I am constantly amazed at how animated and talkative people get when you mention food. The mere aroma of certain foods can evoke memories that transport us back to a special place and time. Food can bridge the gap between all ages, races and ethnicities.
Let's face it, the only thing that should ever come between people is a table and some serving bowls.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Feast of the Seven Fishes

Feast of the 7 Fishes It is tradition that the Italian people have a 7 fish dinner on Christmas Eve. Some think that it is perhaps one representing each day of the week, but most traditions come from the observance of the Cena della Vigilia, the wait for the miraculous birth of Christ in which early Catholics fasted on Christmas Eve until after receiving communion at Midnight Mass. In later years it became a penitential day, meaning that all foods except meat were allowed. Other theories included are that there would be served three fish dishes representing the three Wise Men or the Holy Trinity while in some there may have been as many as thirteen, one for each of the apostles plus one for Jesus. In any case, let's just say we consume alot of fish on Christmas eve. But when the clock strikes midnight we fry up some Italian sausage and drink sparkling wine (Prosecco, asti-spumanti or champagne works just fine).

In our family we usually have 2 shrimp dishes(one fried and one steamed/usually shrimp cocktail). Clams casino,Linguini with red clam sauce and 2 calamari dishes one in butter and garlic and the other with tomatoes(Calamari con Pomodoro).

3 lb. box of frozen squid-cleaned and cut into strips,4 tbs. of olive oil,1 tbs. parsley-chopped, 2 cups of crushed tomatoes, 1/2 cup of red wine, 2 garlic cloves sliced thin or chopped add salt and pepper to taste.

heat oil in sauce pan/saute garlic do not brown or else it gets a bitter taste/add squid and saute about 10 minutes/add salt, pepper, wine and cook about 10 minutes more/add tomatoes and parsley, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes

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