Well, here it is, the last column of 2021 and aren’t we all glad this year is over? Let’s see what 2022 will bring. I suggest we go into it with a positive outlook, which will make it easier.

So let’s recap a few things from the Christmas holiday. Admittedly, it was not like the Christmases of yore – yore being 2019. One thing I noticed that not even COVID-19 can stop are the food traditions. Bless all you bakers and cooks. 

You know for us Italians the food is essential. Beginning with Christmas Eve there is the seven fishes dinner, which is seven different fish or you can cook fish seven different ways, just so seven is a factor. We have cut back on that, and for Husband Joe and I shrimp sufficed. I ate more than seven, so I guess that counts.

We also were blessed with cousin Josephine’s pizzelles and biscotti, which are Nona’s recipe. We particularly like panettone. I call it Italian houska, which when toasted and lightly buttered is great. Houska, by the way, is a Czech specialty and can be purchased year round. 

Italians also have what is called panforte, thin and sweet, slightly resembling a fruitcake of sorts. We are also the lucky recipients of a paper-thin dessert of Eastern European origin made and given to us by friend Pam Talancon. It is labor intensive and we are grateful to Pam for her effort. To add to that neighbor Nancy gave us a bottle of Christian Brothers eggnog with brandy, which helped wash it all down. Bless those monks. 

Now here is the mystery. Who gave us the beautiful holiday box filled with homemade Christmas cookies? I tried my baker buddy Teresa Hall: nope. Daughter-in-law Pam: nope. To whoever, thank you, I will continue to search the identity of the cookie gift-giver so I can give a proper thank you.

So as unpleasant things were, they could have been worse. Nothing like a Christmas goodie to help us find ease the stress.

Thanks to all who care.

The Riverside Township Lions truck should have arrived in Kentucky to help the tornado victims. Thank you to all who so generously gave items the Riverside Lions members, to Lions President Andy Sitkiewicz for organizing the event with Alex Gallegos, Lions International and Riverside Foods.

To all, I will see you in 2022. Have a happy and healthy New Year, and eat another cookie.