December 02, 2011
Italian Christmas Eve: The Feast of Seven Fishes
By Katherine Haas

By Katherine Haas

Book written by: Linda and Rocco Maniscalco

Family traditions are often at the heart of childhood memories, and this is even more the case if the tradition is part of a family’s ethnic identity. Though my family’s Lithuanian heritage only played a big part of our lives at Christmas, I still remember the white straw Christmas tree ornaments and the seven meatless dishes fondly from childhood.

Giving tribute to their own family and cultural traditions, Linda and Rocco Maniscalco have memorialized the Italian attitude toward Advent and Christmas in their “Reminiscence with Recipes.” The book explains the significance of The Feast of Seven Fishes to the Italian celebration of Advent and Christmas and guides the reader through the preparations for this very meaningful meal.

“Italian Christmas Eve: The Feast of Seven Fishes” ($9.95) is a collection of delightful anecdotes that pique the reader’s curiosity about a recipe and then present the details of recipe itself, or a few variations thereon. Amid the recipes are many fascinating stories about preparing an eel (not a practice for the faint-hearted), the Italian custom of the cookie exchange, and the meaning of the traditional Italian toast: “Stata Buon” (Stay Well!). Also included is a list of “where to shop” for the higher quality or harder to find ingredients in these unique recipes. A valuable resource to those who live on the northeastern seaboard, the list is less useful for residents of landlocked states.

The recipe book is amplified by the explanation of a typical Italian Christmas Eve, which prefaces the book, as well as the introduction to the season of Advent, written by Bishop John Barres of Allentown, Pa. It is enhanced by the story of the recipes (Linda found them attached to the back of a portrait of her great-grandmother) and by Linda’s own tips and tricks for preparing the dishes in a modern kitchen with contemporary time constraints. Even for the culinarily inept, the book does a good job of introducing the idea of the Christmas Eve meal as the last fast, a celebratory fast, before the arrival of the Christ Child. You don’t have to be Italian to read, appreciate, or utilize this cookbook!

« Previous entry     Back to index     Next entry »
Ads by Google
(What's this?)
blog comments powered by Disqus


Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

3D Church mapping
3D Church mapping
#PAUSEforPeace Initiative
Dedicating art to San Juan de la Cruz
A state without territory elects new government
The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Synod on the Family October 2014
Preferential option for the poor
God is alive, even in sport
'A forbidden God' named Best Film at the International Catholic Film Festival
Vatican backs a 'Pause for Peace' during World Cup final
The effects of religious violence in Sarajevo 
The origin of Corpus Christi 
Corpus Christi at the Vatican 
Homage to an Indian Cardinal
Train of the Child's Light
New book explaining gestures of the Mass
Encounter between Pope Francis and the Charismatic Renewal in the Spirit Movement.
Religious tensions subside amid Balkan floods
John Paul II Center for Studies on Marriage and Family

Liturgical Calendar

July 30, 2014

Wednesday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 13:44-46


Daily Readings

First Reading:: Jer 15: 10, 16-21
Gospel:: Mt 13: 44-46

Saint of the Day

St. Peter Chrysologus »


Homily of the Day

Mt 13:44-46


Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
Text only

Follow us: