My 3 days of Christmas - Day 1 Friday Before the Eve

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...
A Partridge in a Pear Tree.
I am sure that we all recognize these festive verses. Walking the streets of New York you are bound to hear them . The tune is everywhere. In New York City, where I work,  just like the movies, you will hear doormen humming this tune in between slushy cab hails.  Many times I have heard street vendors humming the Twelve Days of Christmas.  Just imagine the melody, filling the NYC air as you walk across from a street carts bellowing out sweet aromatic puffs of vanilla and caramel scented as they cook up cashews in their cooper street side kettles. You will be tempted to stop for some.

You can even catch semi-devilish, well-off  NYC kids  whistling the tune, as they zip past you on their slick and flashy, pre-Christmas gift Essboards, slaloming past rivers of  impatient shoppers and barely missing your left foot by a few good inches.  Yes, Christmas is finally here. And the twelve days are just upon us.

I've got my work cut out. Some gift shopping and lots of food shopping.

Here's the good news. For me, twelve days shrink to three days.  The Friday before the eve, Christmas Eve and then Christmas day . Short  isn't it ?  Piece of cake ? Not so fast. My planned menus will keep me very busy and on my feet as cook and servant, for many many long hours starting early tomorrow. 

Today however I get to rest a bit. The night before Christmas Eve,  in long time tradition,  is when Mom, my "prima magister" of cooking, makes pounds and pounds  - more than 10 lbs to be exact - of "Cuddrurriedrri"  for her children, lucky neighbors and relatives. 

Cuddrurriedrri, now that is a rough mouthful of rolling R's for you.. Most folks I know, can't pronounce the word . It is from the local dialect spoken in Marano Marchesato in Northern Calabria, just outside of Cosenza, where I was born.

I had to search long and hard to find them referenced with this morphology . More popular variants include  include Cullurielli. And of course, in their modern Italian form of "Ciambelle di patate"  - Potato Doughnuts. This variant won't do it justice. Its only "Cuddrurridri" for me.

Cuddrurridrri - Calabrian Potato Doughnuts
Folks these babies are good. Much better than the street fare that you might have picked up at San Gennaro's. You can sprinkle them while still warm with some sugar. You can stuff s a few with some anchovy fillets for a special kick. An my favorite - the one that I miss most - the morning after (after what , that is the question), toss a few directly on to the coals in your fireplace for a few seconds to give them a  few specks of char.  I hear homemade red wine makes for a breakfast of mountain champions this way.

Good thing that yesterday, feverish and all, I managed to start my shopping for a portion of the ingredients that I would need for tomorrow and Christmas Day . Stay tuned.  Watch for my menus for day 2 and day 3.

Lots of good eats coming up.



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