"Mother Christmas" for loveSicily

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First of all I wish you all a great 2012!

My 2011 culinary adventures in Modica finished with my first group of Russian guests, who proved to be excellent pasta makers, and with many new ideas for 2012. Christmas was amazing this year, we kept it simple, as we like it, but having children around just makes it so special! Our loveSicily Christmas party with my Sofia and Angelo's little Matilde was a real treat. We also got presents from what I like to call "Mother Christmas", who also have the same name, Toni.

Piatto Unico ......Regalo Unico!

I think both of them will be surprised to find out it took so long for the parcels to reach us, but it is also nice that they came around Christmas time.
The first Toni is my friend Toni Lydecker, a food writer, who sent me her latest book: Piatto Unico.
I first met Toni in 2007 when I helped her researching for a book recipes, about Sicilian seafood Seafood alla Siciliana.
Then we collaborated again on Piatto Unico. She contacted me asking my opinion about the meaning of Piatto Unico in Italy and how could it be best explained outside of Italy to people who do not have a daily standard three/four courses meal tradition. As she puts it: "The formal, multi-course meals that Italy is known for give way to piatto unico -- one dish meals that are well-balanced, hearty, and can include dishes such as bountiful main course salads, filling soups, and homemade pizzas and panini."
We also worked a lot on the title, what English title could explain what the book is about to readers around the world? But in the end the simple real Italian expression proved to be the winning one: Piatto Unico. Now I am holding the book in my hands and all I can say is again "Congratulations Toni!". Interesting recipes, great clear and simple graphic and wonderful pictures.

Saigon Cinnamon just on time for mustazzoli!

The second Toni, in "Mother Christmas" version, was a wonderful guest who came to one of my culinary tours in October. Toni was a warm and kind guest of Sicilian origin who could cook perfectly. We talked a lot about food and ingredients. She told me about the powerful flavours of Saigon cinnamon and promised she would send me some for me to try. The cinnamon with a lovely letter arrived a couple of days before Christmas, just in time to make my Christmas mustazzoli absolutely perfect! Thank you Toni. thank you so much!

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