This past year has been quite a memorable one for a variety of reasons. Fabrizio and I came back here to the Italian alps in 2002 to live in his family home that his family built. With the 2006 Winter Olympics as a driving force to return and start the B&B where formerly there had only been the family restaurant, now retired and passed on to someone else, we arrived to try to breathe new life into Serre Marchetto. We have met multi faceted challenges along the way to try and transform the family business into something that stimulates our interests and supports us in a way that plays to our strengths and resourceful creativity. 2006 has proved our efforts has been worthy. Our business has started to take off and lead us in directions that were mere ideas that are now starting to take shape and legs. We have met so many people especially this past year between the run up to the Olympics and a steady stream of visitors since, from all over the world. To say that Fabrizio's parents, friends and neighbors have been surprised to have so many different countries find their way here is putting it mildly. Actually so are we!
As one of our guests put it, the internet works. Which brings me to to the original point of this blog, which was to send some cookies to some people I have "met" on the internet. What an incredible experience to have virtual friends as well as live guests too. Keeps me busy trying to keep up. I'm still a bit new and amazed by the world of the internet having only started using a computer when I started working in Europe a few years ago and wanted to try and stay in contact with my family in the states. I have met so many incredibly accomplished and inspiring, ordinary people, whose passionate lives and writing border on extraordinary. So much that I find it's hard to get some of the things I need to get done sometimes, as I am drawn into other peoples lives and expertise in my desire to discover more and more and more. I'm sure many of you must feel the similarly? Perhaps being an ex pat and struggling thru rapid Italian and Piemontese conversations all the time, I am even more drawn to the fountain of the internet.
Anyway, along the way I have discovered an amazing group of ever expanding food bloggers and a quite diverse network of people with an incredible depth of interest and expertize thru My Blog Log.
I felt compelled to send some cookies to a few people that have shown an interest about what I'm doing for a variety of reasons. A fellow expat here in Italy has been decorating Ginger people in her native Hawaii for a few weeks for the holiday season. Rubber Slippers in Italy
She has some great stories and amazing food. Particularly inpressed with her Sardian ravioli amongst many. Lora of the Power of Trinity asked me which cookies I made and so the picture above depicts a few of the ones that I have pared down the list to this year. Josh of The HOV Lane mentioned that he might like to stop by and have a few cookies if his tour included the Alps. Perhaps when gets thru all 50 states, he'll hop the pond and visit with us over here.
For many years when I worked for the ski resort of Copper Mountain in Colorado, my colleagues and I use to make hundreds of cookies for the holiday season. My particular favorite time of the baking year is the yule time, even though it was the busiest time. We made ginger houses for various units around the village and many various cut out cookies with little bags of colored frosting, sprinkles and draggees for the village and visitor children's cookie decorating party hosted by Copper Village. Most personally satisfying, was the employee party where our cookies were a prominent feature and always a topic of conversation later on. I still am unable to resist having a few decorated cut out cookies around every year. Also on the pictured plate are the traditional Butter balls, which go by many names, a pasta frolla coin, and Hazelnut sables. Missing from the line up are a few of my favorites, like occhio di bui (Ox eyes), local Baci Dama(lady kisses), linzer hearts, stain glass cookies, and English toffee bars just to name a few. Perusing some of those food blogs I keep mentioning, they had a lot of great ideas that I think might become my new favorites. I always try to have some type of cookie here as we have a fair amount of guests stop in and it's nice to have a home made cookie to go with that expresso or tea when the time comes. One other thing I miss, that I hope to some day start up here, is the cookie exchange. One of my dear friends use to have us over for a girls night and usually we kept it to 12 women. Everyone brought 12 dozen of one type of their current favorite cookie separated into 12 plates. So that everyone left with 12 different kinds of cookies. You sometimes found some new favorites and didn't have to make so many different ones yourself. That worked for a few years until everyone decided that many cookies were sometimes too much, so they then it turned into a food exchange and all sorts of interesting things got exchanged. One of my personal favorites was cranberry chutney. So there's an idea for you next year to have a bit of fun with. Perhaps I'll have a go on the internet with some of the food bloggers and see how that goes. In the mean time, new year, new adventures and always a reason to come to Italy and visit with us in the alps .....
Blessed Be to all of you known and all of you that I've yet to meet.
Marla (aka Pasticciera)