The Seven Fishes

I know you’re all sad that the holidays are ending, and that’s why I want to bring you one more week of holiday cheer – this upcoming week, from January 1 to January 6 you will be following me around the holiday season.  (For all my Catholics out there… how convenient that it ends on the Epiphany, right?)  I’ve got 6 days of holiday posts for you all lined up and ready to go.  (1) Christmas Eve & The 7 Fishes, (2) Christmas Nametags, (3) Preparing Shrimp Cocktail, (4) Deciding on Table Settings and Napkin Foldings, (5) The Italian Antipasto with specific quantities & (6) the first look at my Holiday Greeting cards.  Let the fun begin!!

In case you haven’t caught on yet – I’m Italian.  87.5% Italian (and 12.5% French in case anybody was wondering).  So what does this mean for my holiday season?  That means Christmas Eve is approximately 10 times more important than Christmas Day.  From the day I was born  (or at least got teeth, or really since I liked tomato sauce), Christmas Eve has been the most epic day of the entire year because of one tradition – crab sauce.  Pasta and crab sauce.  Grammy used to make it when I was little and since she passed away, my Aunts have taken over the tradition.  I remember asking Grammy to teach me how to make the crab sauce – and I got one of those typical Italian Grandmother answers, “oh I don’t know, it’s just a pinch of this and a handful of that” (helpful).  Anyway, I’m glad somebody came close to the right recipe, because now the traditions continue on.  I know the typical Italian tradition is the 7 fishes on Christmas Eve – I don’t think I know too many Italians who still do the TRADITIONAL 7 fishes – but we like to do our own little version of the fish dinner.  And I counted this year, we made it to 7.  Check out the menu:

course one: shrimp cocktail & scallops with breadcrumbs
course two: lobster bisque
course three: pasta with crab sauce
course three and a half: crabs
course four: broccoli, mashed potatoes, stuffed clams*, stuffed shrimp, tilapia, stuffed mushrooms, corn, shrimp scampi
dessert: canollis, cookies, popcorn, fruit, trifle, cheesecake

*the 7th fish is found in the stuffed clams and it’s Alaska Pollock (I believe, mom?)… sure, it’s a stretch, but at least we got to 7.

Also, please take a minute to admire the Christmas Eve name tags created by Aunt Mary.  Each guest was given a stocking with his or her name on it hung on the champagne glass filled with a lottery ticket.  Nice work, Aunt Mary!


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  • Noel Tendick

    This is amazing, thank you for sharing such an incredible meal! I am so hungry now – you don’t mail leftover canollis do you?

    • ChrystinaNoel

      Haha, unfortunately, no. Although, knowing my family… specifically my cousins, I’ve got to believe the food didn’t last too much longer than 3 days. (Clearly you need to learn to eat like a champ in my family.)

  • So glad to see your FUN blog, Chrystina! I also had 7 fishes for Christmas Eve dinner in Philly (see my blog post)! YOURS looks DELICIOUS!! I am still drooling even after having fish for dinner tonight 🙂

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