Friday, November 13, 2015

"Sausage With Peppers & Onions" To Ward Off Evil Spirits For "Friday The 13th"

Today is "Friday the 13th"— what is called the unluckiest day on the calendar. Be careful, don’t take any chances, or walk under a ladder, watch out, it’s a black cat---oh no, and for God’s sake stay away from men in hockey masks.

In Italy the number "13" is a lucky number. Superstition has played a role for many centuries; it dates back to a least 1700 BC. The number’s association with Friday didn’t take hold until the 20th century. In 1907, an eccentric Boston stockbroker Thomas Lawson published a book called “Friday the Thirteenth.” The book sold nearly 28,000 copies within the first week. In 1916 the book was turned into a feature-length silent film. Then in 1980, Paramount Pictures released a movie called “Friday the 13th” This horror/slasher movie centers on Jason, born on Friday the 13th who murders summer campers. So, try not to go to camp on Friday the 13th. You have been warned!!

Omens reveal many things that are all around us. They can be quite beneficial especially in warning us of possible dangerous situations ahead of time. The technique is knowing how to interpret them. The kitchen is one place in which many omens and superstitions manifest. This is an example of one of them, if a fork accidentally falls onto the floor, a woman will soon knock on your door, which indicates the arrival of a gentleman. (In some parts of the world, the fork means a man, and the spoon means a woman) Another one is that money will soon come your way if any of these things occur: bubbles appear in a cup of coffee, you accidentally knock over a sugar bowl, rice forms a ring around the edge of a pot, or tea leaves float to the top of the cup. If you spill salt that means a quarrel. This may be avoided by throwing a pinch over the left shoulder. If pepper is spilled on the table or floor, prepare to be in an argument.  If you dream of eating honey that foretells that you will have wealth and love.

Growing up in an Italian American household, many of these rituals and beliefs were practiced by family members. My Nanni (grandmother) always used the number 13..she even had a key ring with the number. I remember when she passed I asked to have her 13 key ring and I have it ever since. Generations of Italian Americans were superstitions and took to heart these traditions. The fact that these superstitions are still with us is a testament to just how strong forces of good luck, prosperity, and good fortune are even with us in today’s world. The following are some commonly known Italian American rituals and superstitions. There are many more to numerous to mention, but this may give you an example of some of them.

The Evil Eye (Malocchio): The evil eye is caused by jealousy and envy. By coveting somebody’s possessions or more importantly admiring another family’s children. You can test this curse, by dropping olive oil in a plate of water. If the oil formed one large drop in the middle of the plate it was a sure sign of the Evil Eye. To break this curse, chanting of the right prayers that only women were allowed to know, over the oil, and it would break up into tiny droplets and spread out. Now the curse was broken.

The Devil’s Horn (Corno): These twisted red coral; gold or silver amulets are often worn as necklaces by men to ward off curses on their “manliness” very similar to a Mojo. Most men who wear one will say it represents one of the horns of the devil. The hand gesture that implies the Evil Eye is extending only the pinkie and index finger like a pair of horns and pointing it down. When the gesture is made pointing upward, it is an insult to somebody, meaning their husband or wife is unfaithful. 

Blessing or Exorcising a New House: Esorcismo di S Benedetto - Some Southern Italians (Sicilians) immigrating to new lands as they moved into their first new home, would practice the necessary rituals to rid the new place of any spirits that may have been left by the previous owners. Before moving in to their new home, they would take a broom and sweep away the evil spirits, followed by sprinkling of salt in the corners of the house to purify it. Holy water that was blessed by a priest was also used to exorcise any evil spirits. I remember my grandmother telling me when you visit someone in their new home you bring a loaf of bread (not to go hungry), salt (to season their life), and last but not least sugar (to add sweetness to their family).

One person’s superstition is another person’s religion, way of life, or cultural identity. It is all about perspective. No matter how strange the omens or superstitions may seem to others who don’t practice or understand them, it can bring cultures and people together. Different cultures will pass down their traditions from generations to generations, and it just continues, and continues. That is just the way it is.

Today, I would love to share this simple but tasty authentic Italian meal called “Sausage With Peppers & Onions.” All the flavors blend together and the onions as they caramelize give the peppers a sweet taste. A simple easy recipe that may just ward off Friday the 13th evil spells.

                                        "Sausage With Peppers & Onions

2 large green peppers, cored, seeded & cut into 1 inch strips
2 large yellow peppers, cored, seeded & cut into 1 inch strips
1 large red pepper, cored, seeded & cut into 1 inch strips
2 large yellow onions, cut into 1 inch wedges
1/4 cup of olive oil or more if needed
2 tablespoons of Oregano
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 to 2 lbs of Italian style pork sausage
(the amount of sausage depends on how many people that are eating)

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Spread the vegetables in a shallow roasting pan. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and oregano. Make sure vegetables are in a single layer so they will all cook and brown evenly. Now pierce or stick each link of sausage two or three times with a fork, so they will cook through. Place sausage in between the peppers and onions. Bake till sausage and vegetables are cooked and browned. Bake uncovered about 45 minutes depending upon your oven. Your vegetables should be still firm, and no traces of pink should remain in the sausage. Serve hot, with a crusty Italian bread and a tossed salad. Heaven on earth!

Till Next Time………………………………....................

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  1. Oh, that is one great sausage dish, Dottie! I'd like to dig into it right now! That's too funny with 13 being a lucky number, that is great and I will think of it that way from now on. Solid black cats, had 2, only 1 now and she's pretty special. :-) The evil eye. that's interesting! Thanks for this interesting post, I enjoyed it!

    1. Hi Pam,
      Thank you for your comment. I know this dish is outstanding. Love this and it really fits the day of Friday the 13th. Yes, remember that 13 is a lucky number, In italy I think the number is 17 that is not lucky. I know black cats are good luck as far as I know, and you can say that too. Enjoy your weekend friend...
      Dottie :)

  2. Mmm... your sausages look so inviting! Yes! It is Friday 13! Maybe that's why I have been in bed all day.. with flu. Not bad though my cat kept me company all day :-) My children have been ill too with a tummy bug but they are better now.
    These superstitions are still there in Italy but more so on Southern Italy. There all sort of things seem to happen! And of course...if you see a black cat on a Friday is bad luck and never walk under a ladder!
    Have a nice weekend my friend!

    1. Dear Alida,
      Thanks for your comment...I am very sorry that you are in bed and sick with the flu. Glad that your children are better, that would have been terrible That is what happens as you know it goes through the whole family.
      Yes, Southern Italy, I would say in Sicily is where more of the superstitions were believed. I always had better luck with this day especially with the number 13. It is fun to think years ago they really believed these things. Well dear friend, I will say a prayer for your health to return. We need you to give us more of your stories and recipes on your blog..Have to get over there now, I see you have posted something...Try to have a good weekend, drink lots of tea...
      Hugs x Ciao! Dottie :)

  3. Good evening dear Dottie ,
    I am always amazed at most of your posts .
    I was born and raised in New Orleans before my family moved to Shreveport when I was about 12 .
    A lot of these superstitions was practiced by the people there , especially the Creoles , they also believed in Black Magic , Voo Doo and a lot more superstitions .
    You are so right , one person's superstition is another person's religion , it always amazed me what people do in the name of religion .
    Love the sausage recipe , so quick and easy and not much clean up .
    I have a pot of homemade beef soup on the stove ... well I did have a pot (giggles) tomorrow It will be homemade chicken noodles .
    Have a great weekend ... stay safe and dry . Thanks for sharing this wonderful post . ((HUGS))) Nee :)

    1. Dearest Nee,
      Thank you for your comment and for stopping over...I agree Nee, I have never been in your part of the USA, but I have been aware at the facts of the people that live there and their superstitions. Especially Black Magic, Voo Doo etc.Some of these people get carried away, I think Friday the 13th is a fun day...
      So glad that you loved this recipe..nothing like sausages and peppers...So happy that you have a pot of soup on, and as you said it will have make more. Chicken Noodle soups good to me. Have a lovely weekend, friend... Keep safe!
      Hugs, Dottie :)