musings about food, travel, creativity and life

“Per Natale”

Many years ago I made  “Per Natale,” the doll shown above, to honor Christmas and my grandfather.  Whenever my grandfather said “Per Natale,”  he was questioning how long he would have to wait for something that was supposed to happen soon. “Hmmm…’Per Natale’—maybe by Christmas”….

And here we are—waiting. Many are waiting for the celebration of the birth of the Christ child; children are waiting for Santa to arrive with Rudolph leading the way; others are waiting for the Winter Solstice with its promise of the returning of the light. 

And all of us are waiting for, hoping for, the pandemic to be over.  At the same time, we continue to move forward with living the best life we can. Doing that takes strength, resilience, flexibility, creativity, faith.  Easier said than done.

Some days I just feel like a good cry… or a walk with my doggie… or a call to a friend… or a hug from John.   Other days, I need to light a few more candles (I certainly have those!) and say a few more prayers…or put not one, but two chocolate covered almonds in my morning coffee. 

Luckily there are also many days when I look out the window at the sun peeking over the mountains and at the sweet birds eating from our feeders or bathing in our bird baths and I feel myself smiling. Or I hear about a new restaurant I want to try or sense a small adventure brewing.  On those days,  life takes over. And for that I am very thankful. 



On My Bookshelf: Food for Thought


True Joy, from Compendium, Inc., is a collection of “inspiration and activities” about joy.  A nice quote from it by Maya Angelou is “We need joy as we need air. We need love as we need water. We need each other as we need the earth we share.” And one of the book’s activities is to list “what never fails to make you laugh.” I like that.



This time of year, my two favorite Italian go-to sweets are panettone and torrone.  Panettone is an egg-based sweet bread with dried fruit that was a part of all my childhood Christmas mornings.   There are all kinds of beautifully boxed and packaged panettone this time of year. The one pictured here is a mini and I love it.  The other sweet, torrone, is a chewy nougat candy that can come in a block or in small festive boxes.  I feel lucky that our local valley Quail and Olive shop ( carries both the torrone boxes and  different renditions of panettone.


Take Out, Eat In

Bigoli ( is the name of a pasta-making company in our area.  It is a delightful nook that offers all kinds of pastas, ravionics, gnocchis, and sauces (as well as the panettone shown above).  Our freezer is now filled with its creations. I remember helping my grandmother and mother make ravioli for each Christmas meal; Gracie, Bigoli, for taking over the task and in such a delicious way!


Buon Natale, Everyone!  May your holidays bring you comfort and joy♥





4 thoughts on ““Per Natale””

  • Buon Natale Amico Mio
    Here is my proposal……on those days when you feel like crying and I feel like hitting someone over the head with a baseball bat, you put 5 chocolate covered almonds in your coffee and I will eat a handful myself. Sounds like the smartest idea yet!

    PS: I remember your Christmas doll. She has been around bringing holiday cheer for a while. xoxo
    Cheers Archers.

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