On Sunday we hosted a "Primo di La Befana" Party for friends in our Italian Speaking Meet-up Group. We had a wonderful evening and lots of good food.
La Befana, the Italian legend, is the story of a sad old woman who has lost her only child and husband, who was the love of her life. She is sad and lonely, when one winter night some visitors in royal robes announce that a King has been born in Bethlehem. These men are going to visit the baby, and ask if she would like to travel with them toward the bright star. La Befana declines, as she has no gifts to bring. The next day, a shepherd arrives, also going to see the new King, and invites La Befana to join him on his journey. Again she declines, as even the shepherd has a gift to bring. La Befana opens a chest holding her two treasures she hold most dear: a doll that her baby used to hold and kiss, and a piece of wool from her own wedding dress that she wore when her beloved husband was still with her. These two items have given her much comfort over the years, but she decides it would be even better for the doll to be given to the Christ child. She dyes the wool a regal purple, and makes a cape to bring for the baby. La Befana sets off alone on her journey, but cannot find her way, and becomes lost. During her travels, she sees many other babies and young children, and leaves them sweets, as she looks for the one special child. Las Befana continues to travel, leaving gifts to good children. She is celebrated all over Italy to this day, on the eve of Epiphany.
Menu: (I didn't get photos of everything before it was devoured)
Roasted Eggplant dip
Homemade flatbread with fig-balsamic jam, prosciutto and asiago
Stuffed endive with cream cheese and chutney
Salad with roasted pears, cranberries, panettone croutons and lemon-honey dressing
Pasta with sausage, caramelized onions and broccoli
Baked chicken with fennel
LOTS of holiday cookies
Mini panna cotta (vanilla and chocolate)