Tuesday, December 24, 2013


I love the winter warm mitten pizzelle smell of anise. And I'm not even a smidge Italian, except where it counts. And that is, in my soul. My soul is a mountainous terrain outside Florence in the springtime, covered in poppies and beautiful-haired shepherds.

So I'll take pimpinella anisum (yes, folks that seriously is anise's scientific name; you gotta love a plant that incorporates the word pimp) over chocolate, brandy, and orange. Not always, but definitely in my Christmas cookies.

Loving anise enables you to use the phrase "ouzo effect" which is the effect anisette has on water, turning it cloudy. Ouzo Effect would be a great band name.  Note to self: Learn a friggin' instrument.

According to Pliny the Elder anise was used as a cure for sleeplessness, chewed with a little honey in the morning to freshen the breath, and when mixed with wine, as a remedy for asp bites.  So I'm calling the anise cookies I just made that were originally in German called springerle, by a new and better name.

Pass the Asp bites.