Tasty Tangents

Food, life and other morsels

Post-Holiday Cheer



As always a few weeks after the Christmas season, things tend to get a little dreary as all the sparkle and joy begins to fade away.

So it seemed like and ideal time for my first guest post. My mom is always working to perfect family recipes. Ones that have been handed down on scraps of paper with little more than the names of a few main ingredients. (And that’s at the best of times.)

So without further ado…here’s a word from my mom.


I have been wanting to write about my special Christmas sweets for quite some time. I remember the sights, smells and tastes that come with them, but most of all they represent my family’s traditions of preparing so many different sweets for the season that were made from recipes passed on from one generation to the next by word of mouth. The ingredients have always remained the same, but the quantities come from individual experience.

I made one particular sweet three times this season starting in late November when our family Christmas party was being organized by my sister, Lucy.  I was excited to have a big family gathering and wanted to bring tradition to the party with my sweets.

I took pictures of the process and felt very close to the people who made them before me.  I could hear my grandmother whispering “piano, piano,” (slowly, slowly) and knew she was watching over me while I deep fried them. I made them again within days because I thought they were too small and there weren’t enough.

The care and attention I gave them paid off.  They were magnificent.  After the frying and cooling, I made the icing and remembered how often I had watched my mom make them with the same care and the resulting cicitielli were always beautiful little balls of snow white icing adorning the fluffy cake inside.  Mom’s were the best.

I had come close to the way they were supposed to be and appreciated the hard work of those who made them before me.  I could feel their strength go through me and settle in my heart as I felt pride in having completed the job.

I made them again just before New Year’s Eve to bring them to my daughter’s house. They smelled, tasted and looked just like they were supposed to and I iced them at her house just before guests were supposed to arrive.

The work paid off because everyone who tasted them said they were surprised by the flavour and texture that they had.  They were not what they had expected and then they had another. I think that my son-in-law, Dan liked them a lot when he dipped one in the chocolate fondue.  He said that they were delicious.  My husband kept telling me that they were the best sweets of the season whenever he ate one.

I will probably not make them again until next Christmas and look forward to the event as part of the joys of the season, but I suppose I could make them some time before if I really wanted to.

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