With all the celebrating, singing, old women arriving on brooms, and crib viewing, there is still plenty of time for eating. One traditional event is "La Cena Della Vigilia" (The Feast of the Seven Fishes). On Christmas Eve, there may be as many as ten to twenty fish dishes prepared. But the tradition of eating seven fish dishes stems from the "magic" around the number seven, such as, the seven sacraments, seven days of creation, or the biblical interpretation that the number seven signifies perfection.
And, speaking of perfection, here's one of my favorite Italian holiday treats for your eating enjoyment:
Spumetti (Chocolate Hazelnut Meringues)
1 lb hazelnut meats, coarsely chopped
1 lb confectioner's sugar
1 oz cocoa (2 Tbsp)
2 tsp cinnamon
5-6 egg whites
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and grease lightly. Place hazelnuts, sugar, cocoa, and cinnamon in a large bowl. Add egg whites and mix until mixture is well blended - about 5 minutes. Wet hands with water and break off small pieces of mixture (about 1 Tbsp) and shape into round balls. Place on baking sheets 1" apart. Bake for approximately 30 minutes. Makes about 3 1/2 dozen.
Make your mouth water? Make you want to go to Tuscany? I'm just the person to talk to! Check out my website: http://www.theroadlesstraveledtours.com
The tour information lists the 2011 tours, but if those dates don't work for you, contact me and we'll work together on other dates.
As this wonderful season comes upon us, I wish you good health and much happiness. But if you're more into the Scrooge bit, then Bah Humbug! ("Odi0s0 Zuccone!")