January 6th, 2007.
There is a tradition in Italy on January 6th to celebrate the arrival of the Three Kings and the giving of their gifts. The Italians call it ‘Befana’, after a kind old witch who gave the Three Kings food and shelter on their way to Bethlehem. They asked her to join them but, as she was too busy, she refused. Regretting her decision she set off to follow them, but lost her way and, to make sure she did not miss the Holy Baby, she gave a gift to every good child she met, and a piece of coal to every naughty one!
So children leave their shoes under the Christmas tree to see what they will get. As you can imagine, our two, the tall one and the small one, woke up very early that day, hoping. Surprisingly they didn’t get any coal and got a few tiny presents in their shoes. So it works, even for non-Italians!
Best thing I ate today;
Roast Fennel (a casa)
How to make it;
Neaten up 2 fennel bulbs, top and bottom, and slice them roughly lengthways. Put them in a shallow roasting dish in a single layer, drizzle olive oil over them, sprinkle with sea salt and roast in a hot oven for about 10 to 15 minutes. When you remove them, pour about a wine glass, half full of good vegetable stock and half full of white wine. Back in the oven for 10 more minutes, by which time they should be soft, slightly caramelised, and delicious