In my family, we would always make cappelletti for Christmas lunch. The way things would go is: on the weekend prior to Christmas, all of us would gather up and start folding the little tortellini-like hat-like parcels deliciously filled with pork, cheese and nutmeg. When we were in the city where my mom was from, it would be all hands on deck: aunties, cousins and partners.

My great grandfather, from my mother’s side of the family, migrated from Italy to Brazil looking for better opportunities in life that Italy at the time could not provide. With him, he brought the tradition of making cappelletti for Christmas and Easter. I remember throughout my whole life, prior to moving to Australia, making cappelletti this time of year. When I moved to Australia my (then) boyfriend’s family, also immigrants from Italy to Brazil, would also make cappelletti for Christmas, but they like my aunties, live in a different city to where we lived. Although he knows how to fold the cappelletti, he and I never made it as a couple as he is vegetarian and my mom did not invite him to the tradition as she did not want to meet him (she wasn’t ok my sexuality).

When my mother came to visit me in Australia in 2014 (had just broken up with said boyfriend), we made cappelletti together. It was great. Now, 2021, after 7 years I ended up inviting a second pair of hands to help make the cappelletti. Skillful and quick learner, the hands were a fantastic addition to the process. We made 165 cappelletti (only made a 1kg flour dough for the 1.5kg stuffing/filling – used up all the dough with some filling left over) in about 2 hours of work. Maybe next time I can invite more pairs of hands to help out (have already hinted to them that it’s coming).

So here are the first few and the last few cappelletti that were made.

Now, this blog is about photography, so why did I tell this long history of my family? Because, photography inspires nostalgia. Making cappelletti on Sunday, despite not having all my siblings, cousins and aunties around, efficiently folding the little parcels while drinking a nice red wine, it did remind me of those days when the whole family was working round the tables to close the thousands of cappelletti. These photos reminded me of all that. The photos my family are posting on Facebook of the cappelletti they are making back home are reminding me of that.

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