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Merry Christmas and happy new year..

December 26, 2007 Tags:
I finally got back home, it took me a bit longer than expected but I made it and I started to celebrate the festive season the Italian way with family and friends. It all started on Christmas evening, with a long meal, that according to tradition includes, depending on the town of origin, 7 or 13 different dishes with none of them containing meat. In other Italian area, the Christmas evening dinner is even more important than the Christmas day and ends with all family going together to the church for the Christmas mass. Where I come from, a small town in Abruzzo, on Christmas eve, we have 7 different dishes and we have a big and long meal on Christmas day. As every year, my mum and grandma have been preparing for it for the last few days. Making a Christmas meal following the tradition includes plenty of hand made pasta, soup made slowly cooking a real chicken and plenty of locally grown meat and hand made cakes and biscuits including the Panettone. In my parents' home, not having professional cooking appliances, it takes a few days to prepare everything. Whilst my mum and grandma prepared the food, my dad and me, prepared the wine list and ensured that all wines were ready for the event. We made sure that all red wines were brought from the cellar in the kitchen and their temperature rose up to 16/18 degrees, so called room temperature, all white wines went to the fridge and aged wines were opened a few hours before their use and put in a decanter to oxygenate. Christmas in Italy, especially in small towns, is not just about food and wine, but it is also about seeing family and friends. And when you live away of your loved one like I do, Christmas suddenly becomes something you look forward to because you are sure everyone else will be there too and you will be able to see people you haven't seen for a year. I wish you plenty all the best and hope you are enjoying it as I am.
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