Wednesday, December 26, 2007


On Christmas Eve it was off to a large and happy gathering at Maria and Luca's: I took along my wonky gingerbread tree [and the biscuits were eaten in double quick time!] the Christmas Pudding vodka, a bottle of Asti and a panettone. Here are the food images from the evening:

1. Maria's lovely table centre [proving that simple ideas work the best].
2. Scacci ri ricotta [focacce filled with ricotta and onion]. It's interesting that in Sicilian dialect, Italian di becomes ri.
3. Buccateddi ri ciuretti [focacce filled with cauliflower]. In dialect bucca indicates something which has been folded [ie, the pastry].
4. Buccateddi ri aita [aita being chard]. Note also that Italian ll is replaced by dd in dialect.
5. Baccalà [salt cod, traditional all over Italy on Xmas Eve]. These were fried in the manner of the town of Augusta.
6. Calamari ripieni in salsa [filled calamari - squid - in sauce].
7, 8, 9. As some of you will know, I can't eat fish of any sort, so I just had more focacce and a lot of the following salads: orange and onion, cedro [citron], fennel .
10 & 11. Dessert was tiramisù della zia [Aunt's tiramisù - a very young aunt, I must say!] This was scrummy! Tiramisù can be a temperamental dish, especially as Italians are likely to quote you imprecise quantities [and this is a dish which does require some precision]. I use a Delia recipe these days, to be sure.

After la cena and before midnight we played the inevitable tombola. On the stroke of midnight there were glasses of Asti, then we all walked around the long table, greeting, embracing and kissing each other, only we couldn't quite work out if a one-way system was in operation so some of us got kissed several times by the same people! Suddenly, Santa appeared from nowhere, his reindeer considerately having deposited the bags of gifts right at the balcony door, little Francesco [Maria's 5-year-old grandson] was dressed up as - well, I'm not sure - an angel or a wise man or a bit of both - and ran about the room delivering the presents from Santa's sack, taking his duty very seriously indeed and much chaos and merriment followed. Outside the church bells rang, the night was clear and the Christmas stars shone upon us, every one!


Leslie: said...

Sounds like a wonderful time - food and friends who are like family to share the special night. I went to an open-house with a friend in the afternoon and then to a very nice early Christmas Eve service at a local theatre. As you know, Christmas Day was a bit of a disaster with J's illness forcing her into the hospital but she is in good hands now and surgery will be soon.

word verification = jetlit made me think of the star of Bethlehem lighting up the night sky over the stable where Jesus was born.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Ciao, Leslie. Glad you enjoyed Xmas Eve but I am so sorry that you have had, and are having, such a bad time since then. If it's any help, I do know what you are going through and what it's like to have something like this happen at Xmas - it just makes it all worse. My thoughts are constantly with you and your daughter, Leslie.

Crushed said...

Calamari has always been a personal favourite.

No.3 looks nice, but when I saw it was cauliflower...
Really DOESN'T agree with me, cauliflower.

There seems to be a gap between the pictures half way down. Is Blogger playing up for you?

jmb said...

Looks like a fun celebration Welshcakes. I was too busy to take photos Christmas day, except for the odd one.
Oh dear, I'll have to see what happened to Leslie's daughter.

Whispering Walls said...

Tanti auguri WL!

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Cioa, Crushed. I'm not a cauliflower fan either, but it tastes entirely different in these! When I checked that all the photos were there in the right order to go with the text. I found I'd left one out so redid the top few. But then, whatever I tried [and I did cut out all the "Divs" or whatever they are called] I couldn't get rid of that gap! - No doubt me, rather than blogger, this time.
Hi, jmb. Yes, great fun. Poor Leslie and her daughter are having a terrible Xmas.
Grazie, WW. E altrettanto!

Ellee Seymour said...

Was the woman who cooked all this food too exhausted to eat it? It's so amazing.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Ciao, Ellee. No, she sat and ate happily with us! She worked very hard and is an expert on the traditional cooking of Sicily. Having said that, though, the whole family mucks in and everyone who is attending the festa brings a dish.


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