no shrimp, no calamari, no baccalàchristmas 2014 – 5th entry
sunrise (ssm) – 8:20, sunrise (pgh) – 7:41

My mother and I were able to convince my dad to not fry shrimp, calamari or baccalà. Don’t forget that these would be in addition to – a chicken broth with polpettini – tiny meatballs – and pastina, lasagna, turkey, two types of stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberries, and various vegetables that no American would ever see on a dinner table with roasted turkey.

decorationConnie came over after lunch hoping to help with the preparations, but all that was left was for her to put out the glasses. (We looked at each other acknowledging how the prep work must have gone down.) The kids, Dave, Isabel and the dog got in by 4:00, but dinner wouldn’t be for two more hours. But, for the two hours until ate, I had to restrain the parents, because they wanted to carve the turkey, mash the potatoes that way everything would be ready. They’ve insisted on having two different menus for the Christmas dinner for years and this is the first time there was some negotiation towards a more reasonable amount of food.

After all the food was put away, more wine drinking and fennel eating followed. (Rose, Mary and Connie manage the dishes and the clean-up.) And by 9:00 we were upstairs opening gifts.

What remains is helping the parents through the next couple of days. I head home Sunday, but between now and then there will much food preparation to manage and keep under control. (My mother will now follow the kids and I around asking if we’ve had breakfast, what foods we want for lunch, what foods we want for dinner, if we want coffee, if we want a snack …)