Is it just me or does it seem like the stores break out the Christmas stuff a little earlier every year? I went to the mall the other day (on November 1st...) and the sales people were packing Christmas merchandise on the shelves already. Why are we always in such a rush??
I get that the economy is pretty crappy right now and Christmas is pretty much the only time of year that the stores do well..at least here in Italy....but let's wait at least until after Thanksgiving. Maybe here the Christmas stuff is out because Thanksgiving isn't celebrated, but it's still way too early in my opinion.
I do love Christmas though! This year I want to try making Panettone (Italian fruit cake) and Pandoro with my sourdough. These cakes are typically made for Christmas and New Years in Italy and originated in Milan. I'll have to ask my dear friend Alessandra how it's done. If you don't know what a Panettone or Pandoro is, I'll show you:
The Pandoro is on the left and the Panettone is on the right. I personally prefer the Pandoro...with a cappuccino...or a latte....or hot chocolate...SIMPLY DIVINE!
|Side note - I saw Cinderella (2015) the movie the other day and I really enjoyed it. I LOVED Maleficent as well. I think turning these Walt Disney Cartoon Classics into real movies is a great idea. I'm a fan! - End Side Note|
Last year and the year before, there was a huge scandal in Italy where the local police found many grocery stores that stored and sold expired Panettone and Pandoro. I'm not talking expired for months but these were fruit cakes that were sitting on the store shelves since 2008/2009... Just ridiculous and disgusting...
Hearing these things on the news is horrible because you just can't trust the foods you buy anymore. Home made stuff is so much better. It takes time and energy and passion for cooking but in the end it's worth all the extra effort put into it. No preservatives, no artificial flavoring or coloring, just plain simple whole ingredients...
I like to think of myself as a somewhat healthy eater. I'm not like obsessive compulsive about what I eat but I do make sure I get my veggies in and protein and so on. I also look at the ingredients listed on the foods that I buy and some of the ingredients I see listed I can't even pronounce....
I've been trying to avoid palm oil which is listed in a lot of foods. Apparently this type of oil is really cheap so many food manufacturers use it, for example I see it a lot in cookies, and crackers or cereal products and it's supposedly not very healthy or so they say... but regardless of whether it's healthy or not... homemade goodies are just an all around better option. That's my opinion and I'm stickin' to it!