Special cookies headed for ISS via shuttle

April 1, 2010 3:56:01 PM PDT
The Italian Café in Seabrook has been a local favorite for years. Now the restaurant's tasty reputation is getting an out of this world boost. Something from the restaurant is going up on the next shuttle mission, to the International Space Station. Bessilyn Piazza still measures her ingredients a cup at a time. The recipe for her sand tarts is simple, yet to customers at the Italian Caf?, irresistible.

"They're just fresh, they're homemade," said customer Scott Shea. "If you eat them, you can tell they're good."

So good that last year, regular customer Colonel Timothy Creamer, a NASA astronaut made a special request.

"He mentioned to me, he said, 'You know, when I go up on the International Space Station I'd like to take your cookies,'" Bessilyn recalled. "I thought, wouldn't that be something. But I thought, oh no, don't get too excited because it may not ever happen."

But last month, NASA did call asking to analyze a test batch for shipping to outer space. Bessilyn's sand tarts passed and this week, she sent 11 dozen to NASA.

"They did ask me to go light on the powdered sugar for the space shuttle," she said.

Back here on earth, Bessilyn showed me how to grab a bit of dough, and roll out the sand tarts. They hit the oven for 15 minutes, once out, tossed in more powdered sugar and then enjoyed!

The recipe was passed down from her mother to Bessilyn. After 21 years of being an Italian Caf? special, they're headed to the International Space Station. Bessilyn's biggest fan -- her husband Frank -- couldn't be more proud.

He said, "The space program is so very, very important to everyone. For them to ask for the cookies makes it even more special."


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