by Melinda Gallo

Homemade Panettone

Today Simone called me to ask me to come by his restaurant before 5PM. He said he made me a Panettone for Christmas. Panettone is the Italian Christmas cake with candied fruit. They seem to sell it everywhere: at the supermarket, at bakeries, and even at the open market. Usually I get Pandoro, which is the same cake without the candied fruit. It comes with a bag of powdered sugar that you open and pour into the cake's bag and shake it.

Living in Florence :: Homemade Panettone

I couldn't wait to go, but first I went to the Co-Op to get a few things at the grocery store since it'll be closed on Sunday and Monday. Before I made brunch for Dave and me, I walked to the Co-Op. I was expecting large crowds, but at 1PM there weren't that many people.

After brunch, I walked over to Santo Spirito to Simone's restaurant. I generally try to avoid walking over the Ponte Vecchio when there are lots of people, so I walked to the Ponte Santa TrinitÓ and couldn't help myself from taking a picture of Ponte Vecchio. It looked so beautiful lit up reflecting off the Arno river.

By the time I got to Simone's place, I was freezing. My cheeks were cold when he greeted me. We were planning on going to Simone's for dinner tomorrow night, but he said they closed because there weren't any reservations.

I bought him some chocolates from Vestri (which is a chocolate place near our house) that he likes: the ones with pepperoncini. I also got him a few others, like the Cremino and another one with praline. I know how much he loves the chocolates there and was happy to get him something he would enjoy.

I walked back home with my warm Panettone all wrapped up in cellophane. It was starting to sprinkle, like a light snow and lots of people were still out shopping, but didn't seem as happy today. I guess the stress was adding up and the cold didn't help. All I could think of was possibly making some crema di mascarpone (like the one I make for tiramis¨) to go with the Panettone.

Share your comments for this blog post on the Living in Florence's Facebook page. Grazie!