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Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Year's Day in Italy or PLEASE STOP FEEDING ME!

New Year's Day started off with a real bang from the fireworks in the piazza at 12 midnight and and lots of food ..of course!! You know I am in Italy. New Year's Eve began with one dinner of (for good luck) lentil soup, frittata di carciofi (Italian omelette made with artichokes), stuffed zucchini and peppers, prosciutto, fresh mozzarella, fresh fruits and panettone.
The second dinner began at midnight.. it was a buffet not to be believed.. from lasagne, to roased vegetables and roasted chicken to any seasonal fresh fruits to panettone, pan d'oro and torrone but some wonderful Christmas specialties local to this region-Abruzzo- ferratelle or you may know them as pizzelle and sbriciolana (a cake I had heard about and never tasted). The top has cake crumbs on it that are arranged like bits of wool and the name sbriciolana means 'bits of wool'. Then of course champagne,prosecco, braccheto d'acqui...all popped opened up at 12 midnight..
Check back soon for a recipe for sbriciolana, it is now one of my favorite cakes..

The economy & its' problems have hit somewhat here in Italy too. Less people opted to go to organized dinners in expensive restaurants.This year was marked by dinners held in small neighborhood halls and family homes and the buffet courses were all home cooked..but no one really noticed the economy with all the delicious food to be I looked around I realized that even if for one night we all felt rich!-With all this exceptional food, excellent wines & champagne ,great friends and family could one help but not feel rich..Rich with good friends and family and thankful to have great food that we could all share with each other.
And today we have so many of these riches to enjoy for New Year's Day dinner..
Although I will be glad the long week of festa is over, I feel like screaming to anyone that will listen at the many hosted dinner events....PLEASE STOP FEEDING ME!! I can't eat anymore!
But then that artisan chocolate torrone is set out in front of me and I am under its' spell..

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