A new addition and a contest!

Hello there readers!

You may have been wondering – where did the updates for this blog go? Despite my efforts to keep it going over the last couple of months, a new arrival has taken up so much of my time. My son, born in October, is the new addition to the Italian-Canadian Life family!

That doesn’t mean that this blog is over. Just the opposite – I have even more reasons to write down all our family recipes and try a few new ones as well. As he learns to sleep a little longer, there’s been more time to get back to cooking and I have a few blog posts ready to go for you (the next posts will be all about Christmas recipes and panettone)! There’s some holiday cookies in the oven right now and today we have a contest just in time for Christmas.

Catching up with traditions for the Christmas season and teaching my baby boy all about them is something I’m looking forward to. I want you to be involved with Italian traditions as well and author Gianna Hartwright has offered readers of An Italian-Canadian Life  some goodies to do just that.

Here’s your chance to win a pair of books from Gianna Hartwright for the kids in your life, teaching them about La Befana, a unique part of Italian traditions. This old witch, called La Befana, appears on the night of January 5 (or Epiphany Eve) and delivers gifts to children throughout Italy. Gianna has taken the traditional old witch and made a modern tale of magic and drama that would appeal to older children, 9+.  The first book, The Befana Drama is a global adventure by broomstick that sees VIPB’s (Very Important Present Bringers) pitting their wits against each other. Befana Drama 2: Capriccia’s Conundrum continues the adventure.

To win these two books, leave a comment below (just click “read more” or “leave a reply” and enter a comment) telling us about your favourite Christmas tradition by December 22nd at midnight. A winner will be selected by random draw on December 23rd and will be notified by email. Good luck everyone! I’ll be back next week with a new recipe.

          

By |December 15th, 2014|Culture|0 Comments

Enjoy Italian Heritage Month this June

Happy Italian Heritage Month! Every June Ontario dedicates a month to celebrating all things Italian and the celebrations have begun to stretch across the country as well.

In Toronto, Italian Heritage Month started off with Castello Italia which transformed Casa Loma into an Italian Piazza complete with music, art, entertainment and food samples. There’s multiple

By |June 9th, 2014|Culture|0 Comments

Celebrate with me: Lucchetti dell’Amore per il giorno della festa degli innamorati

L’amore domina senza regole.
Love rules without rules.

The thing about writing about Italian traditions is that they are so ingrained that sometimes, we don’t even know the original reason as to why they developed or why they’ve continued. Not that we love the traditions any less – usually they mean we get to spend time

By |February 13th, 2014|Culture|2 Comments

Guest post: Sharing migration stories from the Campania region

Today we welcome a guest post from Abril Liberatori, a doctoral candidate in the Department of History at York University. Her dissertation explores immigrants from the Campania region in Italy who migrated to Canada in the post-World War II period. She aims to compare Campani immigrants’ experiences in Ontario and Buenos Aires. (Photo above:

By |January 7th, 2014|Culture|1 Comment

The Italian memories of Christmases past

My grandparents were storytellers. The stories they told all centred around the emotions related to family, to struggle, to laughter and to traditions. There is no better time for storytelling than Christmas.

Over the past two years, I’ve contributed articles to Panoram Italia, an Italian-Canadian magazine, about Italian culture and community. Panoram does fantastic Christmas-themed issues that give me the chance to reflect on Christmases past. Last year I contributed the article “What we used to get for Christmas” which chronicled the gifts that Italians gave at Christmas back in Italy. Oranges, chestnuts, sugar dolls were all recalled with fondness and I am still in awe at the smiles those memories of Christmas gave to all the older Italians I interviewed.

This year, I wrote “Remembering our First Christmases in Canada”, an article that tried to recapture what Christmas in a new land with new traditions felt like for Italian immigrants. For some it was a hardship, spending Christmas without family, for others they were reunited with sisters and brothers. And, as usual, shared food was a key part of the memories.

Here’s an excerpt from the article where I got to share a story from my maternal grandfather:

For immigrants to Canada there are many new experiences and customs that colour the start of their lives in a new country. Christmas in Canada, away from the family, rituals and comfort of home back in Italy, was one of the first notable moments they experienced. Everything was new and unexpected, from the weather to traditions.
My grandfather often told us of his first Christmas in Canada in 1952, which was memorable indeed. While working for the Canadian National Railway, the company provided all the meals for the workers, deducting the cost of the meal from the worker’s pay. He looked forward to the dinner provided by CNR on Christmas Eve, expecting a festive feast that would help celebrate the special day. But on December 24, he was greeted with a plain meal of chicken soup. Disappointed and alone, he went to a grocery store to buy all he could afford: one chocolate bar and one pound of grapes to celebrate.
However, on December 25, he experienced what came as a surprise to most Italians: that Canadians hold their Christmas celebrations on Christmas Day. The railway offered a big celebration meal to all workers and my grandfather came to learn a new tradition.

By |December 12th, 2013|Culture|4 Comments

Send a virtual panettone or cookie tray to your friends and family with these Italian ecards

Merry Christmas, Buon Natale! With one month to Christmas Day, it’s time for the gift giving to begin.

Last year for the Christmas season I featured two classic holiday recipes on the blog: colluri and turdilli. This year more recipes are on their way, but I wanted to offer you, my readers, a special gift.

So

By |November 25th, 2013|Culture|0 Comments