and are hot. The toothpicks must be pulled out while the pitas are hot. The pitas must cool before they can be wrapped.
Now this is the beginning and end of a custom. The young kids will talk about this forever and share their memories with their friends. It is time for you to establish your family customs as memories that will be cherished.
The PWA will be serving free lunch to those in need.  Call 304-624-6881 for information.
By the way the PWA will be selling pitas on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. They are $10 and will be seated on a Fiesta luncheon plate.  Since there is a limited supply, orders should be placed. Fiesta has donated the plates to the PWA.
There is no question that winter is here. I hope you all have been vaccinated for the flu. Reports are that it is going to be bad. Take care and until next week “Now You Have Heard It Through The Grapevine.”

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