photo courtesy of Along Came Mary
When I think of Christmas I can’t help but think of the menu Mama and my older sister Chickie created through the years.
Christmas Eve was all about the Feast of the Seven fishes. After Mama passed my sister carried on the tradition, but with less fish. My favorite was always spaghetti and fresh clam sauce topped with fresh reggiano parmesan and a basket filled with crusty Italian bread.
Christmas Day started with a homemade antipasto. It is pretty much the Italian version of charcuterie, but includes so much more than just cheese and meats, like roasted peppers, and anchovies.
Turkey with all the trimmings was a given on Christmas Day, but the one dish that was truly loved by all was Mama’s lasagna. She made it with homemade tomato sauce that filled the house with the most delicious scent. Mama added layers of noodles between a mix of ricotta, mozzarella, and reggiano parmesan cheese. In between those layers were small meatballs that were made from scratch from a mix of ground pork, veal, and beef that my daddy would bring home from his butcher shop. I can still taste it.
Through the years I have tried to duplicate Mama’s lasagna. As hard as I have tried I have never been able to get it quite get it right, but none the less it is delicious and loved by all.
For dessert Mama would make traditional pies like pumpkin or apple, but we also always had Italian pastries that daddy would pick up at the local Italian bakery. We had all the basic Italian pastries and cookies, and always my favorite, Cannolis.
Let me know some of your favorite food memories in the comments.
Wishing you a happy and festive holiday season,