Today is Capodanno, i.e., the first day of the new year.

We welcomed 2008 with open arms. We ate (too much!), drank a bit of good wine (not too much!), and followed a few of the fun Italian traditions as we do every year. One of them is to wear red underwear. Sounds silly, and it probably is, but that’s the tradition, and supposedly wearing red undies for some reason wards off the evil eye. No idea why!

A culinary tradition that we gladly follow every year is eating lentils, which supposedly bring money and good luck. And in fact, my lentils appear to have worked very quickly since for the first time in years I won at tombola, which is bingo in English. Tombola is a traditional Xmas-New Year’s game in Italy. And we play for money! Well, okay, for change, really. Stefano won the first game, I won the second, for a total of perhaps ten euros. What a team! 

Important note! According to a popular Italian saying, quello che si fa il primo dell’anno si fa tutto l’anno, which means “what you do on the first day of the new year you will do for the rest of the year!” So be really really careful about what you do today. Unless you like to iron, for instance, don’t do any ironing, or you will be ironing each and every day of 2008. And so on. Plan only FUN stuff for today! Yesterday, in fact, I did the laundry and other boring but necessary household chores so that today I could rest and have fun. I am about to go bake a batch of World Peace cookies (my hopeful wish for every year: world peace…!), and later we will play cards and probably another round of bingo. Bliss!
In sum, have fun today, everyone, and laugh laugh laugh! Only positive and fun thoughts and actions are allowed today! Like resting, as Piccolo and Puzzola, and Priscilla, are doing in the above photos, or jumping up high in order to grab a toy as Peekaboo is doing in this photo, taken last night after dinner.


  1. Hi Margaret,

    Happy New year to you both and here’s to a healthy and prosperous 2008 to everyone.
    By the way what is the rational behind taking cocoa mass with the curcumin?
    My supplements include l-lysine to balance out arginine /lysine intake, due to some of the foods I eat being high in Arginine (Nuts, Chocolate), Lysine being reported to help reduce the effects of Herpes simplex (HHV-1) and Herpes zoster (shingles) there are some who think that HHV-8 plays a role in the pathogenesis of MM. See link:(http://www.nature.com/leu/journal/v15/n8/full/2402190a.html)my rational is they are of the same family of virus so it may help and also L-lysine has been proved to help absorb calcium and prevent kidney stones(http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/lysine-000312.htm).
    I have added some other links you may find interesting
    http://www.nourishkefir.co.uk/ (H. pylori bacteria, IBS, Crohn’s)
    http://www.cancergeneticsjournal.org/article/PIIS0165460805003274/abstract (Resveratrol)
    Hope I’m not repeating things you have already looked at.
    Look forward to your next blog


  2. Sue, I just replied to you privately, but I wanted to post part of my reply, which might (or might not!) be of interest to some readers:

    The rationale behind the cocoa mass is not very…rational after all, I suppose. What happened is that one of my blog readers some time ago suggested that chocolate (he might even have suggested cocoa mass, I don’t remember if I thought of that or if he did, oh well, no matter…) might provide enough fat to dissolve the curcumin crystals into molecules. In fact, he was right about that. And, he suggested, chocolate would disguise the taste of curcumin powder. Right about that, too!

    I added honey to the cocoa mass in order to get rid of the horrendously bitter taste. And, before finding and buying some cocoa mass, I used 70% dark chocolate melted in hot milk…but the curcumin didn’t really dissolve in that mixture. I then tried dissolving the curcumin first in hot butter, then adding the chocolate and a bit of milk or cream, and that worked, but I think it caused my cholesterol levels to shoot up. Sigh. In this cocoa mass concoction, instead, curcumin dissolves beautifully. I think this might turn out to be a great bioavailable way to take curcumin…but I won’t know for sure until I get my next test results, end of January, I hope.

    I will check those links and get back to you.
    Thanks and ciao! 🙂 Margaret

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