January 6, The feast of the Epiphany, La Befana,

January 6 is traditionally celebrated and honored by both churches in the United States and Italy as The Feast of the Epiphany.

  • The Catholic Church remembers the visit of The Three Wise men to see the baby Jesus bringing him gifts of gold, incense and myrr as celebration of his birth.
  • Italia
    La Befana and The Feast of Epiphany.
  • It is an old tradition in Italy on January 5 to hang Christmas stockings in the kitchen window or on the fireplace for La Befana to leave gifts for the children while they are sleeping. La Befana is an old woman and does not want to be seen.
  • The Italian custom also says that the Befana leaves her gifts not just at one house, but she also visits grandparents’, uncles and other relatives homes; so at Epiphany, Italian houses are always full of people visiting and of children unwrapping gifts. Tables are laden with cakes and traditional drinks like punch (an alcoholic drink which should be served warm with a small lemon skin) or other Italian liqueurs, and everything is pervaded by a special atmosphere or peace and harmony.Many Italian families, on this day, usually have lunch together in order to spend one last day of fun and relaxation before returning to their daily routine and to work. ( gleni.it-an Italian blog)

What inspires you?

Life Is Beautiful-La Vita e Bella Weblog

Do you ever wonder how it is that you choose to do something? What inspires you? Why does that particular thing spark your interest?

Are you a ” go with the flow” type of person or are you rigid in your thoughts of what you’ve already decided is right for you?

I am finding that I have changed my likes over the years, just as some people change friends.  I am open to new things. I am interested.  From the perspective of children, some cannot wait to finish school, yet you can spend your lifetime learning. Your brain, thinking and your mind ready to absorb different information.  I feel you become a better person with each new thing that you introduce. It is social, in the process, you meet new people. You don’t have to like every aspect of a person, but you learn to appreciate that part of them…

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Cranberry Sauce

Sharing ” Panini girl’s recipe for home-made cranberry sauce. This sounds more savory then sweet. Try it and send me a comment.

Panini Girl

sauce

It’s that time of year again-the holidays are officially upon us. Step into any grocery store and you will immediately get the sense of the frenzy that accompanies the season. You can hardly get your cart through the aisle with all the shoppers hurriedly throwing things into their carts. My first thought is “will I have time to get everything done once I get out of here?”.

As much as I love to cook and entertain, I am happy that I am not preparing the entire Thanksgiving feast. We are part of a celebration with friends with everyone pitching in with the cooking. One of my assignments is the cranberry sauce. This is not the cranberry sauce of my youth. Of course I grew up with the jellied sauce in the can. Didn’t you too? This has been my “go to” sauce for years now. A little tart, a little…

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What inspires you?

Do you ever wonder how it is that you choose to do something? What inspires you? Why does that particular thing spark your interest?

Are you a ” go with the flow” type of person or are you rigid in your thoughts of what you’ve already decided is right for you?

I am finding that I have changed my likes over the years, just as some people change friends.  I am open to new things. I am interested.  From the perspective of children, some cannot wait to finish school, yet you can spend your lifetime learning. Your brain, thinking and your mind ready to absorb different information.  I feel you become a better person with each new thing that you introduce. It is social, in the process, you meet new people. You don’t have to like every aspect of a person, but you learn to appreciate that part of them that participates in a certain activity, whether it yoga, painting, rock climbing, singing, teaching, jewelry-making, bakery owner, gardener.

I am amazed at my local library and all the venues it has to offer. It truly has become a multi-faceted place in which during the learning process,  I have met several new friends.

There is the ” Digital Cafe”, The Smart Lab” to take various computer seminars, and to make appointments for one on one questions. Also there you can learn ” Garage Band”, video-Editing, there is a Library consortium of shared services, one of these being sewing. I sewed  both a zipped pouch and a pretty library tote of toile fabric which I like.

During both months of  January and March were ” Makers month ” at local libraries in my area.

Who would have thought that all you need is a black felt tip sharpie and a white ” tile” cardboard and you can create artistic doodles called Zentangle.  The premise is that while playing New Age music, music that is played during yoga classes, and drawing patterns, that it releases endorphins that create a form of relaxation.  That day in January, I also learned knitting, and ball room dancing. In March, I was enthused to attend and watch documentaries.

One of my favorites was the movie entitled ” Angel Azul”,  about the long process of creating an Angel statue by plaster casting on a model, this took hours to do and I appreciated the patience of the lady model. This statue was lowered into the ocean with a giant crane.  Many more statues were created by sculptures in the same method , all to be used on the ocean floor, to create a new barrier reef ,  a place for plankton, and sea life to adhere to.  I learned that professional scuba divers travel from all areas of the world to scuba  dive in Mexico to view this place.

Thank- you for visiting my blog and finding this post.

Comments: I welcome your comments, thoughts on the subject.

Top Ten Bookish Things I Haven’t Finished- Weekly Tuesday Book Meme

Top ten bookish things I haven’t finished.

Tuesday book meme

Is the question, do you like to read? Rather, what is the least amount of books that you have purchased at a book sale, since the last day of most book sales is ” Bag of Books for $1.00 or 2.00″?

This is how I can contribute to a weekly meme topic, Tuesday books, with the title, ” Top ten Books I Haven’t finished”.  As I look to the side of my bed, this is the current stack of books.  These are the ones I reach for.  However, chuckling, I currently have  just two books checked out of my local library, Negella’s Kitchen, and a Halloween themed book, ” Vampires, Witches and Caldrones”, or something like that.

  1. Summers End                By Kathleen Gilles Seidel
  2. A month of Summer      By Lisa Wingate
  3. The Conde Nast Traveler of Unforgettable Journeys By Clara Glowczewska,Editor
  4. The Clover House.          By Henriette Lazaridis Power
  5. Floating in My Mother’s Palm  By Ursula Hegi
  6. Know Your Power            By Nancy Pelosi.                                                                                                 The first two books that I have listed have a common word in them, Summer.  I chose these books at a book sale in the spring, while I was anticipating summer and then once summer came, I was so busy learning and networking that I didn’t finish.

The 3 rd book, ” Unforgettable Journeys” title , I like to pick up and read a story every now and then.

” The Clover House, just got buried underneath my favorites and I forgot about.

” Floating in my mother’s Palm”  is hard for me to read  , first of all by the tone of the book, is melancholy. The time frame is set in Post War Germany and the first chapter starts with the author describing her mother   Pregnant and carrying the author in the womb, how she chose a nun to take care of her instead of a midwife  and her days waiting .

The Book authored by Nancy Pelosi is a book I purchased after hearing her speak to promote the book on one of the morning Talk Shows. This one is important subject, Women and Empowerment. This book, I promise to continue reading and get it off this list.

Breakfast, the most important meal of the day

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Buckwheat Pancakes recipe, My grandmother’s staple food

My maternal grandmother always like buckwheat , in the form of pancakes.  My mother recalls that my grandfather made the pancakes on the weekends, adding sliced apples to it.  I am like a sponge wanting to know more details.  My mother added that there was a lady who had a store that sold the kids pieces of fudge for 2 cents a piece.  We have come a long way from those days.  Maybe 70 years ago, buckwheat was the predominant staple.  My mom said that there wasn’t much money for meat when she was growing up. Buckwheat  is high in protein, B vitamins, Folacin, Niacin, calcium.  I’m learning that it is much more nutritious than the boxes of “pancake mix ” that is commonly sold in grocery stores today.  Although , you can find Buckwheat pancake mix  in specialty stores like Stonewall kitchen ( in Vermont), a blueberry pancake mix with both whole wheat and corn flours in it or at Whole Foods in Princeton, NJ. 

Buckwheat pancakes Recipe:

Buckwheat flour,  Grind your own from buckwheat bran.

Use 1 cup white flour for every 2 cups buckwheat flour.

Into large bowl, Sift the flours together, than add 1 cup of water .

In small bowl, beat 2 eggs, then add to the flours.  Whisk by hand the flours, water and beaten eggs. You can add 4-5 TBSP of olive oil.

Ratio: 3 cups flour ( combo of buckwheat and white), 3 cups water , 2 -3 eggs.

Cover and let the mix rest in the frig for several hours or at least one hour.

Cook the crepes or pancakes on a cast iron pan that was very lightly oiled; it should not be visibly full of oil or butter.

Using a ladle, pour the buckwheat batter all at once onto the hot cast iron pan.

Wait for the pancake to cook on top until it looks dry and the edges start to curl.  Do not lift up the edges of the pancake to check, it will tear/rip the pancake.!!

The fillings can be sweet or savory.   Roll up the crepes with :

Savory: Cooked chicken, ham, Gruyère cheese.

sweet: jam or Serve with chives and a spoonful of sour cream.

Buckwheat Pancakes:

1 cup buckwheat flour

1/2 cup white flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 TBSP brown sugar

1 tsp salt

1 oz vegetable oil

1 egg

1 1/2 cups milk

Mix well.   Pour onto hot griddle.  Yield 6 to 8  ( 6 inch cakes ). 

Another recipe using BUCKWHEAT GROATS:

Good to prepare during the Lenten season.

Source:  Whole Foods website

Kasha Varnishkes

Serves 4 to 6

Kasha Varnishkes, a delightful mixture of sautéed onions, buckwheat groats and bowtie pasta, graces many Jewish holiday tables. This version features caramelized onions and hearty mushrooms.

Ingredients

1 cup whole buckwheat groats
3 tablespoons plus 1/2 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil, divided
1/3 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt to taste
4 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced
1/2 pound cremini mushrooms
2 cups dried bowtie pasta
Black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 tablespoons toasted pumpkin seeds (optional)

Method

Bring 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons water to a boil in a medium pot over high heat. Stir in buckwheat groats, 1/2 teaspoon of the oil, cumin, and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt, reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for 18 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Warm 2 tablespoons of the remaining oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, for 6 to 8 minutes. Add mushrooms, raise the heat to high, and cook for 4 to 6 more minutes, stirring frequently. Reduce the heat to low, and cook for 10 to 15 more minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions and mushrooms begin to caramelize.

Meanwhile, cook pasta according to directions on package. Drain pasta and toss with mushroom mixture.
Lightly fluff the groats with a fork and then stir them into the pasta and mushroom mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with remaining 1 tablespoon oil, parsley, and pumpkin seeds, if using.

Nutrition

Per serving: 310 calories (80 from fat), 9g total fat, 1.5g saturated fat, 9g protein, 52g total carbohydrate (6g dietary fiber, 7g sugar), 0mg cholesterol, 110mg sodium

Tags: Family FriendlyAmericanVegetarianVeganLow SodiumHigh FiberDairy Free

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