The magical legend of Ondina and the warmth of the Christmas Markets
The square was a blaze of light and color, all around Will and Joy happy songs, laughter and colors. Our two protagonists had arrived in a small village in the Dolomites famous for its Christmas market. The snow fell heavily and whitened the trees and houses of the market. Each house was like a world unto itself, one literally overflowing with sweets and treats, nougat and lollipops, another selling items in boiled wool and another special puff pastries stuffed with chestnuts, poppy cream or jam, really delicious as Will was able to try. But one little house in particular caught Will's attention. On the counter stood a Christmas tree covered with finely decorated transparent glass balls. Other balls hung from the ceiling and captured every ray of light radiating joy and happiness. Among all, Will liked a particular ball very much, it represented a girl with long blond hair who dived into a lake of a thousand colors. The shopkeeper, smiling, explained to Will that this was the story of Ondina, the nymph who lived in Lake Carezza, a lake in South Tyrol. A powerful magician fell in love with Ondina who, in order to approach the nymph, built a rainbow of precious stones. Ondina, intrigued, left the lake to admire that spectacle. But the wizard jumped out of his hiding place, frightening her. Ondina dived into Lake Carezza, from which she never re-emerged. The wizard, desperate, destroyed the rainbow and the precious stones fell into the lake that, from that day, captured all the colors of the rainbow, reflecting red, blue, green and gold according to the time of day and the season. What a magical story, Will thought, as Joy happily wagged her tail at the shopkeeper who gave him a cookie. It was beautiful there, he could feel the warmth of happiness, the joy that comes from the desire to give and the serenity brought by the scents of orange and cinnamon, but Will could not feel at home. He had go on with his journey.
Here is a dessert that honors this stage, the Bauernkrapfen in the oven, typical sweets of the German tradition. Knead 500 grams of semi-wholemeal spelt flour, 250 ml of soy milk, 80 grams of extra virgin olive oil, 125 grams of soy yogurt and 2 eggs. Let the dough rest for half an hour. Meanwhile, prepare the filling, boil 200 ml of water with 100 grams of brown sugar. Add 150 grams of finely ground poppy seeds. Stir and remove from heat, add half a teaspoon of cinnamon, 1 pinch of grated lemon peel and 1 tablespoon of rum. Take again the dough and then form small balls, with the indicated quantities there should be 12 or 13 small doughs. Roll out the dough very thinly. In the center of each dough put a spoonful of filling. Close and seal the edges. The original recipe says that the sweets should be fried in oil. If you prefer, you can also bake them in the oven at 180° for 20-25 minutes.