Sniff! Sniff! Ah, the smells of the season. Balsam. Cedar. Pine. Cookies — probably the best fragrance of all.

I have admitted to not being a baker, although I have many recipes that I threaten to try. This year I even clipped out some no-bake cookie recipes, how easy would that be? We’ll see. Luckily I do know lots of good holiday bakers, Teresa and Neighbor Nancy. Cousin Josephine makes pizzelles (Nona’s recipe), while Dina bakes yummy things and anything from Rose of Rose’s Catering at the VFW is a winner.

With all the traditional favorites, I have to list panettone, a sweet bread originally from Milan, Italy, as my favorite. It is served around Christmas and New Year’s. It makes a good gift, and I recently gave one to some of our Czech friends and told them it was the Italian answer to houska since there are some similarities. It is delicious toasted with a little butter but can be eaten plain.  Go online to see some recipes you might want to try.

Panettone can be translated into “Tony’s bread,” which just happens to be the title of a book by children’s author Tomie dePaola about a baker who wants to be the most famous baker in Northern Italy. 

While teaching at Mater Christi, I and another teacher would read the story and then share panettone with the kids.  It might be a fun thing to do with the younger people in your family to introduce them to another tradition. Big kids will like it also. 

Panettone is available at Riverside Foods, although I cleaned out their shelf out last week, so you might want to check. You can also try Tischler’s and I have seen it at Walgreen’s and CVS. They also have them in a cupcake size which would be a good stocking stuffer.

There are so many ways to bring seasonal aromas into your home for the holidays. I opt for an artificial tree, candles and different sprays. I can make it smell like a forest at the Kosey house.

So settle yourself down, get comfy have a slice of panettone and an eggnog. I had a delicious one at Chew Chew. That sounds like a good idea: Sign off and send this column, JoAnne, it’s your time.