Friday, December 19, 2008

It's Almost the Night Before Christmas...Go Fish!

Years ago, when I told my Jewish mother I was on my way to becoming Catholic, she had the chutzpah to ask, "How did this happen?" Amazing. How could she forget about foisting fish on Fridays?

On Shabbat, instead of roasted chicken or a nice brisket (note: "brisket" is always modified by "nice"), we usually had fish. Often scallops, sometimes shrimp scampi. Is it any surprise that on the night before Christmas I so easily come under the thrall of Sicilian Catholics?

Their pre-Christmas Vigil meal involves at least three fish dishes (representing the Holy Trinity) and as many as thirteen (representing the Last Supper) but usually net out at seven (representing either Creation or the Seven Deadly Sins).

The Feast of the Seven Fishes
includes a variety of seafood and shellfish. It's all prepared with enough garlic to guarantee spacious pew seating even if you arrive late for midnight Mass.

You could try cooking this extravaganza at home following menus and recipes on Epicurious or What's For Dinner? But why? More fun and less labor intensive to wrangle an invite from first generation Italians. Just be prepared for the high-decibel-and-velocity conversation and unless you were also raised Italian or Jewish, don't even try keeping up -- with any of it.

1 comment:

  1. As for me, it's oyster stew! Ah, warms the bod and the heart.


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