“A tavola non si invecchia”. - Italian proverb (At the table with good friends and family you do not become old).

Sharing authentic Italian recipes entrusted upon me through the privilege of being invited into many Italian homes and kitchen’s abroad. I travel, cook, eat, share, learn and photograph my experiences, a truly soul enriching journey. There are now over 100 recipes on this blog to search from. I am a Melbourne born girl who now resides in Pietrasanta, Italy. Sharing my love for food and all things Italian with you. I am not a professionally trained chef, just a person that really loves cooking and has made my passion my reality! Through talent and drive I now work as a private chef in some of the most prestigious private villa`s here in Versilia, Italy!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Natale sera. Christmas night

I feel like we can still talk about Christmas as the man playing the saxophone on the street outside my window is still tuning away to jingle bells. 
Although some days have passed since Christmas and we are nearly ready to ring in the New Year, I feel like my festivities have not stopped. So I thought I would quickly take a minute before 2016 arrives to talk about my Christmas.
So as I mentioned to the lead up to Christmas I had planned to serve the perfect array of sweets and only a few savoury items at my house on Christmas night. This year I was excited about introducing some new British items to the mix. As my friends are familiar with how I host my Christmas parties they came prepared after long tummy filling lunches at home with an appetite for sweets. However this was the first year I was sharing it with my boyfriend, his friends and family.
For those who know me well, know that I like things to be perfect (although I have become much more relaxed in my ageing years). Before a party I like the house to be spick and span, the table to be set and organised and every detail catered for. I also like to have the candles lit, music playing and have myself fully ready before quests start to arrive, allowing myself to be an attentive host.
My boyfriend early evening told me to relax and invited me to cozy up on the couch for a minute, I thought even though I still have things to do I will appreciate the moment we have together and take the invitation to snuggle into his embrace in my pyjamas.
Of course, you know where this story is going. Brrring brrring, the door bell rings. It`s the brother, sister-in-law and child of Alessandro (Alewho arrived an hour earlier than the 9pm invitation time. Any-way the evening kicks off from there, I`m a little caught off guard but whip myself into a frenzy and put everything quickly into place, including dressing myself! The door bells continues to ring and a flow of guests keep arriving. Everyone is wowed by the array and presentation of food. Until one friends says....ummm but Kara I`m starving and want to eat something savoury. So I start pulling out as many things that I have to offer. 
Halfway through the evening Ale tells me he is ducking out for a second to grab a bottle of champagne he left in the car. I try to persuade him to stay as the table is already filled with magnum`s and there is no absence of wine. Time passes and I notice his disappearance.  I ask a friend about his absence and remain in shock when the answer is he has returned to his family home for food. Mostly because I feel that I have poorly catered for the party. But then I take a chill pill and remember after all that I am living in Italy, and you can never have too much food. Half and hour passes and the `hero` walks in the door with two shopping bags filled with goods. I can't rememeber if there was a round of applause, I think so. It was as if he had been to the local supermarket. The two bags were filled with salami bigger than my arms, a wheel of pecorino cheese bigger than my head,  olives and various preserves and bread (the most essential item for any Italian table). Although I nearly hit him over the head with the salami I couldn't but help see the funny side of this. Like who just has that much produce lying around at home? The answer, an Italian family!

The night proceeds with lots of laughs, singing, some latin dancing, firing opening bon bon`s, celebrating, dressing up, telling stories and eating and drinking....probably too much.

For me the most precious moment of the evening was drowning the Christmas pudding with brandy with the six year old nephew. With the lights turned off and seeing the explosion of flames as the match hit the brandy was nothing less than spectacular. Seeing the sheer look of excitement on the little boys face will be something I will always treasure. Passing on and sharing my British tradition of igniting the pudding amongst my friends made living away from home on Christmas that little more tolerable.
                   
The drunk brandy Christmas pudding aflame
Ginger biscuits with gorgonzola and walnuts 
riccarelli biscuits, a Tuscan tradition at Christmas time 


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