Connie Coniglio Miller ~ Page 2


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Connie at 309 Myrtle Avenue, about 1930

Connie at 309 Myrtle Avenue, Palm Sunday, 1943, holding palms woven by Gaetano.  In the background is the box- makers plant, F.N. Burts.

Connie at 309 Myrtle Avenue, about 1944

Mary, Connie
and Millie ~ 1946


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Jackie Miller and Dennis Denisco ~ 1952

                                                                           John Knight                   Steve Steht
                                 Matt , Connie, Angelo, Roseann, Jackie, Ben, Shelly
          Angie with Max, Angela, Tara                                 mmm              Sam Beagle
                                                   Danville, Illinois ~ 1977


Tara Steht and  Ben Knight

Ben ~ 1977



Ben Knight and Tara Steht ~ 1977

Shirley and Roseann Miller

Shirley Miller

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Who will care

This article was written about Connie in the Danville newspaper, in about 1989.


Jordan Knight

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Nicholas and Adam Steht
Clint, Morgan and Tara Wright
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Alessi Miller ~ 2004 Kylie Miller ~ 2004 Gianna Knight ~ 2005


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Savannah Miller ~ 2005 Donaven Anthony Wilson-Miller
~ 2005 ~


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Danville Ice Groupies ~ 2005


Raven ~ 2005 Keith ~ 2005 Andy ~ 1963



Aiden Steht

.~ September 2006 ~

~ December 2006 ~


Marianne, Zander and Nicholas ~ June 2009

Marianne and Zander



       At Christmastime, my mother kept the old Sicilian tradition of baking special cookies, and now my sisters Connie and her children continue it, as do the children of Connie's twin, my late beloved sister Mary. My favorite 'cookie' was, and still is, the Sicilian fig cookie.

       Not to be confused with the ‘Mericanu’ ‘fig newton‘, which is no more than a swipe of fig paste in a tasteless crust, my mother’s fig cookie was a delicate, tasty shell wrapped around a sweet mixture of ground figs, walnuts, dates, raisins, citron, and other delicacies. And it was all topped with a sugary frosting and colored sprinkles.

       Now, you know what I’m talking about, but what did you call them? There are as many names for this confection as there are dialects of the Sicilian language.  Many call them cuccidati (coo-chee-DAH-tee), which could be interpreted as ‘cooked dates’ or ‘date cookies’; some say nucedati (noo-che-DAH-tee), which might mean ‘nuts and dates’. I have heard them called uccidati (ooh-chee-DAH-tee), zuccidati (zoo-chee-DAH-tee), puccidati (pooh-chee-DAH-tee) and even purciddati (poor-chee-DDAH-tee), which sounds like ‘pig dates’!

       An on-line reference says they’re bruccedati (brew-che-DAH-tee), because some (my favorite kind) were made in a large ring shape, and ’bruccedati’ means ‘little bracelets’.

       But to me, they’re what my mother used to call them: purciddati
. She always made a few of the big, ring-shaped ones and kept them aside for me, her ‘baby’. Then my late sister Mary, still spoiling the (70-year-old) baby brother, would make a few just for me. Now Connie, even though she's living in Illinois, is not too far away to spoil me!  I don’t know what purciddati really means, if anything. But to me, it means one thing: delicious! ~ Ange Coniglio


Rosa Coniglio’s Recipe: Sicilian Fig Cookies

[as interpreted by the “Twins”, Mary Coniglio Denisco Sowa and Connie Coniglio Miller]
Makes 12 dozen cookies.

Filling: 3 lb. dried figs 1 lb. dates (pitted)
  1 lb. raisins 1 lb. shelled walnuts
  1 cup sugar 2 tsp. ground black pepper
  3 tbsp. orange extract, or orange zest, or rind of one orange, toasted and ground.
  Water, as below.  
           Grind all ingredients together in food grinder. Then warm filling over low heat, adding water until mixture is pliable.
Dough: 21/2 lb. (10 cups) flour 2 cups sugar
  2 cups shortening 1 stick (1/4 lb.) margarine
  4 tsp. baking powder 2 tsp. baking soda
  11/2 tsp. salt 5 large eggs
  1 tbsp. vanilla extract 2/3 cup buttermilk
  (To make buttermilk, stir 1 tbsp. white vinegar into 2/3 cup whole milk.)

         Cut shortening and margarine into flour. Add sugar and other dry ingredients. Beat eggs with vanilla extract and buttermilk and to flour mixture.

          Mix by hand and shape: roll dough by hand into “snakes” about 16” long, 1 inch in diameter. With rolling pin, flatten snake to form strips about 3” wide and 1/8” thick. Place filling along center of strip. Fold one long edge of dough over filling, and roll once more to form a long, filled tube. Cut tube on a slant to make cookies about 11/2” long. Some can be cut about 8” long and the tube is curled in a circle to make a “bracelet".

Bake:  on a greased cookie tin, at 350o till lightly browned.
(10-15 minutes)
Icing: 1 lb. confectioner’s sugar
  orange extract
         Add water to get glaze consistency, and add orange extract to taste.

        Brush icing on cookies, add sprinkles. Try not to eat them all before company comes.


Connie Miller and Hayden Knight
~ 2010 ~

Connie, Ange and Angie
~ July 29, 2012 ~


Left: Mary, Tony, Connie, Ange ~ 1943      Right:  Connie and Ange ~ 2014  
   F. N. Burt box factory in background               
(2014 photo by John Domres)                 

Connie and family
~ 27 July 2014 ~



Connie's parents Gaetano and Rosa Alessi Coniglio, at last count (30 March 2022), have had one hundred and forty-four descendants.

Connie (
Generation One), with her late former husband Don Miller, is the progenitor of FIFTY-ONE of those descendants.
Andrew & Aaron Miller
Savannah & Hailey
Alessi & Kylie

To Connie's Page 1




1 (Siblings)

2 3 4 5

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Gaetano & Rosina










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