by Melinda Gallo

Buon anno 2006!

As this year comes to an end, I am hopeful with what the new year will bring to all of us. Right now we are having the coldest winter ever and the snow that fell a few days ago is still stuck to most rooftops. It's been dark and drizzly all day, but still we have hope for a bright new year.

Last night I was making tiramis¨ because we are going to our friend's house this evening for capodanno (New Year's celebration). I looked up at the clock in the kitchen as I was preparing the tiramis¨ and realized it was almost midnight! It made me giggle because only one other person I know cooked desserts this late: my mother. She used to stay up until two or three in the morning making a variety of desserts for every celebration.

Tonight, for our big cenone (New Year's dinner) I decided to get a cotechino (a traditional pork sausage eaten primarily during the holiday season in Italy). It's like zampone except the sausage meat is not stuffed into a pig's foot/paw. And, I'm making lenticchie (lentils) to go with it. In Italy, they say that eating lenticchie is supposed to represent abundance and riches for the coming year.

I've eaten both of these at a cenone before in Italy, but it's the first time I've cooked them myself. Our friends are also American and it's their first capodanno in Italy. I figured that they should have something very traditional to eat. Besides, it's always fun trying new recipes and making new things.

Vi auguro un nuovo anno pieno di amore, di felicitÓ, di gioia, e di pace.

I wish you all a happy new year filled with love, happiness, joy, and peace.

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