copyright 2010 art of living/PrimaMedia,Inc/ Maria Liberati
Posting on breaks between eating and cooking today…from the mountains of Abruzzo..from Vigilia( Christmas Eve) Feast of the Seven Fishes (and almost no sleep) into a tradtional Christmas Day Dinner or lunch to dinner..well who can tell what is lunch or dinner when one runs right into the other.
My Chrsitmas day meal began with -what we know here as a typical soup from Abruzzo- ( known as Italian wedding soup in the US ) to a meatless lasagne to ‘alla brace’ (grilled meats over the fireplace) and oven roasted potatoes..to fresh fruits to a typical dessert from Pescara known as Parozzo and torrone nougat from L’Aquila. And finally ending with a cup of espresso…but not officially ended because in another 2 hours another meal will begin…
But we are passing the 2 hours of waiting with our official game of Christmas Tombola (Bingo) to burn off the calories.. Tombola is the official game for the Christmas Holidays and helps pass the time between meals. Grandmothers, Mothers and Aunts will only excuse you from the table for a game of Tombola or to go the bathroom..they are the only two allowable excuses! We are waiting for others to be invented.
I am of the opinion that someone began this tradition to give those who wanted to have a break from eating for 24 hours, a way to divert their attention to something else..not eating. And your host is not offended that you have taken a break from eating! In fact they will gladly join in. But be careful, Italians take a friendly game of Tombola just as serious as they do driving and eating.
The next 10 day days or so will seem like one non-ending feast of food and walks in the piazza to encounter old friends that live here or have returned for the Holidays…tomorrow is the Feast of Santo Stefano (Saint Stephen) and another Holiday meal is the tradition…Stay tuned for menus and recipes
For more stories and recipes to celebrate the Holidays get your copy of The Basic Art of Italian Cooking : Holidays & Special Occasions-2nd edition