Seven Fishes and Christmas thoughts

Seven Fishes and Christmas thoughts

Christmas Eve 2007 - 22

On Christmas Eve, it is traditional in Italy to eat seafood, and especially seven kinds of fish. The exact menu varies, but a best-selling graphic novel called Feast of the Seven Fishes, details one variation and the accompanying blog gives more. Last year, we had a variation on this feast. We had lobster, shrimp, stuffed crab, and stuffed clams. We want to do it again this year, but we just need to find three more fishes to serve. Any suggestions?

Unfortunately, we still also have to buy a tree and decorate the house. We were supposed to get a tree this weekend, but—as you can see from the photos on the right—Mother Nature had other plans and instead I spent the time shoveling the foot-and-a-half of snow that fell on us. Of course, it didn’t deter Melanie from making a dash to Burger King for a pregnancy-related craving. Now before you scold me for a failure of chivalry, she wanted to go because she was getting cabin fever. You fight with the pregnant woman.

Anyway, the plan is get a tree by Christmas Eve (not sure how) and then decorate like mad and then keep the decorations up through Epiphany. Which works this year only because we’ve had to cancel our yearly custom of traveling to visit Melanie’s family in Texas after Christmas. Now that Isabella’s old enough for the airlines to require us to buy her a ticket, airfare for the 3 of us is $1,500. We just can’t afford that right now. Fares around the beginning of February are only about $1,000, which is still a lot and probably just out of reach too, but maybe we’ll have a Christmas miracle. In addition to Melanie getting to see her brothers (who have yet to meet their younger niece, Sophia) and parents, and the girls getting to see their uncles and grandparents, it’s also a nice respite from winter, of which this old New England boy gets more and more sick with each passing year.

But those are sad thoughts for another time. We still have Christmas, which will be the first in our new home and the first with Sophia and the first with Melanie’s sister Theresa. And we’ll spend Christmas day with my family at my brother’s house. It doesn’t get much better than that.


  • Although I despise fish, when asked about fish to serve this little Alaskan girl immediately thinks of salmon or halibut.  My family had a tradition of smoked oysters in the stockings, and oyster stew on Christmas Eve.

  • My cousin does the seven fishes on Christmas Eve.  She starts with an antipasto which has tuna in it.  She also makes smoked finian haddie (which I won’t touch, and which you can smell as soon as your foot touches the outside porch steps—but I digress), lobster ravioli, stuffed clams, and shrimp scampi.  That’s five—I can’t remember the other two.  I’ll write back after tomorrow night!  Merry Christmas!

  • To stick with your shellfish theme, your last three could be dishes featuring scallops, oysters and mussels! smile

  • OK, last night’s feast consisted of the aforementioned antipasto with tuna, scallops wrapped in bacon, stuffed clams, smoked finian haddie, shrimp scampi, lobster ravioli, and mini crabcakes.  Oy.  I so need to get to the gym tomorrow!

  • A little belated, but my vote is to add calmari. That is the tradition on my dad’s side of the family, passed down from my great grandparents. Cook it with the marinara…. Mmmmm