Playing Catch Up

The last couple of months have been very busy with work and family commitments, so sadly my blog has been put on the back burner (pun intended!). Thankfully, I’ll be getting back into it with some Italian cookies next week – just in time for Christmas! In the meantime, I wanted to catch you up on a few things:

Festa Italia

In October, Nick and I headed to the Cedars Banquet Hall in Springfield, MA for Festa Italia. Festa Italia is a celebration of Italian food, wine, and heritage hosted by the Italian Cultural Center of Western Massachusetts. We arrived an hour or so into the event so the venue was already pretty packed with limited seating. It’s held in a large hall at the Cedars with tables in the middle and food vendors stationed around the perimeter. Food tickets are $1 each and most food items were between 3 and 5 tickets. We spent about $14 total and had two dishes each. Nick had antipasti and porchetta; I chose manicotti and a lemon cannolo. It was very much a community-oriented event with food vendors representing both local restaurants and home cooks. There was also live Italian music and a wine/beer garden. I was really glad to see such a great turnout and look forward to attending next year. Enjoy the photos below.

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Festa Italia at the Cedars Banquet Hall

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Nick’s porchetta, already half eaten I think

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antipasti and manicotti

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lemon cream cannolo

Italian Classes

Just before Thanksgiving, I finished my 10-week Beginner I Italian class at the Italian Cultural Center. It went by so quickly! In addition to loving the language and having a fantastic teacher, it was fun to be in a class with people I wouldn’t ordinarily meet. My classmates were mostly middle-aged folks from Hampden County. Many were of Italian heritage and wanting to connect with their roots, but some were just looking for a new hobby. It was a pleasure to get to know my classmates and also to find out more about the Cultural Center. The Center puts on really great events (such as Festa Italia) and workshops for affordable prices. I look forward to attending a tortellini-making class and an Italian film night soon. I’ll start Beginner II Italian in March and can’t wait!

The Gift of Limoncello

Remember when I made limoncello this summer? Well, it’s been in my freezer, occasionally making an appearance as a weekend aperitif or as a special drink for parties. But we’ve saved most of our batch and now I’ll be using some of it for Christmas gifts. It looks so cute bottled up and (soon to be) wrapped with some ribbon.

limoncello bottled and ready to gift!

limoncello bottled and ready to gift!

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