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Christmas Report

26 Dec

My intentions regarding this blog are often higher than my ability to meet my own expectations. I envisioned posting my Christmas Eve photos that night, after we arrived home. But it was midnight and I tumbled into bed.

The magnificent Church of Santa Susanna. There has been a place of worship here since 330 A.D.

The magnificent Church of Santa Susanna. There has been a place of worship here since 330 A.D.

We started La Vigilia di Natale as temporary Catholics, attending the lovely Church of Santa Susanna, seat of the American Catholic Church in Rome. We’ve been to a couple of services in churches lately where everything was in Italian (or Swedish if you saw my post about the children’s concert), so it was almost a surprise to walk through the door and hear singing in American-accented English.  Following church, about 20:30, it was already very quiet in the streets. The buses were half-empty and moving fast, the drivers enjoying freedom from the usual overwhelming auto traffic. Another Christmas miracle: a young man (French) gave me his seat on the bus. While it was a sweet gesture, I am a little sensitive to him thinking I am old and needed to sit. I prefer to think he was simply kind. And so we meandered through the streets of Rome by foot and bus, to our favorite trattoria.

We ate at this restaurant last Christmas Eve as well. In fact we have been dining here since our first trip in 2010 and go at least once a month, often more. We are regulars and warmly greeted. The feast on Christmas Eve is always fish and wine was included in the prezzo fisso menu.  Since it was looonnngg holiday meal, we managed to drain our included bottle during the first two courses.  So they opened another for us. An advantage to being regulars: no extra charge.

The antipsato course: smoked salmon, cured anchovies, seafood salad, steamed mussels and more.

The antipasto course: smoked salmon, cured anchovies, seafood salad, steamed mussels and more.

The Primi were a seafood risotto and a lovely mixed seafood pastes.

The primi were a seafood risotto and a lovely mixed seafood pasta.

The secondo was a lovely whole steamed fish, succulent and tender, accompanied by tiny fried whole fish.

The secondo was a lovely whole steamed fish, succulent and tender, accompanied by tiny fried whole fish.

My intention was to do a photo essay of my magnificent Christmas Day feast, but I forgot to take a picture of the golden, juicy turkey before carving, and failed to take a picture of our glorious table.   Our menu included an array of Mediterranean and Italian antipasti, followed by our crazy-expensive Italian turkey, stuffing with sausage & apples & raisins, sweet potato casserole, ratatouille and cranberries. For the first time in about 25 years I had to buy canned cranberries (available at the embassy’s commissary) because fresh berries were >$11.00 for a 10 ounce bag in the Italian market! We topped the meal with a homemade pear crostata. Our guest was a young man from the embassy who was highly entertaining and who has excellent taste in wine. Grazie, Ben!

Today is yet another holiday, Santo Stefano. Today we must get out and exercise. Never left the apartment yesterday except to go to the courtyard with our guest! I am a few miles behind and a few thousand calories ahead of plan.

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3 Responses to “Christmas Report”

  1. Sharon December 27, 2012 at 21:31 #

    Ahhhhh, it sounds lovely. I particularly love the church photo!
    As always, you are the hostess with the mostess!
    Can I send you some cranberries? Family friends own bogs here in NJ.
    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!

    Like

    • gooddayrome December 27, 2012 at 21:37 #

      Thanks for the offer, Sharon! I doubt they’d get through customs, though!

      Like

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  1. Antica Taverna, Roma, August 27, 2016 | Our Weekly Pizza - August 29, 2016

    […] and stomachs. We celebrated Thanksgiving there in 2012 and 2014, We’ve dined there for Christmas Eve four times, and twice on New Year’s Eve, plus about once-a-month year-round. It’s in […]

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