The woman behind fish fry

By Perry Russom
By Amy Lipman

February 22, 2013 Updated Feb 25, 2013 at 10:19 AM EST

Endicott, NY (WBNG Binghamton) For more than 20 years, St. Anthony's has held Fish Fry Fridays to celebrate the season of Lent.

Head Chef Anita Ciacelli is the force behind the fry.

"I think as a parishioner of St. Anthony's that's what I'm called to do," Ciacelli said. "To help out as many times as I can."

Ciacelli's work begins Thursday night when she's at the church to receive the fish and cut the cole slaw with her team.

"It's all freshly made," she said. "All home made. Our coleslaw we make. We bread our own fish and we make mashed potatoes."

On Fridays, Ciacelli works 13-hour days at the fish fry starting at 7 a.m. making the fish, pirohis, and other side dishes. Some of the recipes have been around for generations.

"The bread crumbs, the way we season our bread crumbs, that's been passed down," Ciacelli said, "That's a big secret, too? Yeah."

Other members of the church recognize all that Ciacelli does.

"Even during break she's still working," co-worker Roberta Sullivan said. "She never stops. We keep telling her. We keep telling her to, but she doesn't."

The dinner goes from 4 to 6:30 p.m. every Friday during Lent. St. Anthony's is one of a few churches in the area to offer a drive-thru service.