Rose, Derrick and my aunt came over to my parents’ to make a batch of cullurielli. These doughnut-like fritters are a Christmas staple. The dough is made with potatoes, flour and water. And they are shaped into rounds and longs. The longs have sardines in them. They are first eaten on Christmas Eve in place of bread. (My favorites are the ones with the sardines and I like them straight out of the freezer. Everyone in my family already thinks I’m strange, this culinary choice reinforces their prejudices.)

Part of the reasoning for a second batch of cullurielli was getting Rose, Derrick and I to see how to make these Christmas bread-substitutes. The process took the whole day. We began by mixing the dry and wet ingredients, then kneading and kneading the rough dough. This was followed by leavening and an hour later we were rolling the rounds and the longs. I had no idea who was going to eat all these cullurielli. I refuse to take any home, because after all the ethnic eating I need to get back to a sensible diet. . . (left-to-right – my dad, rose, my mom, my aunt, derrick)