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30-12-2010
CHRISTMAS 2010

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This is it…we have finished another year and we have had yet another Italian Christmas..mmmm not at all what I used to have back in England so I have to cook if I want turkey. Christmas is not for the fainthearted or vegetarians..it is highly meat based with butter, mayonaise and more calories then you would care to count…
Christmas Eve is when in Lombardy you traditionally eat cappelletti di carne, tiny hand made pasta filled with meat served in ‘brodo’ or meat broth. The meat used to make the broth is eaten with mostarda. This is a preserve made with fruit such as oranges, pears and cherries that have a strong mustard taste but there is not a vegetable in site! Where are my brussel sprouts?!
 Christmas Day- be prepared for endless patés,  Russian salad and canapés with salmon, caviar  served on white bread. Then there is roast fowl of some sort but again no vegetables. Bread is eaten in huge quantites so I bought what looked like a baby crocodile. I tried my hand at pumpkin ravioli, with a Mantovan pumpkin if you please or the pumpkin will leave acquetta or water when it is cooked.
Not as easy as it seems, the pasta as it goes through the manually turned machine looks like a yellow stocking and somehow just was never thin enough.
There is not even a whiff of Christmas pudding, mince pies,  or Christmas cake….remember the land here was invaded by the Austrians for over a 100 years, so we have a strong Nordic influence in the cuisine. I ended up making gingerbread houses and biscuits with my Malaysian friend who did bring me a token Christmas pudding, so I can’t complain! 
P.s Just to say I will try my hand at a capon or ‘cappone’ which strikes me as the correct bird to cook for Capo d’anno..even if I wanted a turkey! This is what it looks like de-boned…it needs stuffing and no doubt everyone will be stuffing themselves again tomorrow night. So I will let you know how it turns out! Until then ‘Buon anno! Happy New Year! and all good things to you…


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