Food

Letter from Rach: Merry Everything!

Each month, Rachael pens a personal letter to the readers of her magazine, Rachael Ray Every Day. Here’s what’s on Rach’s mind for December, and what’s cookin’ in the magazine. Don’t forget to get your copy of the issue, out on newsstands now!

Today is windy and gloomy. My shoulders ache from hand rolling pasta for hours last night. We weren’t entertaining; it was trying to improve my sfoglia, hand-rolled sheets of dough, inspired by the rock star chef Evan Funke (#f*uckyourpastamachine). I cooked for my mom, John, my family, and, of course, Isaboo. I went to bed and the dog stole my pillows (again), and I woke up with a big pain in the neck and a headache to match—and it was worth every minute. Mom kept talking with her mouth full as she tried to describe the flavor of each ravioli and stuffed pasta. John ate so fast, I think he may have swallowed some spinach and potato agnolotti whole. The faces around the table filled me up more than the pasta itself.

In my dining room, there’s a framed menu from the old Mamma Leone’s restaurant in New York City from the time when Mamma L. was still alive and I was just a little girl. My friend Kim gave it tome years ago, and every time I look at it, I think of Christmas and some of the happiest days of my life. We weren’t rich, but every year, my mom would save up and take us to New York City to see the big tree and the lights and store windows on Fifth Avenue. We’d go see The Nutcracker at the Met or Fiddler on the Roof on Broadway. We’d visit FAO Schwarz, and each pick one toy for our Christmas gifts. Then we’d take a carriage ride in the park and finish with a meal at Mamma Leone’s. I’d put the black olives from the relish tray on my fingers to make Mom giggle, and she’d bite them off. (The olives, not my fingers.) Each of us kids got a sip of her Red Cap sparkling red wine. My cheeks would turn to roses. Pasquale was our waiter. He’d put me on his shoulder and dance around the dining room while the strolling troubadours would sing in Italian. It was magic.

My team and I packed this issue with great recipes and ideas. We are all so excited for you to unwrap it, and we hope that now and in the year ahead, we inspire you to break bread with each other. Listen to each other. Love each other. Share with each other.

Because the gift that will really keep on giving after Hanukkah, Christmas, and New Year’s have come and gone is simply the gift of sharing food and time with the ones you love. May the year ahead bring you more peace, and good food, and the time to enjoy it.

Love,

Rachael

What's Fresh from @RachaelRay

Rachael Ray