Anna Getty and her daughter, India, celebrate a sustainable season. Photo: Ron Hamad for Chronicle Books. Part One of Four.
What does it take to create an eco-friendly holiday? I talked with Anna Getty, author of I’m Dreaming of a Green Christmas and one of my favorite EcoCelebrities, to find out what’s on the list that she’s checking twice.
But it took some doing: Since I last spoke with Anna, she’s moved to a farmhouse in the middle of Italy, which she’s in the process of sustainably renovating—room by room and piece by piece—while blogging about it on My Tuscan Life and Pure Style Living.
Thank god for Skype.
Rachel Lincoln Sarnoff: I imagine Italy must be an incredibly festive place to spend the holidays!
Anna Getty: I’ve actually never spent a holiday here! This year, I’ll probably be in Munich with my mom. Germany is completely magical during the holidays. Christmas fairs and waffles with cherries and whipped cream toppings, walking in the woods, going to marionette puppet shows. And baking and sitting in cafes. It’s amazing. There are little candles and twigs and pine cones and berries on all the tables.
RLS: It sounds incredible. Do they use natural materials, or is it like here where all of a sudden all of our decorations seem to be plastic and made in China?
AG: No, it’s all natural. You go to the markets and they have baskets of twigs for sale that people have gone out into the woods and collected. The gift shops sell little birch branch Christmas trees.
ES: Beautiful! You have so many amazing recipes in the Green Christmas book. With Thanksgiving coming up, I thought the Cranberry Prosecco cocktail might be a good one to mention. After all, everyone needs an excuse to take a break from cooking, right?
AG: Absolutely. There simply isn’t a more festive beverage than this pink cocktail. Tart cranberries and Italy’s answer to champagne, prosecco, combine to make a tasty, not-too-sweet party drink.
Presents are inspected while Anna enjoys a Cranberry Prosecco cocktail; recipe below. Photo: Ron Hamad for Chronicle Books.
Anna Getty’s Cranberry Prosecco Cocktail
one cup frozen cranberries, thawed
1/4 cup sugar
one bottle (750 milliliters) Prosecco, chilled (champagne or sparkling wine can be substituted)
Place the cranberries and sugar in a bowl and macerate for at least one hour, or up to six hours. Stir the berries occasionally, lightly mashing them. Place 1 tablespoon of macerated berries in each of six champagne flutes. Fill the flutes with prosecco and serve. Optional: Sugar the rim of the glasses by moistening them with a damp cloth or lemon wedge and gently pressing them into a saucer full of sugar, and drop a few cranberries into the glass for a beautiful visual effect.
Photo: Ron Hamad for Chronicle Books.
For Anna’s favorite winter recipe, plus more on her sustainable holiday plans, check back here next week!