Every holiday season we ask a few friends to join us here at The Kitchn for a series of guest posts. The topics range from favorite holiday recipes to family memories and traditions. Today's guest: Domenica Marchetti. Domenica is a widely-published food writer and columnist, and she has published some wonderful books on Italian cooking, including this year's favorite, The Glorious Pasta of Italy. Welcome Domenica!
That is what our house smelled like on Christmas morning when I was growing up. Even as my sister, Maria, and I attacked the presents piled under the tree, our mother dashed back and forth from the living room to the kitchen, where she fried batches of calcionelli.
These golden-brown crescent-shaped pillows of sweet dough, filled with ground nuts and honey, are a specialty of my Italian mom's native region of Abruzzo. I imagine that as she stood there at the stove at our house in New Jersey, the aroma of honey and orange zest and fried dough brought her right back to her own childhood Christmases in the hilltop city of Chieti.