Thursday, December 25, 2008

An Italian Christmas Eve

When my children were little we always went to my parents house for Christmas Eve to help decorate the Christmas tree. The first thing that always went on the tree was their dreidels. As the years past, the Christmas Eve dinner became something that my family looked forward to although it is a little difficult to observe Jewish dietary laws in an Italian household on Christmas Eve, and I think my husband was grateful that he didn't keep Kosher.

A typical Italian Christmas Eve consists of the seven fish (or in some households eleven) fish dishes. When my father was still alive, we did it all, the octopus salad, the baccala (dried cod), fried flounder, lobster fra diovalo, and on and on. SInce my parents are gone, we've cut down a little, since they don't like all of the fish dishes. This year, Marc had to work, David and Lauren couldn't make it home so it was just the four of us and enough food to feed an army. We started with shrimp cocktail, fried calamari, mussels marinara with spaghetti, and lobster tails. The odor of garlic, mingling with the tomatoes and white wine simmering on the stove made the kitchen smelled divine. My father would have said, he could smell the love simmering.

I'm sure that you would like to be able to replicate the aroma in your kitchen so I am posting the recipes for the Mussels Marinara with Spaghetti, Fried Calamari, and Baked Lobster tails.

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