“If your mother cooks Italian food, why should you go to a restaurant?”
~ Martin Scorsese
Tradition has always been important to me. Maybe it’s because I’m a Virgo. Or perhaps I have Royal Blue in my Aura. Or maybe it was the way I was brought up. I’m not sure.
One of my favourite traditions when I moved from the bush to New Farm in Brisbane, back in the 1990s, was to visit the New Farm Deli. A family owned and run delicatessen it had first come onto my horizon because my Italian-food loving grandparents Marga and Ceddie would take me there as a child, to source the many wonderful ingredients my grandmother would cook with. Suddenly I lived just blocks away, and it had incredible coffee and food and shelves and cabinets full of marvels that just weren’t available anywhere else in Brisbane.
When I was growing up, Christmas was always a family thing. A coming together of grandparents and cousins and groaning tables full of food, and always a card table to some other small table where the excess kids were sat. It was also a full-on cooking saga of epic proportion.
As I grew up it was me who became the cook. Often I would spend almost my entire Christmas Day in the kitchen, prepping, cooking, serving and then cleaning up. I didn’t mind. It was my idea of heaven, to make and serve food to the people I loved. Most of
Now I am grown, old even, married with no kids, and with our families greatly diminished in numbers and scattered to the winds. That really ended my previous family Christmas traditions, and so we started a new one – Orphans Christmas – where we invite other lonely people to share a meal and some company. With supplies from the deli, of course!
My husband’s Mum comes from a proud Italian heritage, and because of her (and my own maternal grandmother’s love of all things Italian) I was introduced to Panettone, an Italian sweet bread loaf a little like a cake – fluffy and risen and studded with candied and dried fruits or amazing fillings of sweet custard or chocolate chips. The New Farm Deli was where we would buy them and over time I learned the many ways of serving or cooking with them – although my favourite still remains eating a slice fresh with a good coffee or a glass of sherry or prosecco.
You can start a new tradition at any time! Ours now is to have Panettone, a freshly squeezed orange juice or glass of champagne for breakfast, followed by good coffee and perhaps one more slice… We also save our very best Panettone for New Year’s Day, and eat it on the verandah with our friend Carly who stays with us at that time of year. We make coffee, eat Panettone and pull cards for the year ahead. Glorious! Panettone will also make the basis of our Christmas Lunch Dessert this year, but I’ll blog that recipe and a few others next week.
Vince Anello and his staff have added a fine selection of Panettone over the years. I defy you to find a better selection in Brisbane, or perhaps Australia. If you live in or close to Brisbane why not go visit, grab a coffee or a meal at the cafe and then wander the deli, choosing your Panettone and a basket full of other delights for yourself or as gifts. It’s a lovely tradition and a delicious one!
Hugs and love, Nicole ❤ xx
PS. If you want to start another new tradition for yourself why not grab one of my YOM Planners to help you live a more mindful, grateful and connected life in 2019, or get my Meditation Mala and bonus online course so you can start a tradition of regular meditation for yourself. It’s all here in my shop.