Christmas, my favorite time of the year. It is at this time that I choose to reflect on the reasons we are on this earth. To me, we are here to love, serve and to give back to others. What better time than this. It is at this time I try my best to serve a family in need in some way, whether it is to run a fundraiser, to sponsor their Christmas.
If any of you’d like to help with this send me a message at Lisa@themaidforyou.com.
We are helping one of our Cleaning For A Reason clients to have a Christmas. It is so rewarding to give of myself, to spend time and be there for my community, family, and friends.
For those of you that know me personally, know that food is also my thing. As well as cooking for friends and family is what truly makes me happy. It is my greatest gift. I love the traditions of this time, especially, Christmas Eve, which is known is La Viglia dei Natale, Festa dei Sette Pesci, feast of the seven fishes.
Growing up with American-Italian parents, I became deeply rooted in food and all the tradition that goes with it. From a very young age, I can remember helping and learning from my Grandmom Mary, my father’s mother. In fact, here real name was Angela Maria, which I never knew until she went to be with Our Lord, but I digress, that is a story for another time.
My Grandmom never used a recipe, it was always a little of this and a little of that. It all was in the feel, smell and sometimes taste of whatever we were making. I love to think back on a time when FAMILY was most important, sitting around the table on a Sunday with all the family, Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, cousins, great Aunts and great Uncles, listening to old family stories, the men playing cards, the woman cooking a feast.
To this day, I think back on this time and always SMILE.
But back to my most favorite holiday. Feast of the Seven Fishes. This is more special to me that Christmas Day, with the presents under the tree. My Grandmom, Mom, and Aunts would tirelessly be prepping for perhaps the biggest feast of the year!
This most treasured feast has been passed down the generations. First with my Grandmom Mary, then my Mom and Dad, and then to me. I wonder which of my four children will take this over when the time comes for me to hand over the reign of this night.
The excitement and love begin days before with the list making and prepping of the 7 various fish dishes. Look out when you walk into my house on Christmas Eve at 4:00. The stage is set, maybe a little chaos too. My kitchen becomes an obstacle course, with those arriving pitching in and helping to put out all the courses of food. The stove is stacked with pots of boiling water, clams and mussels sitting aside waiting to be cooked, shrimp, lobster bisque, clams casino, deviled clams, calamari, crab cakes or salmon cakes. So much food that every year I say I am cutting back. I usually have gravy (sauce to some) and meatballs, pizza and all types of antipasto dishes for the fish haters. I have vegan dishes for those who eat neither.
After hours of feasting, we start the desert with a birthday cake. We sing to Baby Jesus and my Mother, whose birthday is December 29. She will be 85 this year and are grateful that she will once again be at the table. In the past, we would go to midnight Mass, today we usually go to service before everyone arrives.
To say I love Festa dei Sette Pesci, feast of the seven fishes is true, but perhaps I cherish it more because of its history within my family, from my Grandmom Mary, to my Parents and then passed down to me. A special evening filled with food, family, friends and much love. My door is always open, feel free to stop by!
I’d love to hear about your traditions, drop a note or e-mail and share, share, share. Remember what this day is about! May God Bless you all, Buon Natale, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanza and a Happy New Year!!