Tonight, as a nod to my Italian ancestry, I will make crab cakes.*
If I were going to be in Pittsburgh, I'm sure I could drop in on any number of relatives for the traditional seven fishes. And also those delightful pignoli nut cookies that my Aunt Terry makes -- but that's another post.
I've always liked the idea of the seven fish more than it's actuality, mostly because I really don't like most kind of seafood other than crab. I've tried. I have. I just can't cultivate a tolerance for it. No, not even lobster.
Still, I miss the family tradition aspect. And all of the wine and cousins and noise. And even the idea of rolling out the door after eating for four hours so that you can go to midnight Mass, despite the fact that it has been at least 20 years since I've been to a Mass that didn't also involve a wedding or funeral. I've always enjoyed the theater of it, however, and would go just for that.
Anyway, tonight, there will be crab cakes. I'll explain to the kids why I do this, even if I don't do the whole shebang, like Maria Laurino's family, which she wrote about in yesterday's New York Times.
In case I miss you tomorrow, which is likely, consider this an early Buon Natale. May it be appropriately merry and happy.
*Scott, in a nod to his love of fish, will make probably fry up some catfish. His ethnic heritage is more Swedish/Germanic than anything else. But his folks have been in this country long enough that the European traditions have been subsumed by the American ones.