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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

On Fruitcakes & Christmas Cookies

crMy husband, the fruitcake, likes fruitcakes. I think it’s an Italian thing. He enjoys making fruitcakes and has been in high production.

Strange thing is, I haven’t even glimpsed the fruitcakes that he and our oldest son baked. He and our two sons hoard them. They keep them in an undisclosed location and insist on a Swiss bank account number to access them.

Hence, I haven’t seen them. I’m too busy with my own secret numbers and besides, I don’t like fruitcake, no matter whether it’s more the cake or more fruit. Not interested.

Panettone, the traditional Italian Christmas hybrid between a bread and a cake, laced with plenty of eggspanettone and butter added to the yeast and flour, plus studded with dried raisins, candied oranges, citron and lemon zest— that, I can gobble down. As a matter of fact, I enjoy making it more than eating it, often baking the bread in brown paper bags, either mini- or lunch bag-sized and given as gifts to Italians in-the-know. Fold down the top of the bag, tie with twine and insert a pine or holly sprig on the outside for decoration, but remember: always paint the bag with butter first, so it doesn’t stick!

IMG_4746This year, when the Romans are mourning their mangy municipal Christmas tree that has already lost most of its needles, maybe I should make a few thousand mini-panettoni and generously distribute them to lift their spirits. A great reason for a field trip….

Anyway, the kids made Hanukkah and Christmas cookies, the regular sugar cookies, then topped with a slip of fondant. Some they would draw on, which either added to, or detracted from, the design-! It was the thought that IMG_4745counted, along with the fun… and the flour, flour everywhere!

I was hand-delivered one tiny offering, minus the frosting and it was delightfully delicious. So I appropriately oohed and aahed. We piled the rest on trays and whisked them away to a holiday event.

The best time of the year for so many reasons!


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