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Welcome to Secret Breakfast

An exclusive newsletter, the best place to start your day, wear a tutu and your whitest beard
Hi there!

It's Christmas and I thought I should go full "on-palette" and give you a warm, comforting picture of this very feast.

But in Modena, Italy, we have this giant Santa wearing a tutu and doing a pirouette: nobody seems good enough to take a decent picture of him, but here he is. 

Whatever you think of it, Christmas time is time for drama, but it can be also good for a truce. Fry, stir, bake, roast, toast. Do a damn pirouette, if you wish. Resist the need to tell the Truth, the whole Truth, and nothing but the Truth to your most hated parent-in-law. Cuddle your loved ones, don't forget to be cuddled. You deserve it, I surely do. 

Piero

Picture: Santa Claus 2021 by Lorenzzo Lunati, Modena (Italy)
THE QUOTE OF THE DAY
There will,  of course, be some sort of Christmas Day Drama - there always is - and especially as I have a sneaky suspicion I’m out of tin foil. But I’m not going to look. This is the moment I have been waiting for all year, and I’m going to open a bottle, sit in peace and breathe in the glorious citrus-and-nutmeg scent of Christmas Eve. 
→  Nigel Slater, The Kitchen Diaries II (This one is my personal "I love the smell of napalm in the morning" for Christmas Eve). He suggests drinking a glass of Madera
THE MISSING INGREDIENT
A FEAST OF SPIDERS 
James Bond was called to save the movies after the Pandemic, but in fact, the main role has been taken by Spider-Man (or, better: jumping Billy Elliott and breath-taking Zendaya). Spider-Man: No Way Home just raked in $587.2 million worldwide

By the way, did you know that some people decorate their Christmas Trees with spiders? "The Legend of the Christmas Spider" is an old folktale from Eastern Europe, Ukraine maybe. 
However, overnight, the spiders came down and covered the tree with their webs. When the children awoke in the morning, the webs were transformed into silver and gold by the light of the sun, and they were overjoyed to see these decorations on their tree.
That said, in Cambodia, you can have fried spiders, but they say it's tourist food. Maybe you'd better have a fish amok (★recipe).
OVERINDULGENT BOOKS

The father of all “foodies”
★★★

The problem with Christmas is often just one: the excess. What's better than a "frank, high-spirited and vivid picture of the joys of over-indulgence - and the side-effects afterward"? Sir Samuel Pepys knew his own age and wrote about it in his diaries. Expect plague, food, wine, and a new drink imported from China: tea.

The Joys of Excess by Samuel Pepys
→ Shortplot:  🍷 🎣 🐗 🍵
RANDOM ACTS OF HUNGER
This is a space where I share some food (un)related stuff of my week. But this week I'm sharing a sneak peek of my humble Christmas day menu. Reshuffled, for quarantine time.

🥟 Christmas Eve morning, late breakfast with Raviole Emiliane, small crust dumplings filled with wine must marmalade. My grandpa used to eat them, even if they were supposed to be eaten for St. Joseph Day in March (★recipe, can't find one in English, but the trick is in the jam) 🐟 Felicity Cloake's Smoked salmon paté (★recipe)... 🐟 ...or Nigel Slater's better-marinated salmon (★recipe) 🦐 Red Prawn ravioli, no recipe here 🍜 Passatelli + broth (★recipe) 🥧 Fergus Henderson’s pheasant pie (★recipe)  🌈 Colorful kaleidoscope cookies you've seen here one week ago, if the Amazon angels deliver the coloring gel in time (★recipe) 🍊 Gluten-free Clementine cake (★recipe) 🤟🏻 Kitchen tune: Dream Theater - The Holiday Spirit Carries On 🍷Addiional spirit, Madera.

Enjoy your Christmas. 
FOOD FOR LATER
Forward (via The Browser) / Avi Dresner
Katz’s Deli is the place in New York City where Meg Ryan faked an orgasm in When Harry Met Sally. There I had the largest pastrami of my life, met with friends, discovered what a celery soda is, learned how to unblock a ketchup bottle. No wonder this old man decided to go there for his last real meal. 
It's not ok stealing the core of a good article. I'll make an exception for you (Ezra, please forgive me): "Amelioration won’t reduce the number of animals being raised in industrial facilities for food. Substitution might". He says: cows are basically machines that transform plants into burgers; it's time to replace cows with something else that turns plants into meat. 
Sirin Kale / The Guardian
Are services like Gorillas the next grocery revolution? The problem with ultra-fast shopping is...
Kate Krader / Bloomberg
Many people have a passion for cooking and they are interested in opening a restaurant business. Now TikTok is like many people. Baked feta pasta (★recipe) is coming.
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SEASON 2 - ISSUE 60
Secret Breakfast is a newsletter by Piero Macchioni
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