Tuesday, December 28, 2010

7 Fishes

The Feast of the Seven Fishes (festa dei sette pesci), celebrated on Christmas Eve, also known as The Vigil (La Vigilia), is believed to have originated in Southern Italy. This celebration is a commemoration of the wait, Vigilia di Natale, for the midnight birth of the baby Jesus. The number seven is believed to come from the Divinity number of 3 and the number of the earth 4. Added together, 7, represents God on Earth or Jesus.

I have always been a bit intrigue by this and so this year I proposed to my mother that our Christmas eve meal be some combination of seafood. We are in Maine after all. Now, this is a typical Catholic celebration and we are not Catholic but really who cares.

Knowing that we were in for several days of good eating I wanted to make sure we got in some greens. I made some really good homemade croutons. Croutons are so good homemade, and so easy. I will have to post a quick recipe sometime. Anyway, I find that they can really make a salad and being winter and all I have issues eating cold salad all of the time. With croutons though there is no problem.

We stated off the meal with some shrimp cocktail.

My dad loves scallops. Its his favorite seafood dish and thus we had to make it.

I used them to add to my salad.

See them in there?

And well what is more seafood and Christmasy than lobster. They are so bright red. Unfortunately my brother was not around so we had no races.

We also had my dad's famous clam chowder. I had to make a special request for this - it has been a very long time since I got to have any. It is so good and basically I can no longer order it at restaurants because it just doesn't come close to how good this version is.
Now I know I know this was only four fishes - clams, shrimp, scallops and lobster. Actually they were all shellfish but still. It was our first time. It was great fun and way better than some of the traditional cold cod dishes and anchovies.

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