Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Thanks are owed

To me, the holidays wouldn't be the holidays without these two wonderful women.

That's my Aunt Anna on the left and Aunt Rita on the right. By the look of things I would say that they are taking a well-deserved break from feeding a whole mess of us at some family get together long ago.

Time has altered their appearance a bit. Rita will be 90 very soon and Anna isn't too far behind.

Each lost her husband at a young age. For decades now they have lived together, currently in an apartment in Queens that is just above Cousin Joan's and near to several other members of our family.

My aunts are about as close as any two people can be. I know marriages—good ones—that aren't nearly as inspiring.

Anna and Rita are in my heart always, but never moreso than around this time of year.

I am lucky to be a member of the Christmas Eve celebration they host each and every year. It is literally a feast—the Feast of the Seven Fishes to be exact, totally worth clicking on and checking out—and I would no more miss it than I would lop off my right hand, or even that other one.

For a long time I used to wonder when the holidays might finally, inevitably lose their allure. After all, the years have a way of grinding away at the starry-eyed idealism that's required to truly love this time of year.

But I haven't grown at all weary. And in a very large way I owe this to the optimism and love of these two extraordinary women.

I am over-the-moon thankful to them for that.

Happy Holidays everybody.


LeAnne said...

Even though my father was Sicilian, we didn't do the feast of the seven fishes--but we did have only seafood on Christmas Eve. I've always wanted to do a feast though--so this year, several of my friends and I are going to--on December 18. Faux Christmas Eve...
I live up the coast from you in Harpswell--and have been scouting around for baccala--do you have any recommendations for where I can get that (and possibly eel?) Somewhere in Portland perhaps? Thanks for the help.

Mister Meatball said...

Harbor Fish usually has baccala, and right around Christmas, eel too. Enjoy your feast.

LeAnne said...

Harbor Fish was great... we got just what we needed--except no eel that soon before Christmas. Faux Feast was a success!
We made a salmon roe dip with homemade potato chips, a friend brought ceviche, then baked clams oreganata, calamari salad, mussels steamed in red wine and shallots, angel hair with lobster sauce, shrimp with broccoli rabe, and roasted baccala with potatoes, fennel, and onions. Dessert was espresso, biscotti, nuts, homemade limoncello. It was a great meal with great friends. Thanks for the inspiration and the help.

Mister Meatball said...

Good job. Sounds like my kind of feast.