A very merry Christmas to one and all!

Sorry the blog is so late today. It is the holiday! Too much going on!

Last night was spectacular! Christmas eve dinner is a big event for my family. The most special gathering of the year for us.

And the eating is fantastic! Seven fishes in keeping with our Italian tradition.

My wife has been cooking for 3 weeks getting ready.

Smelts. From the days of my grandmother! Little thin 2 inch long fish fried in oil. A crispy delight.! One of my favorites.

Shrimp. Cooked and fried. The fried are rolled in a light flour/egg batter.

Baked clams. An egg bread crumb topping.

Maine lobster tails. Broiled and covered with melted butter. To die for!

Stuffed calamad. Two to three inch calamari is cleaned and stuffed with egg batter and bread crumbs. Then sewed at the open end. Placed in a deep pot of red sauce to cook. Served over home made linguini.

Finally bacalla. Actually cod. Cod is a dry salty fish. When I was a child it was served hard, dry and salty. We were all required to take a small piece and eat it. The intent was to remind us of poorer days gone by. As I grew older I found this amusing since we were all poor at the time. How much poorer could the family have been!

However no longer is the cod eaten in such a native state. Now my wife has it sit in water for 3 weeks to soften. Yes, 3 weeks. Then it is cut up into small pieces and left to soak in olive oil for another week. On Christmas eve, various spices are added. The end result is great tasting morsels of soft fish! Much better than my youth! And no longer a reminder of poor days gone by. I tried to explain the tradition a few times at Christmas eve dinners, but to no avail. Succeeding generations who have never experienced being poor find it difficult to understand.

And that covers the 7 fishes! The differently prepared shrimp dishes are to be counted as two separate fish. Otherwise the 7 cannot be reached.

Of course there were tons of other food on the table also!

Desert were homemade Christmas cookies. Every morning for 4 weeks my wife bakes cookies. A variety and all good!

Every one got along. Any ill feelings were left at the door. So it was a great evening! And my 93 year old father enjoyed the evening the most!

God bless us one and all!

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