Sunday, December 31, 2017

Word-of-the-Year 2018

I have participated in the My One Word challenge for the past five years. Words that have guided me in the preceding years include Balance - Peace - Delight - Fun - Nourish.

I typically start thinking about my new word around November 1st. This year that culminated with the final post of the 31 Day Blogging challenge where I listed daily affirmations to help combat Impostor Syndrome. The word that resonated with me at that time was - BELIEVE.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Baccala through the Mail

This post is a part of the Virtual Advent Tour. Thank you, SpriteWrites, for allowing me to once again be a part of this fantastic blogging tradition. The following is an excerpt from my newest book, Italian Family Christmas

The Feast of Seven Fishes is the traditional Christmas Eve meal of southern Italy. The religious significance of this feast is deeply rooted in Roman Catholic tradition. Each of the seven fish courses relates to the holy sacraments. A modified three-course version represents the Holy Trinity. 

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Totoro Family Recipes: Spinach Bread

This will be the 27th year I have prepared the Christmas Eve Vigil. My husband experienced this Italian Feast every year of his upbringing - and I was fortunate enough to take part in this time-honored tradition with Cora for about ten years. But when we moved to Kansas in 1990, Cora passed the torch to me. It is a responsibility I do not take lightly - and I am honored to continue the tradition.

My children grew up around the Christmas Eve table laden with a variety of fish dishes and Italian delicacies. Over time, we each have selected our favorites.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Totoro Family Recipes: Strufoli (Italian Honey Balls)

My husband's grandmother, Cora McKee, was from a small region about one hour east of Naples. The Feast of Seven Fishes is typically a southern Italian custom, and most of the peasant-style dishes Cora prepared for the Christmas Eve feast find their roots in Neopolitan cuisine.

Strufoli, bite-sized balls of dough fried to a golden brown and drenched in honey, is no exception.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Italian Family Christmas

I first had the idea to write Italian family Christmas in December 2016. I wanted to document our holiday traditions to leave as a legacy for my children.

The cornerstone of our celebration is Christmas Eve - when we prepare the Vigil, or The Feast of Seven Fishes. This tradition was introduced to my husband's family by his adopted grandmother, Cora McKee. It has been a part of southern Italian heritage for centuries.

The origin of the Feast is linked to the Seven Sacraments of the Catholic Church. Some Italian families pare the feast down to three courses, representing the Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Ghost.

By the time I joined the family, the tradition remained without the religious symbolism.
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