Whether you were celebrating Christmas or another occasion, I hope you had a great holiday, as always it was hectic here.
It starts Christmas Eve when I wake up and start making my most reqeusted Spinach and Artichoke Stuffed Garlic Bread recipe. Think of it as an Spinach and Artichoke dip with cheese where the dipping is already done for you. My outlaws insist that I bring two loaves with me. The recipe can be found here.
Being Italian they insist on doing a huge seafood feast for dinner, no meat on Christmas Eve. Not sure what the logic is because fish and seafood are flesh too but I’m not complaining – no meat it is. The feast includes baked baccalà (cod), pan-fried sole, fried shrimp, calamari and a seafood salad that includes shrimp, mussels, octopus, scallops, etc… I am also tasked with making a shrimp dish that has become a tradition of sorts. The recipe can be found here.
Because we spend Christmas Day at my parents we open the gifts at Gina’s parents on Christmas Eve. They always go crazy overboard, I mean ridiculously so, spoiling my son. To get an idea of how crazy, the only other person besides us and her parents is her sister and when we were leaving Christmas morning I filled the back of my Ford Escape so that I could not see out the back window and I will have to do that again on New Years Day with the stuff we left behind. Nate loves it though so I guess that is all that matters.
From there we pick up my kids from my first marriage around noon and head to my parents for the standard Turkey dinner and gift exchange. It is usually a house filled with 20-25 people and although it’s very hot and hectic it is nice to see family. The usual Christmas dinner that includes turkey, ham two giant serving bowls of mashed potatoes and just about every vegetable the supermarket stocks. All delicious but by the time you have a bit of everything you are stuffed like a turkey.
Once dinner is finished there comes the traditional lighting of the Christmas Pudding. My father douses a mound of this pudding fruit cake thingy with booze and sets it ablaze to the annual oooohs and ahhhhs of all in attendance. This year he went light on the booze and as a result nobody lost their eyebrows, although if you watch the video you will see my brother-in-law try and burn is finger off!
The Christmas Pudding
The best part of Christmas this year happened after dinner as we were all sitting around unable to move, spaced out in tryptophan heaven. My son decided to compose an original piece on Grandma’s old out-of-tune upright piano. Notice the quality of tone in his voice! 🤣
Christmas Is the Best
Needless to say, Boxing Day was pretty much a write-off. We just spent it relaxing and recovering. Now its just waiting for 2023. I must admit I miss the days my uncle (now deceased) would pull the bagpipes out at midnight and pipe the old year out the back door, the rest of us in tow as he marched around the house and piped the new year in the front. Such are the holiday traditions that bind us together. I hope you were able to fulfilled all the traditions you hold dear with the people you love this year.
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