Cappellettis & Janet

My Grandma Janet
My Grandma Janet

 In the early 1900s, my great-great-grandparents, Ursula & Giuseppe, left the Marche region of Italy to immigrate to Buffalo, New York. Ursula brought along a family recipe for cappellettis, or as I know them – cuplates. Ursula and Giuseppe had 7 children and 21 grandchildren. One of the grandkids was my grandma Janet. Making cuplates turned into a tradition. The day-long event occurs once a year, the weekend after Thanksgiving. It’s a space for making family memories through laughter and even arguments over the dough. Making cuplates is a time to be with cousins & a time to talk about family members who have died. For grandma Janet, it was a day of talking with family as she could not make the delicate pasta due to her freshly done nails. She always made a nail appointment a day prior so she could be excused from making the cuplates. Janet, with her husband Frank, raised three girls – Michelle, Joy, & Tracey. Janet died of breast cancer at the age of 52, when Michelle was 27, Joy 26, and Tracey 21. The three girls were left with the duty of continuing traditions. The day the family makes cuplates is the day the three girls carry on traditions and the day us grandchildren learn about our grandma who we didn’t meet. While we make cuplates, there is much going on in the background. Young kids run around, the three sisters try to corral us all, & uncles watch TV. It’s a day of family, a day we can all be together. That’s the most important part of the cuplates – being together. 

Place(s): Buffalo, Marche Region of Italy

– Kailyn (audio is song by Celine Dion which played following Janet's death)

Relationship:  Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more