Friday, January 13, 2012

Christmas Eve Dinner in Ohio 2011

We were fortunate to spend two weeks during the Christmas holidays with my husbands family in Ohio. Christmas Eve is the night Italian families traditionally enjoy a dinner feast commonly referred to as "Seven Fishes".*

My husband Mike and I arrived in Cleveland on the 23rd of December. His brother Rocky had done most of the shopping for the big fish dinner on Christmas eve. Together the two brothers have been planning the menu for a long time. They will be busy preparing all the dishes.

On the 24th our daughter Aria and her boyfriend Daniele arrived from Wisconsin. Now we were happily all together.

Here's Rocky and his wife Mary and their daughter Amanda

Mike's wonderful mom Lucy (85 yrs. young)

Mike's dad Nate is 89 yrs. young and can still entertain us with his sharp wit.

I love my 13 yr. old niece Amanda. She waiting "under the Mistletoe" headband for Justin Beiber!

Lots of time sit around and talk with everyone.

In the evening things are busy. The table is set for the big feast...

Mike is busy in the kitchen,

All the fish are breaded and ready for frying.

The dough is being mixed for the traditional "Fry bread".

Once the bread dough is fried sugar is sprinkled on top. Mmmm eat em while their hot.


The two brothers are fast at work.

Everyone has their favorites. The shrimp cocktail is a must for Grandma Lucy.

So many things cooking all at once.

A thumbs up from Rocky means we're ready to eat!

The baccala looks so tempting.

Lots of crab and lobster..

Buon Appetito tutti!

Baccala (cod), calamari, lobster, crab, smelt, oyster,shrimp and fried bread. Gotta love this tradition!

Time to relax and enjoy the family. The true gift for us is spending this holiday together!

*This is what wikipedia says about the "Seven Fish Christmas Eve Dinner":
It is believed to have originated in Southern Italy and is not a known tradition in many parts of Italy. Today, it is a feast that typically consists of seven different seafood dishes. This celebration commemorates the wait, theVigilia di Natale,
for the midnight birth of the baby Jesus.
The meal may include seven, eight, or even nine specific fishes that are considered traditional. The most famous dish Southern Italians are known for is baccala (salted cod fish). The custom of celebrating with a simple fish such as baccalĂ  is attributed to the greatly impoverished regions of Southern Italy. Fried smelts, calamari, and other types of seafood have been incorporated into the Christmas Eve dinner over the years."

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