Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Our Christmas Feasts

In times gone by when the whole of the family was together for Christmas Eve, Rick would prepare a roast and traditional dinner similar to one he enjoyed at his grandparents' as a child. But in recent years, we've been on our own for Christmas Eve so it was time for a new tradition! We would make something new. This could be risky business but also, very fun! Last year it was a Quebecois Tourtierre. This year it was the Feast of Seven Fishes Pie.


The Feast of the Seven Fishes is an Italian-American Christmas tradition and is a grand meal with seven different seafood dishes. The tradition is from Southern Italy and the meal might include seven or more fishes, including anchovies, lobster, sardines, shrimp, mussels, and more. 

Our recipe came from the New York Times and they take some shortcuts (clam juice, vs. clams, for example!) It also included anchovies, shrimp, scallops and haddock. We should have had a second fish and skipped the caviar, so I suppose we should call it "Five Fishes Pie!"


It's surprisingly easy to make -- just saute the leeks, make a roux with the flour and clam juice and add the fish.


Then top with pastry and trim. I'd heartily recommend it!


While it was cooking, we enjoyed some of Rick's baguettes and cheese with a lovely Chablis that also paired well with the fish.


I loved the lights twinkling in the glasses!


Supper time!


 Christmas Day brought presents in the morning...


  And then it was time to get home and start getting the table set and dinner ready!


We had a long Zoom call with Rick's family. 


My table setting this year was super easy -- a bowl full of beads and balls on a tray with a mound of fiberfill "snow."


Then, the Spode china that was my mom's and some of my silver bells collection.


With Christmas Crackers and mom's silver, we were good to go!

 

While dinner was cooking, Rick checked out the Christmas cards that arrived.


Our dinner of the day -- Julia Child's Boeuf Bourguignon...

 

And a Christmas Wreath salad. These are all over the internet and I would love to credit one of my blog regulars whose post gave me the idea and I can't remember who! So, please identify yourself so I can link up! (Note! It was Jan from Low Carb Diabetic right here!)


And cookies for dessert. I felt like many friends were at the table with dessert! My cousin, Bonnie, whose powdered "Jingle Balls" are a must; Marie of The English Kitchen, whose recipes for Ginger bars with Lemon Frosting and Lemon Ginger biscotti are fabulous; Sandra of "Maison de Jardin" whose Gingerbread Madeleines were a hit, and finally my book club friend, Lynne, with four-star Fudge Bars.

 

After dinner, we just hung out, watched the "Call the Midwife" and "Downton Abbey" specials on PBS, and just enjoyed the quiet of the season.


And you can't beat that!


Cheers!

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56 comments:

crackercrumblife said...

Your table looks absolutely magazine worthy! Beautiful! I have a Spode plate in that design that I got for my wedding. I actually am not sure what it is supposed to be used for lol. It is slightly raised in the center? I stuck a cake on it this year which was a mistake. Lol.

And Jeanie, that is so funny about the lights in the wine glass, I just noticed that here at my house the other night and was enchanted by it. )

It looks like you had a wonderful holiday. On to the New Year now!

R's Rue said...

Yum. I’d love to feast at your table. I received your wonderful card. Thank you so much.

Salty Pumpkin Studio said...

Lovely dinner! Your new tradition sounds spirit lifting. Fish is a good start for the New Year.

Jenn Jilks said...

That is delightful!

We just had a ham. Somebody in my house cannot have dairy, yeast or eggs!

I've often wanted to zoom with the whole family, but with one kid on the west coast, it is tricky!!!

David M. Gascoigne, said...

You obviously ate very well, Jeanie. The fish pie - either five or seven - sounds delicious. Please tell Rick that if ever he visits my house I will give him the freedom of the kitchen to make it for me! Chablis used to be my white of choice, but I have switched to Sauvignon Blanc in recent years, for the infrequent occasions when we buy white wine. Must remember to permit a bottle of Chablis to grace my table soon!

bobbie said...

I'll be right there for some of that pie!!!

Anvilcloud said...

Thanks for visiting and commenting. We used to live on the Michigan border in Sarnia across from Port Huron. For a decade or two we would cross regularly. That tended to change with the Gulf War and even more after 911. I see fish pies mentioned on my various British programs. They never appealed to me, but perhaps I had a different picture of them.

gigi-hawaii said...

Sounds like a lovely way to celebrate the holiday! Love your cuisine, the decor and the camaraderie. Way to go, Jeanie!

Carol @Comfort Spring Station said...

It's wonderful to have a chef in the family. Interesting pie too! Everything looks wonderful and sounds so tasty. I'm glad you enjoyed your holiday. Wishing you a happy New Year!

The Artful Diva said...

So good to hear from you, Jeanie. Best to you and your family in 2022. Personally, I'll be glad to see the last of 2021!

bill said...

The fish pie sounds incredible and looks delicious. Have a wonderful day!

Penny from Enjoying The Simple Things said...

It sounds like you had a wonderful Christmas Eve and day! We had feast of one fish on Christmas eve. I made grouper piccata.

Karen thisoldhouse2.com said...


So beautiful, all of it!! I love Spode Christmas dishes - I bring them out for the month of December and use them for regular dinner serving.

Wishing you a Happy, Healthy 2022!

Misadventures of Widowhood said...

Your table and enthusiasm for the holidays is wonderful. Good thing you have Rick to share the cooking and baking with.

Sandra Cox said...

So many wonders. The food, the decos and the companionship:)

Linda Sue said...

Another season, well done. a quiet Christmas is lovely. Your table looks like a party for two. Beautiful.

Divers and Sundry said...

New traditions can be fun, but this meal sounds too challenging for me. I'd love to try it sometime, though. Your decorations look festive.

Red Rose Alley said...

The Christmas wreath salad looks festive and delicious. What a clever idea. And the desserts look amazing. I want one of those fudge bars to go with my coffee right now haha. Now, I'm wondering if the powdered jingle balls are the same as the Russian tea cookies Jess makes every year. They are definitely a favorite around here. I like the photo of Rick looking at the Christmas cards. That is such a sweet photo, and I wish you would frame that sometime. And I just love seeing all your pretty lit-up trees. They are so merry to me. Oh, the bowl of beads and balls is lovely and looks vintage - that BLUE ball got to me right away. Wow, what a stunning color!

~Sheri

Nikki - Notes of Life said...

Loving your Christmas decorations, especially the tree!

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas. All the best for 2022! :)

DUTA said...

The sock with Santa on it, and the presents inside it - is beautiful!
The green, white and red colors blend naturally.

Vicki @ lifeinmyemptynest said...

What delicious food you had! Happy New Year🎊

Linda said...

I am not adventurous when it comes to seafood. I would like to be but it never seems to work out that way. That being said, I will take your word for the 7 fish pie. Maybe one day.

Lovely pictures my friend. Happy, happy New Year!

Pam said...

NOPE on the fish pie....I would have to pass on that for sure. I love your large tree. That is so pretty.

My name is Erika. said...

Your holiday sounds lovely, even if you couldn't visit with family. I think you made up for it with some delicious food. I've heard of the Feast of 7 fishes because my cousin's fiance's family was from southern Italy. I think your 5 fish pie looks quite delicious. As does your boeuff bourguignon. And your table looks lovely too. So festive. Hope you are enjoying this wonderful week between holidays. Hugs-Erika

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

Yum! Your meals looked divine! We made the beef bourg for JC night many years ago. It’s relish! I remember peeling pearl onions for what felt like ages but we had to probably quadruple the recipe for the crowd we were feeding! It was worth the effort though!

We had heavy aps on Christmas Eve, then Phil and his mom made a Spanish Tortilla for brunch on Christmas Day. Then ham, mashed potatoes, gravy and asparagus for dinner. Joan watched Call the Midwife and Phil half-watched while reading. I was in bed since I was worn out from many night wakings! But I will watch it on PBS soon!

William Kendall said...

Beef Bourguinon is what my mother would make for Christmas Eve.

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Your Christmas celebration sounded wonderful, Jeanie -- great food and great company and wine is also a great accompaniment too. I know that the fish pie is something we would enjoy so thanks for letting me know it's relatively easy. What type of crust was used - homemade or a puff pastry? We send all good wishes to you and Rick for a better and Happy New Year. Thanks for your comments on my blog posts this past year as well and also for the Christmas greeting. All were much appreciated!

Bindu said...

Like your supper table settings!

Lowcarb team member said...

From your words and fabulous photographs your Christmastime sounds lovely. That fish pie looks delicious so does the beef bourguignon.

I think it was this Christmas Wreath Salad that gave you the inspiration?
https://thelowcarbdiabetic.blogspot.com/2021/12/thursday-three-low-carb-recipe_23.html

Happy New Year Wishes.

All the best Jan

Prims By The Water said...

Well I am not a fan of anchovies, so I would need to omit those from the recipe. I too liked the sparkle of the lights in your glass! So love that salad wreath. Will have to remember that next year. Janice

eileeninmd said...

Hello Jeanie,

Your fish pie, wreath salad and the beef dish all look delicious. The cookies are a nice treat too, YUM! Lovely table and decorations. I wish you and your family all the best in 2022, a very Happy New Year!

Olka said...

Oh, all this food looks so delicious :) And I love the way you've decorated the table.
This year we also didn't spend holidays with the whole family. We called each other during the supper time. Well, holidays of our times...

Have a lovely New Year - full of health, love and calmness :)

Joanne Huffman said...

What a lovely celebration of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day! It all looks lovely and the meals and cookies look delicious.

La Table De Nana said...

A lovely Christmas..♥Wasn't Call The Midwife great? As always:)

Sharon in Las Cruces NM said...

Wow, love your spirit for getting in the holiday mood. great post and I enjoyed each word and each picture. Quiet celebrations certainly has been the norm for so many of us this year. Happy New Year to you and Rick. p.s I sold over 300 cards this holiday season that I sell at Toucan Market, Las Cruces NM. No wonder I feel tuckered out.

Mae Travels said...

Your dinner looks fabulous. It's great to vary the menu, which this does. I hope you have plans for a lovely New Year's Eve dinner too. And best wishes for a wonderful year, better in all ways, in 2022.

best...mae at maefood.blogspot.com

anno said...

Everything looks so pretty, so celebratory -- you definitely do the season up in fabulous style! And the Feast of Seven Fishes Pie looks delicious! (Not to mention, a great way to jump start any pending New Year's resolutions about eating more fish...)

Hope you're enjoying a little post-Christmas peace & quiet -- wishing you all the best in the year to come!

Daniela said...

Dearest Jeanie,
In your shots and by reading your words, I sincerely think you've enjoyed your Christmas, blessed be!
With much love and thankfulness I'm sending my very best wishes for a fabulous year to come.
Daniela at ~ My little old world ~ (Dany)

Marilyn Miller said...

Your food all looks amazing and delicious. Now I want to start over and do a fish pie and wreath salad. We had a pot of beans and tamales. I loved seeing your center piece too. What a great idea for some stray ornaments. Happy New Year, dear friend!

Linda @ Life and Linda said...

Such delicious food and a pretty Christmas table. I have never experienced Feast of the Seven Fishes. Sounds wonderful. Happy New year Jeanie.

Pam Richardson said...

Jeanie, what a delightful Christmas you and Rick enjoyed. The food, the table setting, the twinkling lights,and the tree all combine for a splendid scene! Happy New Year, my friend!

The French Hutch said...

Wow Jeanie, you prepared not one but two feasts! The table settings are lovely and I know you enjoyed every minuted of decorating and preparing your meals. Your home is so lovely especially with the little lights twinkling even in the glasses. Sounds perfect. Happy New Year Jeanie!

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

You went all out for Christmas eve and day, Jeannie. What amazing feasts you provided, That pie sounds wonderful and the salad ring looks beautiful. With Rick's bread and your cooking skills, you have given us two beautiful feasts. Your table setting with your mother's dishes is worthy of the cover of Food Magazine. Here's to an even better 2022, dear friend.

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

You had a fabulous holiday. Everything is a delight to my eyes. The beef bourguignon sounds especially wonderful.

Victoria Zigler said...

Sounds like you and Rick had a wonderful Christmas celebration together.

Lowcarb team member said...

Hello again Jeanie,
Many thanks for adding the link to the low carb diabetic.
I think your salad wreath looks great in your photograph, so colourful :)

All the best Jan

Tammie Lee said...

It sounds and looks like you had a lovely celebration together. So happy for you.
Happy New year! May it be a magical year that surprises us often.

Susan Kane said...

What a feast! Lovely decor, too!

gluten Free A_Z Blog said...

Your holiday decorations are spectacular and especially your tree! What.a great idea to put your 7 fishes into one pie..

Anonymous said...

It's New Year's Eve here in Australia, Happy New Year Jeanie and Rick. I miss your emails.
Love Cath

Lynne said...

You write create with such zest . . .
No matter if it is a daily happening or a new culinary discovery . . .
There is zest . . . and joy . . .
Loved your pond walk and pictures.
Happy New Year Jeanie . . . and Rick.
love
lynne

Sandra at Maison De Jardin said...

Hi Jeanie, I am slowly catching up. Your Christmas Eve dinner sounds wonderful. We have a "Feast of The Seven Fishes" festival here each year. This area has a large Italian community. Your dinner or similar is on most tables each year. And you can't beat Julia's recipe for Boeuf Bourguignon. Your Christmas Eve and Christmas Day sounds as though they were perfect.

Jeanie, thank you so much for mentioning the Gingerbread Madeleines in this post and for taking the time to comment about it on my blog. That was so sweet and most appreciated!

Wishing you and Rick a Happy and Healthy New Year! Be well!!!

Iris Flavia said...

Oh. Again so sad I don´t like seafood. But the baguette and cheese, yum! And the twinkle. And the plates look interesting and fun, too.
And more beautiful plates - I remember those crackers from Australia. Fun times! And more yummy food. Cheers!

Danielle L Zecher said...

Your table looks beautiful! The fish pie sounds like a fun idea, too.

Barb said...

I'm hungry just reading your post, Jeanie! I could definitely snack on one of those ginger treats right now. Your table setting is just beautiful. I'm waiting another week before packing up my Christmas decorations for another year.

Amy at Ms. Toody Goo Shoes said...

It sounds wonderful, Jeanie! My mouth is watering just looking at the photos! Ginger bars with lemon frosting? I'm checking out that recipe right now!

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