Monday, December 27, 2010

A little peek at our Christmas Eve

Once again, Momma set a mean table.

Santa is awfully cute, isn't he? I don't know why this is so blurry, though.

I can't believe how blurry this is! It was a great picture of how the table was set, as well as some of the many yummy appetizers that were on the table.
Here's my little nephew, in the cute sweater I bought him last year for Christmas.

Once again, let me remind you that this ginormous spread was for EIGHT people!!! EIGHT! Not 18, 8!!
Let me tell you what you're looking at, starting in the back row (top of the photo?): crustini topped with Gorgonzola, basil and roasted red peppers, mushrooms sauteed in olive oil with lots of garlic, oven-roasted broccoli and garlic, fried calamari, sepia (another calamari dish, made in a tomato-based sauce) Row 2: whole calamari stuffed with cheese & bread crumbs, lime & pepper breaded talapia Row 3: Chicken breasts made with olives, onions, artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, celery and roasted red pepper (just a little something I came up with that morning), ravioli
The photo above is the other half of the island. Under the foil, and pictured below, are cheesy potatoes, in front of that are breaded cauliflower patties, you'll see what's in the foil try in a second, and in front of that is a traditional Christmas Eve feast dish, pasta made with alici (anchovies).
I've mentioned before that we do the traditional Feast of the Seven Fishes on Christmas Eve. Here are the seven fishes we had that night.
1) stuffed calamari 2) breaded talapia 3) fried calamari rings 4) sepia 5) pasta con alici
6) grilled octopus
7) shrimp

The two dishes we ALWAYS have are the sepia and the pasta con alici. Truthfully, I don't care for the pasta, but everyone else loves it. That's why my mom always makes a second type of pasta, like this year's ravioli. To be honest, it doesn't at all taste like fish. The anchovies are sauteed with garlic (surprise, surprise, right?!) in olive oil, along with toasted bread crumbs. This "sauce" is then combined with pasta (we like angel hair). A third dish that is very traditional is bacala, (I'm not 100% sure of that spelling) or salted cod . It takes a lot of work to prepare it, though, so this year, my mother decided to go with the talapia. As long as there are 7 different fish dishes, you're good to go. But, as you can see, there are plenty of other dishes, as well. Let me reiterate - all that food was prepared for EIGHT people!!! Ah, that's the Italian way of life!

Here's a little peek at the sweets we enjoyed. This is the tray my sister baked and brought. There are at least 10 kinds of cookies here. She makes kolachkis (sp?) that would make you slap yo mama!1) rolled shortbread cookies 2) almond crescents 3) peanut butter blossoms 4) kolachkis 5) oatmeal cranberry cookies 6) almond surprises (there's a Hershey kiss inside!) 7) cornflake holly wreathes 8) M&M bar cookies 9) coffee cookies (a VERY closely guarded family recipe - I don't even have it!!) 10) chocolate chunk cookies
I made my traditional yummy fudge. I also made:
1) Sugar Cinnamon Roasted Almonds 2) White Chocolate Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies 5) Rolo Pretzel "thingies" that my sister and I decided to call Christmas D-Lights. My sister made 3) White Trash (a delightful combination of things like Cheerios, Crispix, M&Ms, peanuts and pretzels, all covered in melted white chocolate) 6) a freakin' AWESOME thing we have dubbed Snack Crack (because after ONE bite, you are instantly addicted!)

My mom did some baking, as well. You know, in her free time!!
1) Rice Krispie Caramel Balls (something my brother's girlfriend introduced to our family over a decade ago. Sorry, Mom, KC's are better.) 2) Nut Cups 3) Magic Squares 4) chocolate chip biscotti.

It has now become a tradition to take a picture of my brother doing this every holiday. He would KILL me if he knew this incredibly unattractive photo of him was out there for all to see!
Once my brother got up, his 'son' took over his spot on the sofa.
Wow, this has taken well over an hour to post this handful of pictures (damn you, Blogger!) so I'm going to take a break. If you behave yourselves, I'll share some more pictures later. :)


Lakeland Jo said...

I loved this post and every single photo. So much food......... and everything so fabulous. I absolutely adore calamari, octopus and anchovies. I am positively drooling listening to all of those fish based dishes...... and then the puddings...... next time please invite me. You won't have to accomodate us- we can stay with Expat mum!!

Clippy Mat said...

I could handle some of that food too. Waaay too much for 8 of you so I'd be willing to do my share... except for the octupus. Yeuch, what are you thinking?
I'll close my eyes at that part.
Looks amazing.

Katy said...

OMG I think I gained 20 pounds just looking at the pics! Can we come to your house for Christmas Eve next year? :)

Change for Good said...

I believe I was separated at birth from your family. I love the food fest and how pretty everything is decorated! :)

jlo said...

Holy hell. I need to come t o one of your parties. I can do without the fish, but the rest of it? I'd like a chance to take down that dessert table. :)

karen gerstenberger said...

That looks wonderful...I would love to have your family teach me to cook. What a great way to share your creativity and culture! My mouth is watering at those photos.

Lsquared said...

Yummm...I think I need to go find some good calamari now.

Busy Bee Suz said...

Eight people? What the hey?????
No wonder your brother goes into a coma!!!!
You still post using blogger??? That is so 2009. You need to get windows live writer. That is an order.

Busy Bee Suz said...

And thanks to you, I am now very very hungry!!!!

Jason, as himself said...

This made me very, very hungry! Looks like it was a great time.

Katie said...

I'm Irish/German, and I married a someone who is of french canadian decent, so this was very informative. Although I love seafood, I'm a little weary of squid...but it must be good. It seems to be a consisten star in seven fishes.