Sunday, January 06, 2008

"La Befana" came and went

La Befana arrived last night and although she didn't leave coal or chocolate for us, she did leave a nice coating of snow for us to enjoy. We're very glad to have a normal winter this year with variable temperatures and snow to make it feel like winter. I'm about to get out the nordic skis and have a go in the neighbor hood with out fear of scraping the bottoms off. The past couple of days there has been lots of La Befana sightings and impersonators, which they say is the sincerest form of flattery. Maryann of Finding La Dolce Vita did a fine impersonation of the generous old soul. You should check out her photos at her site. There were plenty of men dressed up like the popular old lady but I particularly liked the posse of snowboarding Befanas sliding down the slippery slopes. My favorite daytime TV show is an Italian version of the English show "Ready, Steady, Cook" , which I tune into when ever I can, usually while I am doing my own version of lunch preparation. Yesterdays chefs had a variety of imaginative takes on the theme, with one making fish encrusted in black pepper to look like lumps of coal and then put inside of a filo dough shaped stocking. the other chef made Cappellacci or La Befana's hats, pasta, which appealed to me. It just so happened that I had some pasta and filling left over from a pasta class we taught a couple of days previous and needed to use up, so to welcome and honor her, I made La Befana Cappellacci with pasta colored with cooked beet root, filled with tomini/grana padano cheese mix and finished off in a fresh leek and mushroom sauce. It was tasty and we got left some fluffy white snow and sunshine to enjoy it today. What more can you ask for?
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