Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas to all....And to all a goodnight!

This will probably be my last post until after the holidays. I have been pretty busy. But I would like to share with you some family traditions that we do on Christmas eve and Christmas. It's mostly food traditions :) Having Italian blood on my father's side, we celebrate Christmas Eve with the seven fishes. My grandmother on my dad's side always prepared the seven fishes feast every Christmas Eve. And I have such fond memories of the smells and tastes of Christmas eve. The reason behind the seven fishes varies. My grandmother told me it was for the 7 apostles. But others say it's for the seven sacraments of the church. Or the seven days it took Mary and Joseph to reach Bethlehem. Whatever the reason it doen't really matter. Because the outcome is a wonderful family gathering of love and food. Now, I am no Grammy. But I do my best to keep the tradition alive. I want my boys to remember the same things I remembered on Christmas Eve.  So, what are the seven fish dishes you ask? Good question. Traditionally, we always serve baccala. It is salted dried cod. You have to soak it in water for a few days to get rid of the salt. But not too much. You don't want to lose that flavor. I am actually going to serve it three ways this year. I am going to do the traditional baccala in the red sauce, another in a white salad type, and Gazpacho De Bacalao a puerto rican salted cod salad.  And we will also will be having clams and linguine, shrimp, crab legs, fried calamri, and octopus. I don't think that's seven but it is a lot this year. I typically do smelts too but they don't have them in Texas. I asked and got laughed at. So, they are scratched off my list for this year. Oh, smelts by the way are these small fish that are fried and eaten whole. Well, if you were a real "man" then you would eat them whole. I can eat them either way. They are soooooooo good. 
 Now for Christmas, we celebrate my husbands Puerto Rican traditions. We will be having pernil, (which is a roasted pork shoulder), rice and gandules, tostones( Fried plantains), and pasteles. And for desert, flan. The best desert ever!
So, I thought I would share with you some of our food traditions we do. But of course the real reason for all of these traditions is for the birth of our savior. Sometimes with all the hustle and bustle we forget the real reason why we do these things. I try not to forget or let my children forget the true meaning of Christmas. But I just want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas, and  a Happy New Year!

*This post is dedicated to my Grammy. Who I love and miss everyday. Especially, on Christmas Eve.*

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Cat Nap Inn Primitives said...

Hey Gen, when we lived in Naples italy 99-01 we lived with a napelotano family for 1 year and they had us over at least 3 days a week...they were wonderful to us..and oh the cooking was out of this world..truly the best italian cooking ever..and at christmas we had bacola (none of us cared for it much) but we loved the capatone (eel) that was sooooooo flipping good..they had us over the day before to show us this eel alive..I was thinking to myself..I can't do this..then they lopped off his head and body parts in chunks..and it was still movie..I was totally not ready for it..we also had little fried dough balls with what looked like little tadpoles mixed in and calamari and octopus was truly a wonderful easter i got to eat the easter bunny..was not a huge fan..I think because I knew what it was and I just couldn't do it..thanks for bringing back some wonderful you do the bufana witch in January?

Dana~HomespunTreasures said...

Gen what a wonderful post!!! I enjoyed reading about all of you traditions! I wanted to wish you and your family a VERY Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year!!! Girl I'm loving my Santa you made me I've got so many compliments on him!


Anonymous said...

Enjoyed reading about your families "7 fishes" tradition...all that seafood made my mouth water...Don I bought smelts in NJ...we loved them...fried them in tempura batter and ate them whole...delicious!! And you are so right...all the traditions we have help to remind us of the birth of Jesus Christ...the greatest GIFT mankind has ever or will ever recieve!

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