There’s Redemption in Ravioli ~ Redux

There’s Redemption in Ravioli ~ Redux



This post is a replay from last year, but I was reminded of it since the hour draws near for this massive undertaking. I would pay someone to take my place…but according to the latest text from my sister…she’s not buying it. 

“…the date for making the ravioli is Sunday, the 21st…

Be there. NO excuses.


——–  —– ——-

There’s redemption in ravioli; but before you report me to the online theology police, let me give you some background on my thesis.

I have five days left to prepare before the onset of this yearly tradition that has been in my family for generations. My sister and I have been making this homemade ravioli recipe virtually all our lives. We started out in our basement as my mother’s apprentices; that same cellar where my father sent me down singing in the dark and trusting he could hear me. Let me tell you something, I didn’t like that basement when I was singing in the dark and I definitely didn’t like it when I could hear my mother calling:

Caroline! Where are you? We are starting the ravioli…please get down here.

Of course half the time I never heard her, because I was in my bedroom two floors up, reading, hiding, pretending I was sick…

anything but make ravioli from scratch– no electric dough machines in those days. Soon enough I’d see my poor sister’s face in the doorway,

You’d better come down there now, or you’ll be in big trouble.

To this day the definition of mournful moaning and woe is replayed in my mind every time I think of those days when I was in that basement hours on end learning the ravioli code that honestly, only the three of us can unlock for our family.

My sister has remained faithful to the tradition, in a dictator sort of way, despite my pleas to come up with an alternative….She also reminds me that even though neither of us have daughters the tradition will last apparently until the three of us breathe our last … or the Lord comes back.

It actually takes three days. On the first day my mother does the filling although that’s about to be handed on to my sister. On the second day, the dough is made and on the third day my sister and I work the assembly and final cut. The final count last year was 900 ravioli. This year I’m afraid it may be more and that brings me to the redemption part of it all.

Some of you may have read my challenges with Christmas past, but I did neglect one good memory. It was when our family came together with my aunt, uncle and cousins on Christmas Day. Even after the challenges of the weeks prior, we sat down as a family putting aside our trials long enough to hear the oohs and ahhs of how magnificent the ravioli was. For just a few hours, we laughed and entertained each other with this meal that brought us all together. We were there every year, even when outside, the snow was piled high to our dining room window, even when there had been tears the night before– because– the ravioli was on the table. Every Christmas thereafter, we kept the tradition: after our move to Florida, after my father died, after my first husband left me… we made the ravioli..

Some years were really hard..

Lest I omit the complications and challenges of present modern day family life I can give testimony to the fact that many a family squabble has taken a back seat to a bowl of ravioli. I would venture to say, some have even been healed.

Now days, word has gone out..We’re sort of famous in these parts for our homemade version and it brings in requests for us to,

 -save a bowl-

for those who weren’t able to make it for Christmas dinner.

Do you think that’s the key to understanding the importance of family traditions ?

God knows the spiritual and physical hardship of raising a family in the midst of a culture so violently opposed to it.

Isn’t it just like Him to use something as simple as a bowl of ravioli…to meet the real hunger of our hearts ?

A new invitation is offered every year to forgive, to love, to redeem the sorrows of the past and heal.

I’d better get going.

Any minute now, I’ll see my sister’s face at my door.


Come’s time to start the ravioli.



  • Photo:


  1. Victor S E Moubarak
    Dec 17, 2013

    This post brought back memories. I remember as a child my family (led by an Italian aunt) making ravioli by hand on special occasions.

    Somehow, home-made food tastes better than the ones bought from shops.

    On reflection … this post has also made me hungry. Sorry … got to go …

    God bless.

    • Caroline
      Dec 18, 2013

      Victor, I bet your Italian aunt made it in the day before the pasta machines. :-) Homemade ravioli is the best…no question, but what a production! Blessings always and +

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

8 + = fifteen

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>