Monthly Archives: April 2014

Colaianni Ravioli: an Italian family’s Easter tradition

Like the Feast of the Seven Fishes, Easter also has some unique recipes and traditions that have migrated from Italy, and although we don’t have a festival dedicated to them, they remain a part of our observation of the holiday every year, as they do with Italian-American families across the country. I make an effort every Easter to prepare something that reflects my family’s Italian heritage and through the years have enjoyed making, among other things, Pizza Rustica, Ricotta Pie, and Manicotti.

But ultimately I always come back to the two dishes that I grew up with: Easter Bread and Veal Ravioli. In a few days my kitchen will be filled with colorful dyed Easter eggs ready to braid into warm yeasty dough that will bake into delicious Easter Bread. The workflow that results in the Veal Ravioli will represent an ever larger investment of time and labor (and money – veal is definitely not cheap these days). These two recipes have been prepared for generations in my Italian American family. I love to make them and feel a deep responsibility to preserve them for the future generations.


Changing Appalachia: From Custom to Cutting Edge

Appalachia, by many accounts, seems to be disappearing or vanishing. These accounts, often accompanied by photographs of abandoned, decaying buildings, lament the loss of community places and of a traditional way of life in the mountains. While the nostalgic images and lamentations are often moving and valid, we argue for a more balanced view of Appalachia, one that includes its vital and dynamic elements—honoring tradition, yet taking it in imaginative new directions.


Sharpsburg, KY renovates dilapidated WPA gym, reopens it as community center

The following piece by Cheryl Truman ran April 14 in the Lexington Herald-Leader. It is reposted here with permission.   Henrietta Thomas’ brother Clayton Toy was paid 20 cents an hour in 1936 to help build the gymnasium with smoke-colored Bath County sandstone. That’s him, she said, pointing to photos: He’s the one with the […]


New exhibit on Joe Frank Harris, GA’s 78th governor

Georgia’s Bartow History Museum opens a new exhibition in the permanent gallery tomorrow on the life and legacy of Honorable Joe Frank Harris, Georgia’s 78th governor. Born and raised in Bartow County, Harris worked in his family’s business after college and then began a distinguished political career, serving for 18 years in the Georgia House […]


Empress of the Blues

When Bessie Smith sang the blues she meant it. Smith (1894-1937) was the greatest and most influential classic blues singer of the 1920s. Dubbed “The Empress of the Blues,” Smith embodied the blues feeling, while her songs, drawing from her sordid lifestyle, rang true with rural and urban audiences alike. Smith was born on April […]

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