Today was another day in the kitchen. I must admit I would have preferred to be out taking a walk in the unusual sixty degree weather of Central NY. It was nice not having to layer with all the winter wear to take the dog out. Neighbors to our north in NY were not so lucky today. Cold temperatures and lots of moisture produced ice everywhere. Glad we got the warm temps which also melted all the snow from last week. But back to the kitchen.
Christmas Eve will be a small group consisting of my brother, husband, our daughter (her dog) and me. The dinner menu will be Cioppino…consisting of seven fishes, (an Italian tradition) including lobster, shrimp, clams, mussels, cod, calamari and scallops which come together in a wonderful recipe I clipped from the Philadelphia Inquirer years ago. It has become a family favorite and although easy to make it does require a lot of preparation. On Christmas Day the same small group will assemble for what is the traditional meal my sister-in-law always made for us. A magnificent antipasti cut in slices with a pizza cutter is a layered feast of capocoll0, genoa salami, provolone cheese, hard boiled eggs, pepper rings, olives, beets, red onion, mushrooms, artichoke hearts, anchovies, roasted red peppers and whatever else seems like a good idea. This will be followed by lasagna made with turkey sausage. Both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day meals will be followed by cookies I spent a week making. Twelve friends and family members will receive tins of these assorted cookies.
After Christmas we will journey to NJ to see our son, his wife and three month old daughter, our first grandchild! Today I prepared baked macaroni and cheese for them. Later this week I will be making seafood lasagna for the day we arrive. So, as I mentioned before, the kitchen has been my environment for a few weeks. This morning things weren’t going as smoothly as I had planned and I had to step away from the stress. A shower and a crossword puzzle helped me regain my composure and I managed to get through the day without too many problems.
When Janurary comes I plan to get back to walking, creating art and making simple meals. Definitely looking forward to that!