PANETTONE … Italian Christmas Bread

 

IMG_2695

I have been making this gorgeous Italian bread every Christmas for more than thirty years.   Panettone is a sweet bread filled with candied fruit and raisens. Our son  would not consider it Christmas unless this gorgeous bread appeared on the breakfast table Christmas morning.   Terry’s chocolate orange in his stocking is the other most have.  One year when I thought perhaps he had grown too old for this tradition of the chocolate orange I didn’t tuck one into his stocking.  That will NEVER happen again.

If you have a stand mixer this bread is not difficult.  You must allow yourself time so start it early in the day.  Otherwise you’ll end up baking it at midnight. That happened to me one Christmas eve but it did fill our home with the lovely aroma of baking on Christmas eve.

Panettone keeps well and is delicious toasted.  Serve it with a dusting of icing sugar and a little marscapone cheese and you have a heavenly dessert.

This recipe for PANETTONE is so superior to the package product seen in the shops at this time of year you will be happy you have it in your apron pocket.

 

 

 

THE DAY BEFORE CHRISTMAS

It’s very early Christmas Eve morning.  I have just added the last Christmas tree adornment.  It is my tradition.  The newest decoration goes on the tree first.  Then Christmas Eve day the oldest decoration.   His name is Hansel.  He is over seventy years old.  Made of celluloid.  My sister Heather has Gretel.

One Christmas Day they will be together again.

I love the ancient, glowing look of my nativity set.  Another cherished Christmas tradition.  It arrived over forty years ago  for the first Christmas of our son, Callum.

I sip my morning coffee and wrap the last of the gifts.  Preparations for dinner tomorrow have begun.  The kitchen has a delicious aroma of roasted sweet potatoes, for sweet potato mousse.  I’ve baked more rosemary walnut crisps, and sweet buns for breakfast tomorrow.    The dining room table is layered with several linen tablecloths. The largest sweeps the floor like an elegant gown.  Enormous crisp Irish linen napkins, gold chargers, and two massive candelabra celebrate the day.  Tomorrow I’ll add fragrant, fresh cedar boughs and white poinsettias.  My slow Christmas has worked out wonderfully.

Tiny Tim in Dickens’ Christmas Carol has the last word.

“God bless us everyone.”