Culinary Christmas

Ask any kid, and they’ll tell you that Christmas is about presents.  Christmas is about presents under the tree and opening them, and getting stuff.  Oh, and a week off from school.  But mostly, it’s about presents.

If that’s the criteria for being a typical, “good” kid, that means I was a atypical and not a “good” kid.  Sure, I loved presents.  But for me, Christmas always was, and still is, about the food.  The Sette Pesci (Seven Fish) dinner on Christmas Eve is one of my favorites, and the huge spread on Christmas Day.  Sadly, I have no photos of Christmas Eve – we were scattered with work and other families, so it was a really, really small meal with just a few of us.

I did, however, manage to snap some photos during the hors d’oeuvres course on Christmas Day.

2014-12-25This is what we’d call a “light spread.”  Seriously – it is.  If you can see tablecloth, it’s a quick and easy apps table.  My aunt goes all out, but this year we were all a bit tired, so we “went small.”  The big thing in the middle is an antipasto.  I helped make it.  It was my claim to fame this year.


Marinated mozzarella, marinated mushrooms, figs, provolone, roasted peppers, scungili, spicy peppers and sopresata salad, mortadelle, prosciutto, salami, bologna, chick pea salad, frutta di mare, capicola, pickled eggplant, Roquefort-stuffed peppers, hot cherry peppers, pepperoncini, pickled cauliflower, pepperoni, marinated artichoke hearts, more salami, olives, broccoli rabe, Brussels sprouts, tomatoes, basil, onions.

And just in case THAT isn’t enough for you, it’s important to always have gamberi (shrimp) and a cheese board.  By the way, the apricot cheese is freaking delicious and my aunt wouldn’t tell me what it was – only that it’s my grandmother’s favorite.



But, because we are Italian, one massive brunch is not enough.  At 10:00 am, my mom took to preparing a 14-lb beef roast.  Because apparently each family member needs to eat one full pound of meat, only a few hours after eating that giant antipasto.

edm5c6PF6dUMNJAlzpY4FIsKrURZ5jgq_dCuAjbC93R1=w1000-h563-noAnd what would a holiday be without sweets?  To be fair, this isn’t the “dessert table.”  The dessert table was well-hidden in my grandmother’s apartment rooms.  This table is by the front door, and is always stocked like this.  When my cousins lived with my aunt for any extended period of time, they always gained weight.  And we’re talking 10-15 lbs.  It’s not the Freshman Fifteen you need to worry about.  It’s the Timmins Twenty.


This was a light holiday – if I do say so myself.  My dad and brother were working, so we were down a few members.  We weren’t terribly hungry, either.  I think 2014 got to us all.  But worry not – Easter is always the biggest (and my favorite) holiday.  No expense spared.  Just wait!





      1. To answer the question seriously, yes it does. That’s a rather tame antipasto, and a light food spread.

        But sadly, just because it gets bigger, doesn’t necessarily mean it gets better 😉

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