Tuesday, January 07, 2014


The tree and decorations have been taken down and put away and it's all over for another year, God willing - but it wasn't over for me before two other feste had been crammed into the season!

On Sunday I was invited to Chiara's for lunch again and there we were treated to two kinds of lasagne, this one with aita [chard]....

... and this one which contained meat and tomatoes:

Then there was a spezzatino of pork:

After the fruit, there were dates and homemade torrone,

some of Chiara's Christmas cake and some special, traditional, handmade biscuits:

There was also Chiara's chocolate cake:

Yesterday was the Epifania holiday in Italy and I invited a friend to tea.  I made date and cinnamon cookies [top left]. I'd found the recipe in an Australian magazine and, although they didn't come out scone-like as the recipe suggested, they did resemble the photo in the magazine and tasted good.  To the right of them is a plate of crackers with my [tardily made] cranberry sauce, because you just have to have a taste of cranberry sauce at Christmas. In front of the date cookies is a plate of cheese bites with cotognata [quince paste]. I also cut up the last of my own Christmas cake and made yet another raspberry upside-down cake.

Putting the sugar Santa on the raspberry cake - and I assure you I bought six so did not use the same one each time! - I was reminded that, at Irma's on New Year's Day, a young niece of Irma's decided she didn't want to eat any cake but did want to demolish the sugar Santa.  "He won't come next year if you eat him!" said her mother, at which the little one started to cry.  "No, no, it's all right - he'll come!" we all chorused, until she smiled again and finished him off.  

I also made a semifreddo of candied Sicilian zest - and decorated it with the last Santa!

But never mind - in Italy it is always possible to have your Santa and eat him!

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