Monday, January 9, 2017

After The Holidays

Window In Shop in Venice
I have been distracted by the holiday season and my mind has been far from What Fills My Plate.  It has been an interesting few weeks, with a steam train ride, a visit to the Christmas Markets in Nuremberg, Bamburg and Ljubljana, three trips to Venice, and the birth of a grandchild.  Time does not sit still and neither did we!

What is the season to Italians?  I can only add a few insights in comparison to American perspective.  Using my mother as an example, she would have us diligently search at least three Christmas tree lots, with a final trip back to one of them to pick up the tree she thought was the best choice.  Italians do not have tree lots.  I have never seen one.  We have an imitation tree from IKEA of all places.  It actually looks pretty good, and I have been trained by the best, good ol' mom.

Seasonal music in Italy is marginal in comparison.  Shoppers are blasted by Bing Crosby and the song White Christmas, Frosty the Snow Man, and other commercial songs to promote the secular side of the holiday.  I have never heard Silent Night, The First Noel, Joy to the World, or even Good King Wenceslas.  There is a group in my village the do carolling but they expect a few euros after their meager attempt.  No family in my condo answers the buzz to invite them in.   Last year we were invited up to Aviano Air Base where a chorus was backed up by a brass quartet featuring a multitude of carols.  This year the concert was cancelled.  I did see a concert in Padova advertised to feature music of Christmas.  Italians do not know about The Messiah, unfortunately.  That about wraps it up for music.

Look So Good You Don't Want To Eat Them

What is Christmas without a specially wrapped panettone?  We have gone through two of them this year.  Some of these are very expensive, 20 euros or more.   The local bakery makes some incredibly decorated sugar cookies.  Pictured above are some found in Venice.

Hard to Pass Up
The dinner table on the big day will not have a turkey or ham.  We went out to an agritourismo and had pasta dishes, and grilled meats, with a fancy.  This feast took 3 1/2 hours and we literally rolled out of there.

Italians leave their decorations up until way after the first of January as they celebrate Epifania on January 6.   This is the day of the Three Kings visitation.   The great majority of my neighbors have now removed any Christmas lights they had outside and now we are the only ones to light them at night.  I am finding it hard to give up my holiday.

German Santa in Nuremberg

I want to wish for you a Wonderful 2017, and Peace for our world.  I am hoping for a safe and calm existence for my Turkish friends in their country.  I am very worried about our future and we must all speak up for justice for all people, not just the top 1% who have all the wealth.

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