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December 2003 Issue
The Christmas Lady's Present
by Rossana S. Tarantini
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Just recently I was thrilled by a feedback response to one of my columns. Now don’t get me wrong. I’m always thrilled to get feedback from our readers. First because it means someone is actually reading us and second because it means, to me at any rate, that I’ve tweaked your interest and curiosity enough to inspire you to take the time to stop what you’re doing and write to me.

That being said, this particular piece of feedback was from an idol of mine. And I don’t exaggerate here. In March 2002 I wrote a column on soups and sandwiches and I mentioned a lady I used to watch religiously each morning while the kids were growing up. Imagine my surprise when I opened the feedback section not long ago and found a letter from her!! That’s right, from Ruth Fremes the lady behind the program What’s Cooking when it aired on CTV here in Canada.

Seems she’s in the US now. In California to be exact and she’s a writer (another dream of mine). She’s written a book about a disorder she’s developed called Sjogren’s Disorder (an autoimmune disorder) and she’s still cooking but only for two now she says. I was thrilled to hear from her and glad to know she’s doing well.

Christmas . . .

And I’m the ChristmasLadee . . .

Over the course of the next couple of weekends I’m getting the outside of the house ready for Christmas and will move to the interior once Santa arrives in Toronto -- November 15th this year.

I’m deep in Advent calendar plans, looking for the perfect little something for the kids to “find” and working on my rhyming clues already too. I’ve started to think about what to do about our table gifts this year too.

The past couple of years have been up and down for us in terms of financial circumstances, but this Christmas season finds me gainfully employed again and thinking about those who are less fortunate than me. I’ll be looking into sharing our Christmas in some way with others, whether it is someone who has no family to share it with or someone who has far less than we do. I urge you all to do something to share your good fortune with someone not as fortunate. No matter how little we think we have, there’s someone who looks at us and thinks we have the world. This Christmas, let’s all make a special effort to share our blessings.

Marina is home this year too, so my house is replete with the smells of Christmas cookies and other goodies. She’s already started with her special shortbreads, gingerbread, and cream cheese crescent cookies filled with caramel, nuts, chocolate and/or raspberry jam.

We have a 26 pound bird in the freezer -- my dear friend Diana raises simply the best turkeys in existence and each year at Thanksgiving I get two of them -- and I’m wondering this year about deep frying it, but knowing me, I’ll likely stick to my old reliable roasting method.

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