Every year I hear myself saying "this Christmas I will give everyone hand-made food gifts presented in nice boxes or bottles with pretty and colourful ribbons". And then I don't. Last minute Rome meetings, Christmas parties (and plays), and so I am whizzing around so much that I simply cannot afford two (only two??) entire days in the kitchen creating my culinary works of art.
But this year I have made a resolution (a pre-New Year's one) and announced that everyone in the family will receive at least (note this!) one edible present to devour in a day or shut in a cupboard, as my mother will probably do as she feels sorry to ruin them (and so years of presents get accumulated...).
This announcement was received with a sarcastic smile by R. "you always say this" he mocked me. Fine then! You'll see! So now it is a real duel. And I'm sure I will conquer my victory! Urgh...even if this means I will have to cook for the next 2 weeks! Argh....
Of course I'll make sure that everyone realises how much it takes to make these hand-made stock-fillers. For some reasons people always assume that DIY presents are cheaper and that is why one does it. Wrong. Equally wrong is that it takes no time to bake some cakes or make pates. For as much I hate battling and making my way through mad crowds ravaging shops, it is still quicker to pop in John Lewis or Borders and tick your shopping list.
When I was at school there was this tradition (not sure how really well accepted it was by everyone) to give all your class girl friends a Christmas gift , regalo or better regalino (small gift) as it was assumed to be tiny. Just a thought. Well I put a lot of thought in it. I could have gone to at the time "Everything 1,000Lire" (which at a closer inspection 1,000Lire was only the starting price). Instead I made them myself. Once I remember I made candles. I fiddled with a concoction of stinky wax and soap to the disgust of my parents. The fading smile on my class mates' face once they had opened the packet made me understand. I never did it again.
So. I will keep you updated about the developments of my Christmas laboratory. Rose scented Turkish delights, coconut macaroons, chocolate coated orange peels, star-shaped breads, and many more! Yum! I must make sure I make enough for us too!
Time has started ticking...