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Over time, she perfected the recipe, making 100 or more popovers daily, each batch rising slowly in the oven for 45 minutes. “People, they love it,” she said. “More than their food.”
Colosimo, a grandmother of seven and great-grandmother of three, shared her goodness far and wide. At the end of the day, she’d distribute leftover popovers to other workers, or give them to delighted fellow bus riders or neighbors.
On her last day at Macy’s, she made about 500 popovers for the overflow crowds. “I worked my butt off,” she said.
“That’s all we’d see,” confirmed Mariano, who recalled peeking into the kitchen to see her mother’s backside as she reached into the ovens.
“I’d pull ’em out of the oven,” Colosimo said, “and, right away, fill up another tray.”
She came out into the dining room to two standing ovations. “They make me cry,” she said. She signed menus with a Sharpie (“it was like a book-signing,” her daughter said) and customers asked to have their pictures taken with the Popover Princess.
Colosimo and Mariano will join other downtown Macy’s employees for a party March 7 to thank them for their service. Together, the mother-daughter team gave the company about 70 years.
Mariano, 50, who runs a Maplewood sandwich shop called Michelina’s Place, is figuring out her next move. Her mom is eager to get back to community volunteering, and enjoying her crusty bread, with a plate of spaghetti, whenever she likes.
But she’s proud of her popovers and will miss the many good years of bringing joy to customers.
“You work 40 years, it’s like your house,” Colosimo said. “But nothing stay forever. I started it, and I finished it.”
(To get your popover fix, here’s a link to the River Room’s popover recipe, adapted from “The Marshall Field’s Cookbook” by Steve Siegelman; Book Kitchen, $24.95. www.tinyurl.com/cqbnuyk)