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Big springtime doings in Glenside, Thornton, Lansdowne


By Barbara Ann Zippi

Co-owners Marc Petrosino and Michael Latini of Monkey Boys Productions located in a former steel warehouse in Glenside, Pa., are puppeteers, designers and fabricators. They create puppets, props, creatures, costumes, practical effects and entertainment for film, TV and stage. On a visit to the Press Club, President Peg DeGrassa heard firsthand how a recent last-minute phone call request from “Saturday Night Live” to fabricate a lightweight copy of the podium used for press conferences at the White House are now onto a Broadway Musical and more. Look closely for more SNL props from them and watch out for their ultimate dream, to create a creature for a “Star Wars” universe.

The Stables at Yellow House Restaurant in Thornton, Pa.

Historic Thornton, Pa., is starting to bloom in spring. An active area during the Battle of the Brandywine, the new “keepers of the land” include The Stables at Yellow House Restaurant where owner’s mom, Sofia Clinger, welcomes families and friends to experience the cuisine of their “Italian” chef. Encouraging her daughter to make a “solo”-friendly bar area, it’s an amazing transformation of re-purposing materials and sustainable foods. Dine in or outside, before or after visiting Rose Hip Barn owned by MTV’s April Margera. In addition to yoga, the town also features today’s country doctor, Integrative Medicine practitioner Dr. Melissa Pagano Broyles. Visit and find out the hidden secrets of historic Thornton.

Historic towns from one end of Delaware County to the other, Andrea De Fabio, the new president of the Lansdowne Business & Professional organization and owner of Vinyl Revival says exciting things are happening in Lansdowne. Borough Council has approved a Pilot Plaza Project of new gathering space while the re-opening of the historic Lansdowne Theater gets closer every day.

The Italian immigrant generation led to United States loyalty with many serving in WW II and future generations of Italians joining the military and government. Recently, Pennsylvania State Rep. Nick Miccarelli attended his first Joint Session of Congress and continues to serve as Staff Sergeant in the Army National Guard with time in Iraq, Ramadi and Kosovo. Judge Christine Fizzano Cannon, head of the Civil Trial Section of the Delaware County Court of Common Pleas, has announced she is joining the race for the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania.

The Monastery of St. Clare in Langhorne reminds us May 13, 2017, is the 100th anniversary of the Apparition of Mary at Fatima when the children were pasturing their flock and playing when suddenly a bright shaft of light pierced the air. The lady spoke to them and said: “Fear not! I will not harm you.” “Where are you from?” the children asked. “I am from heaven.” An estimated 70,000 joined them a few short months after for her final visit. Now, an international site for pilgrims, how many will gather in prayer in Fatima and all around the world. Stay tuned.

Padre Pio’s body is encased in a crystal coffin.

In Padre Pio news, The National Center for Padre Pio in Barto, Pa., celebrates the saint’s birthday on May 25, and the Rev. Monsignor John Marine, pastor of St. Bede’s the Venerable in Southhampton, announces the second annual Padre Pio Festival, June 23-25.

Returning from a recent visit to San Giovanni Rotondo, home of the Franciscan Capuchin monastery where St. Padre Pio spent most of his priestly life in Italy, he prayed with pilgrims from all over the world at the site of the saint’s encased body. For festival information call (215) 357-5720.

And in the world of Italian singers, “America’s Got Talent” runner-up Sal Valentinetti will be performing May 20 at the Tower Theater in Upper Darby, Pa., and internationally acclaimed Andrea Bocelli is coming to Philadelphia later this year through the efforts of Frank Giordano, president of the Philly Pops. And, Philadelphia’s Sinatra authority, Sid Mark, tells us Nancy Sinatra quietly celebrated her 100th birthday this year. Happy Birthday Nancy and congratulations Sid for 60 years of Sinatra music on the radio. You have brought his music to so many generations.

Penne alla Norma

  • 1 10oz package Talluto’s Fresh Penne
  • ½ cup + 2 tsp. Pure Olive Oil
  • 2 cups eggplant, cubed
  • ½ medium onion, cut into large pieces
  • 4 large garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 cup canned whole tomatoes, crushed by hand
  • ¼ cup pasta water
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 6-8 fresh basil leaves
  • Freshly grated Pecorino Romano
  • Spoonful of Ricotta Cheese (optional)

Heat ½ cup olive oil over high heat in large pan. Add the cubed eggplant turning often to brown on all sides. Remove eggplant.

Add 2 tsp of olive oil to pan. Add chopped onion, garlic, salt and crushed red pepper and sauté until softened. Add tomato paste and stir well. Allow the tomato paste to caramelize a bit and then add eggplant back to the pan with the crushed tomatoes. Simmer for a few minutes. In the meantime, cook the pasta according to the instructions on the package. Remove ¼ cup of pasta water from the pot and add it to the sauce. Continue to simmer the sauce. When the pasta is cooked, drain well and add to the pan with the sauce.  Sauté for 1 minute. Plate the pasta, top with grated Romano cheese and freshly chopped basil. Serve and top with some ricotta cheese, if desired.

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