Scranton Woman’s Onion Celeste On Menu For Annual Progressive Party
The new year brings about the return of a special tradition for a Scranton neighborhood.
Roberta Jadick, Marilyn Carlonas and their neighbors in the city’s Green Ridge section get together the Saturday after New Year’s Day for a progressive party — or, a dinner party with successive courses prepared and eaten at different hosts’ residences.
“We walk from house to house; it doesn’t matter what the weather is,” Carlonas said of the more than 50-year tradition. “Everyone looks forward to it.”
With more than 12 families participating over the past five decades, lots of dishes have been on the menus, including Jadick’s Onion Celeste.
A side dish made with melted Swiss cheese, savory onions and French bread, it’s been a favorite of the party because of its ease, Jadick said. The main tip she had for cooks is to cut through the mixture in order to let the cheese sauce seep through to the bottom.
“It’s just a simple, delicious recipe,” she said.
Onion Celeste offered a perfect combination of flavors. It was a rich, creamy, comfort food and embodied everything Local Flavor loves about the holidays.
Other courses the neighbors have enjoyed over the years include sausage and peppers, antipasto, roast beef, different kinds of chicken, salads and tons of desserts. The parties also included some personal touches, such as sandwiches from Hank’s Hoagies, whose owner lives in the neighborhood, and homemade lasagna from a woman who grew up in Italy.
The progressive party is more than the food, however. It’s a tradition everyone looks forward to, Carlonas said.
“It’s the nostalgia part of it,” she said. “This is a good neighborhood.”
“If they don’t participate, they don’t know what they’re missing,” Jadick added. “It’s a good time for all.”
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Roberta Jadick’s Onion Celeste
2 tablespoons butter
2 large Bermuda onions
1/2 pound Swiss cheese, grated
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup milk
1 can cream of chicken soup
4 slices French bread
In frying pan, melt butter and sauté onion until soft. Add pepper and pour into casserole. Spread cheese on top.
In a pan, heat soup and milk and stir until smooth. Pour on top of cheese. Cut through mixture gently so sauce can seep through. Overlap bread on top.