‘Tis the Season
How are you doing out there in holiday land? I don’t know about you, but I’m looking for comfort and joy this holiday season. Oh, yes. And here’s what I’ve come up with so far…
❤️My morning lattes with my chocolate almond waiting on the bottom of the cup, and my biscotti for dunking
❤️Wrapping and sending gifts to family and friends
❤️Getting out Christmas decor that brings up warm memories of the past
❤️Watching World Cup soccer and getting a touch of the incredible and varied world “out there”
❤️The blessings of John, home, warmth and the marvel of our almost 17 year old doggie, Cosi, and how she manages to still jump on the bed to say hi
❤️And, of course, “food, glorious food”…
👩🍳I am reading a delightful new book by Jacques Pépin called Art of the Chicken: A Master Chef’s Paintings, Stories and Recipes of the Humble Bird. Jacques uses a lovely conversational tone as he tells about his path to becoming a chef and the importance of chicken in his life, cuisine and art. Yes, art. I hadn’t realized that Jacques Pépin has been a painter for over 50 years! The book’s illustrations are his paintings of chickens—they are light, colorful and fun.
Although there are chicken and egg recipes in the book, they are all framed within the text of the story line and are without precise measurements; it’s as if a friend is telling you about a great meal he or she fixed last night. (Some of the recipes and one chapter in particular do include some butchering details, though, so be prepared.).
The book is providing much of what I need right now—new learning, lightness, beauty, and a touch of the foreign. I’m going to gift copies to a few food-art aficionados and hope it brings them a smile or two and a bit of inspiration.
👩🍳I’m also trying new recipes. For the first time in decades, I bought heavy cream so I could make a recipe from another of Jacques Pépin’s cookbooks—Jacques Pépin: Heart and Soul in the Kitchen. The dish was Poulet à la Crème and it was mighty fine, fun, and easy.
👩🍳Another food adventure this week was making granola biscotti. They were a success—tasty, chewy, and crunchy.
👩🍳And for a seasonal does-my-Italian-heart-good treat, I’ve been buying small panettones, like the one pictured here.
It’s always fun to explore the many varieties, sizes, and tastes of these traditional holiday Italian sweet egg breads. I like to pretend I’m in Italy walking along the street with all the other folks swinging their particular favorite panettone as they wend their way home.
❣️On a non-culinary note, I have just discovered a new scarf (!) company from France (!!) called Les Belles Vagabondes (!!!)
The little silk scarf in its tin box is perfect for sending a light hit of beauty to a scarf lover in your world.
SO…there you have it. Tidbits of my attempts to bring comfort and joy into this holiday season. I would love to know what you do to enhance comfort and joy for you and those you love and the world beyond.
May you all have healthy, lovely, and fun holidays!!