Christmas Feasts

Christmas Feasts

Sunday, December 27th, 2020

Big meals are traditional everywhere. In Italy there are certain traditions. On Christmas eve the tradition is fish. The feast of the seven fishes is traditional but more so in southern Italy but we gave a nod to that for our Christmas Eve dinner. Certainly in Bologna tortellini in brodo (broth) is obligatory (it’s practically a law) and it’s also delicious.

Christmas eve – tortellini in brodo, a nod to fish with a roll of smoked salmon, cucumber and soft goat cheese, with spumante to drink
For desert sachertorte – originally from Vienna but we find it everywhere. Followed by a little glass of Armagnac.
For Christmas day we went decidedly non traditional. I saw Florentine steak in the display case of a good local butcher shop – a type of steak famous throughout Italy and couldn’t resist.
For a side dish we had ratatouille left overs from a batch that I had made the day before and a bottle of rosso di montalcino – sometimes described as a “baby brunello”. We skipped desert because that was a lot of steak but we did share a small glass of very good grappa
We gave a Christmas treat to the cats of lean ground beef
The day after we consumed a large part of an artisan panettone. It’s so light that it almost seems to float off the plate – and very good.

As a side note there is a pretty severe lockdown here due to a vicious second wave of covid infections. Travel is very restricted. My friend Gianluca who lives in a suburb outside of the center of Bologna could not come into the center even for a cup of coffee and certainly could not go be with his sister’s family that’s 40 or 5o kilometers away.

We listened to a bunch of Christmas music that I have on my phone. An interesting thing is that are virtually no Italian Christmas songs here in Italy but the radio plays a lot of them – almost all American.

Speaking of music, we’ve been listening to a lot of music lately and a lot of that has been jazz and classical, two genres that I have largely ignored unless they were in a sound track of a film. Laura’s father was a big aficionado of both so she has a lot of CDs of his. In addition she is a big fan of Davit Garrett who I had never heard of. He’s kind of a rock star violinist. He plays all kinds of genres and is an excellent violinist. He doesn’t make any list of the most popular or best violinists today but he obviously appeals to a broad audience. Here is a link to a video of David:

I stumbled across a totally different kind of music after reading an article in the New York Times about Weird Al Yankovic. I found one I thought was hilarious called “Like a Surgeon” (a send up of the Madona song) but can’t be played on my site due restrictions by the owner of the video but you can use this link:

And of course I can’t conclude without a Baci saying:

There is no beauty without a touch of strangeness.
Non c’è bellezza senza un pizzico di stranezza.

Edgard Allen Poe

Happy holidays to all.

P.S. I’d be interested in knowing what your Christmas meals were like and what you think of the music offerings.

6 Responses to “Christmas Feasts”

  1. Joy Says:

    Your holiday meals look great! I am vegetarian/vegan, but the meat looked very nice! Colin and Elisa and Finn came over for Christmas dinner. We had shrimp gumbo over rice, a salad, cornbread, and peach cobbler for dessert. It was veryYum.

  2. Joe Says:

    We don’t eat a lot of meat but while vegetables are a major part of our diet we eat a fair amount of fish and fowl. I really love sausage but only in moderation, especially with orecchiette (a type of pasta) with broccoli and sausage. I can understand vegetarianism but am always perplexed by veganism. No cheese, no eggs :^o !


  3. Natalie Says:

    Sounds like you had a lovely cozy Christmas celebration. I prefer those to more crowded ones. We do happen to be vegan, so it was vegan lasagna for us prepared by my mother-in-law plus vegan Napoleon pastries for desert – something my husband made for the first time. Turns out Pepperidge Farm’s puff pastry is “accidentally vegan” so it was pretty easy to make and tasted incredible.

  4. Joe Says:

    I agree with you Natalie. At Christmas I prefer to just be with family (or family substitutes). It sounds like you eat well in your vegan manner. I had to look up “Napolean pastries”. I thought that it must be French but the name “Napolean” was applied by Russians which ate this to celebrate the victory of Russia over Napolean in the war of 1812. I wish you and your family a happy and prosperous New Year.


  5. Peter hillen Says:

    Hi joe I have an autographed picture of weird Al. We are locked down just like you are are going no where and crazy at the same time.

  6. Joe Says:

    Now THAT is a collector’s item. How do you happen to have that? Did you meet in a bar somewhere in your wild younger days?

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