While many of us know today is the feast of the Ephiphany or “trree kings,” as they used to say back home, today is also La Befana day.
LaBefana is an old woman of Italian folklore who delivers gifts throughout Italy on the night before Epiphany. La Befana is usually portrayed as an old lady wearing a black shawl and riding on a broomstick. She is often depicted as smiling, carrying a bag filled with gifts, and covered in soot because, like Santa Claus, she enters houses through the chimney, leaving toys and candy for the good children and coal or garlic for bad children. She is also said to sweep the floor before she leaves a house. Much like leaving cookies and milk for Santa, Italian families typically leave a glass of wine and a small plate of food for La Befana. In some regions, the food includes broccoli and sausage (!).
Just in case the legend is true, I made some pasta with broccoli and vegan sausage so I could leave a snack for La Befana, along with some good Italian wine – a crisp vernachia from San Gimignano. I don’t mind if LaBefana leaves me garlic (who can’t use more garlic?) instead of candy, as long as she sweeps my house before she leaves!
Cookbook Giveaway: In honor of LaBefana, I’m giving away a gift to one lucky someone – a copy of my latest book, Party Vegan! Much more than a “party” book, Party Vegan is filled with great recipes and menus for everyday meals as well as special occasions throughout the year, from a guy-friendly Super Bowl party to a New Year’s Eve appetizer party.
To enter: leave a comment at the end of this post.
For a second chance to win: link to this post from your blog, Facebook, or Twitter and then leave a second post, telling me you did so. That’s it! I’ll choose the winner at random (using Random.org) on Wednesday, January 12 at midnight EST. The winner will be announced here on Thursday, January 13.