Well, today I am going to be sharing a family favorite and quite possibly every Italian families favorite around the holidays. I was fortunate enough that I grew up in a big family and we celebrated every birthday, holiday and major milestone together. Still to this day all of the cousins try and get together and see each other whenever possible. Let me first introduce you to a little background about my memories making this "CROO-STA-LEE".
Now, I never got the privilege of making Crustali with my Grandma Castoldi but, I did get to make it with her sister, my great Aunt Mary. I remember the smell in her kitchen, my uncle Charlie frying the braided puffs of dough, and her laugh filling the kitchen with warmth. Her hand kneading the dough and her telling us how to properly make the dough. She wore a bandana on her perfectly curled hair to make sure and keep them in tact for the week ahead until her next hair appt. There was a sort of Christmas spirit that kind of lingered in the house and once we left there from making crustali with her, I felt like it Christmas was finally upon us.
One day when we got there, it started to snow, as if god knew that we needed that that day to get into the Christmas spirit. After my grandma passed away my mom made sure to keep the tradition up with my aunt and I am so glad she did. We chatted about my grandma and when they were growing up. My uncle Charlie would tell some war stories, but not many, and talk about life on their farm. They had this cute little farmhouse with a huge barn! When I was little it reminded me of like something out of a movie. Her kitchen sink was perfectly placed and looking out a small window to see that barn and whatever animals they may have had then. Everyone should get to have an aunt that: always has food, a Pepsi in a cute glass, stories that you can only dream about and the best hugs a kid can ask for. I think my only wish now, would be that my three little boys would get to meet their amazing ancestors. But, god had other plans and that’s ok. I hope the recipes and stories I tell will stick with them just like they did with me.
Now, back to the food that made this blog post possible today. I hope you are in that kitchen with me right now, looking at that big barn and washing your hands in the white farmhouse sink. Crustali is half made with love and the other half ingredients so lets get to it!!
2 cups sugar
8 Tbs oil
1 tsp salt
2 jiggers whiskey
8 tsp baking powder
Mix all above ingredients together.
-Add 8 cups of flour with hand mixer. Then add flour by hand until no longer sticky. Roll out and cut into strips. Your dough will be about 1/2 inch
Fry in 2 inches deep oil at 400 degrees until golden brown.
Dip into warm honey and enjoy and let drain in colander.