Sunday, December 28, 2008


I'm finally returning from the Wild Holiday Yonder. That doesn't make sense!?! But you know what I mean. I've been away. Not really away. But away from Blog Land. I think it's that the snow is finally melting, and just like the roads and grass are reappearing, so am I.

Ta Da! Here I am.

And what have I been up to?

Eating and celebrating, of course. Three days of it! Plus it took one full day for me to recover from my food coma.

As for the writing life, I'm sure I'm not alone in this, but even when I'm not writing, my mind still is (in one way or another). If I'm not making sense, just go with me here. I might see something that makes me think, How would I write that? or How would my main character view that through their eyes? Or I might be going through something, doing something, and then wonder how would it relate to a character's life. I don't think I'm alone here. The writer never completely turns off, even when you're not "working."

Back to the personal.

Christmas always means tradition, especially when it comes to food (from my Italian Heritage). These days it seems it's a combination of traditions--old and new.

This night has always meant fish in my family. I hated this as a kid. I would force the halibut and cod down as I sat at the kids' table and I was usually the last one sitting there. The Italian cod dish is called Baccala. Baccala is a dry, salted codfish and is not easy to get your hands on, so not something we do very often, but when it's done, it's just as much about the sauce as it is about the fish.

We've changed it up a bit since moving to the Pacific Northwest. This year, and years past, we've had steamer clams and crab. Now that goes down easy. I'd have a picture here of it, but it all disappeared before a photo could be captured.

Instead, here's the dessert I made. Chocolate Baby Cakes. That's Candy Cane Roca sprinkled on top. Delish!

But let's not forget the drink of choice! A pomegranate martini!

Cheers, Mom!


Stuffed Artichokes were the dish of the day. Not only are they beautiful and Christmas-y, with their red and green, but they are to die for. I wish you could pluck off a leaf and taste one for yourself. The artichoke leaves are stuffed with mixture which is similar to our meatballs (although prepared differently) and then covered with a tomato sauce and baked.


We added one more day of celebration this year--the day when my brother's family could join us.

We gorged on spaghetti (homemade noodles) and rajole.

Now rajole is not the prettiest food in the bunch, but it is mighty tasty. A mixture of bacon, celery, garlic with many wonderful spices are mixed and then placed on a very thin piece of bottom round steak. It's then rolled, tied up, and dropped in the spaghetti sauce to cook and give the sauce amazing flavor.


Now I'm sure the day needed for recovery from the all this food makes sense!

Getting back to the writer in us that doesn't ever really shut off.

Tradition is important. Most families have one or two or even more than they can count. And so should our characters. And if they don't, well then, that must speak volumes about them as well.


How about the main character in your current work-in-progress? What tradition(s) do they have?


Kirby Larson said...


What a great question! I'm going to break out of my writing funk by doing a 10 minute timed write using this prompt.



Anonymous said...

To heck w/the writing, pass the chow!!