November, 2008  NEWSLETTER

Happy Thanksgiving

Whether you say "Grazie" or "Thank You,"  in the U.S. it's time for giving thanks.

Edgar. That’s the name of my goldfish. Edgar lives in a 10 gal tank and doesn't have much in life except a view of my office and all the food he wants. I feed him twice a day when I’m around and I talk to him. He never talks back but he does seem to know my voice and comes to the side of his tank when we have our conversations. Probably he’s just looking for more food!

Last week I was looking for food - for Edgar - in K-Mart. I wanted to get him something different. You know, not the same old floating flake food I always give him. That’s when I spotted it - a new brand I hadn't seen before. This was exciting, at least I thought it would be for Edgar. I know, right now you’re thinking “get a life!”
 Anyway, I read the label which informed me that gold fish really like this food because it is in pellet form which sinks to the bottom of the tank where all happy gold fish like to find their food. The label also told me this new pellet food had everything in it to make Edgar healthier, happier and stronger. So I bought it.

As soon as I got home I told Edgar about the new food and dropped some into his tank. Now Edgar was used to being fed floating food flakes not this sinking pellet food. As usual he was very excited about being fed but he kept looking for the food at the top of the tank. I kept telling him to go to the bottom where he would find the new food which would make him healthier, happier and stronger.

Finally he got the idea that the new food was not at the top of the tank. He started looking for it in the gravel at the bottom of his tank - but he just couldn’t find it. How frustrating!! As he was picking up small pieces of gravel, tasting them, spiting them out and completely missing the food pellets, I began encouraging Edgar. “A little more to your left Edgar.” “There, right in front of you, Edgar.” “You just missed one, Edgar, back up.” Very, very frustrating!

I wanted to reach into his tank, grab him and stick his nose into the food pellets - just show him exactly where to find them. But I knew he would just freak out and maybe have a heart attack or something. I just needed to be very patient while Edgar went about finding his new food - which would make him healthier, happier and stronger.

Do you think that just maybe God, our creator and life force, sometimes feels this way about us? God keeps dropping good things into our lives hoping we will notice, but so often we miss these signs of love. When your spouse or friend or parent or brother or sister says things like: “Drive carefully.” “Don’t forget your keys.” “When will you be home?” “Call me when you get there.” “What’s wrong?” “Honey, I think you’re drinking too much lately.” They are not just checking up on you or trying to run your life. It’s not because they don’t trust you - it’s because they love you.

You get mad and the person who cares about you gets sad. They want to be involved in your life - they want you to be happy and they want you to be all that you can be. If you get mad and don’t talk with them and share your feelings with them you are missing out on one of the greatest loves God gives us.

The next time you are feeling a bit lonely or unappreciated or unloved look around in your life. Perhaps you are missing the good things God is dropping into your tank. Perhaps God is a bit frustrated and would like to grab you, point you to these signs of love and say to you, “See it’s right there in front of you. Right there, see it? You are loved and I love you.” 

Stay in touch with your creator through prayer, your church and sharing life with your families and friends. Notice the signs of God’s love in your life. We all need each other. Make it a point today to let someone you trust share in your life. If you don’t you’ll miss some of the good things God drops into your life every day. If you do, you just might become a much healthier, happier, stronger and loving person. Think about it. And don't forget to give thanks.

Christmas Gifts, Coffee, Cocoa & Mugs from Italy
A lot of you have asked for special Christmas Gifts and gifts for other occasions.
And we've had several requests for Italian coffee and cocoa

We're happy to announce our new limited selection of:
Special Gift Packages for Christmas & Other Occasions.
Imported hand-made Italian Coffee Mugs
An imported hand-made Italian
 Biscotti Jar
Italian Coffee - regular and decaf
Italian Cocoa and Sipping Chocolate

CLICK HERE to get the links to the Gifts, Coffee & Cocoa

Laurine and Bill have been baking a lot of cookies this past month for the big Thanksgiving holiday. Since the whole family is gathering at their home for dinner, we all hope they remembered to save some cookies for us.

One of their new cookies has generated a lot of excitement in our family. It's the new picture cookies. Now you can have any photo printed in editable "ink" on a sugar cookie. You can serve them for birthdays, baptisms, and other special occasions. You can even send them out as engagement or birth announcements. The cookies come in two different sizes - 2" and 3". The product photos are not quite ready yet, but you can check out the process and prices here:

Now here's a biscoto I really like a lot! (Biscotti is the plural of biscotto, which is roughly translated as "twice" (bis) + "cooked" (cotto). Usually we say "please pass the biscotti" - because who can eat just one? Anyway these biscotti are great for the holidays. They especially remind me of Saint Nicholas Day (December 6th) because of the combination of orange and chocolate. This recipe makes about 48 biscotti.

Chocolate-Dipped Orange Biscotti
1  cup sugar
1/2  cup butter, softened
2  teaspoons orange extract
2  tablespoons grated orange peel
1-1/2  teaspoons baking powder
1  cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted
3  cups all-purpose flour
2  cups chopped walnuts, toasted
4  eggs, medium

Preheat oven to 350º
Grease or parchment paper line a baking sheet
Cream sugar and butter in a large bowl
Add orange extract, orange peel and eggs
In another bowl, combine flour and baking powder
Stir into orange mixture and add nuts
Divide dough in halves or thirds.
Shape into logs (use a well floured surface)
Transfer logs to baking sheet
bake at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes until firm & lightly brown
Cool on a rack for 5 minutes
Cut logs on the diagonal into 3/4-inch slices
Put slices back on baking sheet with space around each slice
Bake for 10 to 15 minutes until desired crispness.
Place on rack and let complete cool
Dip about 1/3 of each biscotto into melted chocolate
Dry on rack

Gallantry in Italy
Italians show their feelings very openly. They have a special taste for a beautiful, intelligent, and attractive person. In Italy, men truly appreciate a woman who is attractive, nicely dressed, seductive, and charming. Men whistle and say things when they want to compliment her. In the U.S. they would probably be arrested for sexual harassment, but in Italy men may say Che bambola! (What a doll!); Che bella ragazza! (What a lovely girl!); or Signora, quell'abito le dona molto! (Madam, that suit enhances your beauty!).

Italian men have a gleam in their eyes and a smile when they bow to formally greet a lady with il baciamano (kissing of the hand). Such open manifestations might surprise others from less demonstrative cultures. When a girl or woman flirts playfully with men, the expression heard is: Che civetta! (What a coquette!). Che befana! (What a witch!) is shouted or whispered after a woman who may not be attractive or friendly. The verbal display of gallantry may be accompanied by the famous pizzico (pinch) or la mano morta (the touching hand).

Women express their admiration for a man by saying Che fusto! (What a hunk!) or Vieni qua cocco di mamma! (Come here, darling!). When they are annoyed by unwanted advances they may say: Cretino! Imbecille! Smettila! (Stop it, stupid!) or Che cafone! (What a jerk!).

Till next time - have happy days.
Thanks much for your interest in Italian cookies and Italian traditions.
Come visit us soon or send a note

Arrivederci  -  Dio ti benedica
Rev. Fr. Mike
Copyright © 2008 Librandi