« Christmas Eve 2005 MenuSolstice 50 Years Ago »

Oh Christmas Eve

12/24/05 | by JAdP | Categories: Food and Drink, Personal

Our family's tradition is to have a meal of seven fishes (well seafood anyway) on Christmas Eve. But this year, having learned from last year, we're only doing two. What's different is that our friend Bunkey is spending his second Christmas in Iraq.

  1. Yes, in years gone by, we always started with a soup of white beans and anchovies.
  2. This was followed by baccala (salted cod) prepared with tomatoes, calamati olives and capers served with toasted polenta wedges or simmered in milk and savories and whisked into soft polenta.
  3. Clams in a broth with pancetta and leeks
  4. The pasta dish might be prawns with pancetta and arugala in olive oil and garlic, over spaghetti. Or it might be local tuna in one sauce or another over tagliatelli.
  5. Always, there would be smelts, deep fried.
  6. Salmon, baked flank or grilled steaks, served with garlic mashed potatoes
  7. A firm white fish, maybe sea bass or halibut, baked and served over fresh fava beans cooked in a fish stock

Dessert would almost always be a selection of Italian cookies.

But Bunkey's in the desert, and we can't eat all that fish without him. Well, the anchovies and beans are a must - Dad will make that. And then whatever I can find fresh over at Princeton Harbor. Mom's already bought the cookies. Oh, and cake, chocolate cake, to celebrate my 50th.

Happy Holidays, safe journeys and good eating to all my family and friends wherevever you are this year.

2 feedbacks »


Robert Germano

Wondered across your website and just thought I’d drop you a line. First off let me introduce myself. I am Robert Germano, author of the Christmas Holiday cookbook, ‘The Eve of Seven Fishes - Christmas Cooking in the Peasant Tradition’.

This is a cookbook that will entice your taste buds with simplistic, authentic Italian recipes from the Old Country.

To view all the recipes included within, please click on the link below.


11/13/06 @ 16:15
Comment from: JAdP


Thank you for stopping by. The menu ideas and recipes in your book look good. Though I was surprised to see meat based recipes for Christmas Eve. Sometimes, when we have a large holiday party on Christmas Eve, and folk are coming who don’t enjoy fish, we will make the traditional pork loin fish. ;)

I see that you have a lot of baccala recipes. You must love that nice salt cod.

For those who have never seen a plank of salt cod, it is hard as a rock and usually 18-inches to two-feet long, and maybe an inch thick. When I was growing up, if my paternal grandmother ever said “I’m going to give you a baccala", we kids knew we had crossed the line - because that meant a spanking. Though she would never waste a salted cod, or ever actually hit one of us. :D

11/13/06 @ 19:13
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I'm Joseph A. di Paolantonio and this blog has two main foci: my interest in food, and my interest in the future. This provides a look into my personal life, and is separate from my consulting work…though there will be overlap. I am an independent researcher, working as a strategic consultant and I'm an executive with over 20 years of commercial experience with a technical interest in the intersection of Internet of Things, with advanced data management and analysis methods. I view data science as a team activity, and I feel that the IoT must be viewed as a system. I am leveraging my past activities to understand the adoption and impact of the IoT; first, as a system engineer in aerospace, where I developed Bayesian risk assessment methods for systems within the Space Transportation System (including the Space Shuttle), Extreme Ultraviolet Explorer, Gravity Probe B, and many more, and second, as a enterprise data warehousing, business intelligence and analytics professional. Between my aerospace and IT careers, I indulged my hobby of cooking by starting a food company, Montara Magic, centered around my chocolate sauces. My education combined chemistry, mathematics and philosophy. I performed research into molten salt fuel cells in graduate school, and in photovoltaic materials for a short time in industry. The lure of bringing the human race into space was strong, and when I was offered the chance to combine my chemistry and mathematics skills to develop new risk assessment and system engineering methods for space launch and propulsion systems – I couldn't resist. I perform independent research and strategic consulting to bring value from the Internet of Things, Sensor Analytics Ecosystems and data science teams.I am a caregiver, a lover of science fiction and speculative fantasy, and my passion to learn has led me to a pilot's license, an assistant instructor in SCUBA, nordic and alpine skiing, sea kayaking, and reading everything I can, in as many topics as I can.

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