Sunday, August 30, 2015

Grape Festival Time!

Every August since 1899, folks of all ages flock to the Tontitown Grape Festival, sponsored by St. Joseph's Church. One of the biggest festivals in Northwest Arkansas, the Tontitown Grape Festival celebrates Tontitown's Italian heritage with great live entertainment, a Carnival, an Arts & Crafts Fair, a Run for the Grapes and the annual crowning of the Queen of the Festival.

In the weeks before the festival, parishioners of St. Joseph's
faithfully prepare the ton and a half of spaghetti and sauce for the dinners.

That's a lot of tomato sauce!

The lines to eat are very long, but well worth the wait!

Homemade fried chicken (this is Arkansas, after all) is also served!

There's a grape stomp contest that is very popular!

The carnival is always fun, rides, midway games and fair food.
Lots of happy smiles on kids faces...

Families come out and enjoy the cool night air, having fun and making memories!

The following recipe was clipped from an Arkansas newspaper years ago and is supposed to be a recipe from Mama Z's at Tontitown, Arkansas.

Spaghetti Sauce (Mrs. Arch Featherston)
1 large onion, chopped
1 cup chopped celery
1 pound ground beef
1 15 ounce can tomato sauce
1 6 ounce can tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon oregano
garlic to taste
1 4 ounce can mushrooms
1/4 pound parmesan cheese
In heavy pan, brown onion, celery, and meat. Drain. Add tomato sauce and tomato paste, salt, oregano and garlic. Cover and simmer over low heat several hours, stirring frequently. Add cheese and cook until cheese is melted. Serve over cooked spaghetti.
I think one of the Italian women at Tontitown gave this recipe to Mother Chris years ago. Mrs. Morsani used to make spaghetti for her. Chris would give her the eggs and she would not charge her much. Mrs. E. M Morsani's daughter, Edna Lou Zulpo (and now her daughters) own Mama Z's in Tontitown, I still buy spaghetti from them.
Double recipe and 2 pounds spaghetti will serve about 20 people.

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