The below post refers to the time of festivals and holidays around the winter solstice. While it is nice to think of the warm feelings and joy of the exchange of gifts and the camaraderie of friends and family, I often also think about food.

Christmas eve for more years than I can count has meant a Christmas eve dinner with great friends in New Jersey. The meal is always the same and always delicious. There are two things about it that must be mentioned. Sticky buns and peppermint stick ice cream. The sticky buns are incredible and I usually eat a sufficient number to be full before the main course arrives. As to the peppermint stick ice cream, I hate it. There I’ve finally said it and I feel much better. For the first few years I said nothing and kind of pushed it around on the plate. Now it has become an annual joke, with the hostess reminding me to save room for the ice cream.
Christmas day is spent in Trenton NJ with the Italian relatives, not mine but after many years I consider them family, the salt of the earth.

Now boy, do they know how to cook and of course eat. I can already see the giant vat of tomato sauce (called gravy in Trenton) at Jody’s house with the serious meatballs floating and patiently waiting their turn to be stuffed down my throat one after the other. By the time I get back in the car and head home I feel like a goose that has been force fed for 24 hours. The only difference is that, although my liver and all other internal organs are no doubt enlarged, I have no intention of using them for pate. I’m looking on my keyboard and I am sure there is a way to put some accents on the pate but I can’t figure out how to do it and I think I may have spelled Strasbourg wrong also. I wrote this before the trip to Trenton so it must be modified, corrected and new pictures added, like the great meatballs and the second meal at Cousin Cathys. I’ll get to it at some point probably next week.

Here is a before picture:

and after picture of a goose:

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