Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Italiano Christmas Eve with Mama

Mama loved the Holidays... any Holiday, but especially Christmas. For her it was all about family and of course food. On Christmas Eve we followed the Italian tradition of the Feast of the seven fishes. None of my Aunts really knew whether it was suppose to be seven, nine or thirteen fishes, all I knew was that we had a lot of fish. I didn't really like to eat fish back then so it didn't matter to me. All I cared about on Christmas Eve was learning about the cure for Malocchio

Malocchio is the evil eye in Italian superstition and you can only learn how to get rid of it on Christmas Eve by your Mother, Aunt or Grandmother. Mama couldn't be bothered with it and told me to ask one of her sisters as she continued to cook. I tried to find out about Malocchio as a young teenager, but it was Christmas time and my attention span was even shorter than it is now. I'd forget to ask but would remember on Christmas Day (which of course was a day late so I had to wait another year). Finally on one Christmas Eve I remembered to ask my oldest Aunt who lived with us in our tiny apartment, she was like a grandmother to me. She taught me the special prayers to say with a plate of water and oil and then the person could be cured. Amen, I finally learned the secret... but as time went by I forgot it!

A few years ago when Mama was over for dinner on Christmas Eve, I bought her a necklace with the Italian horn (which is suppose to protect you from the evil eye). I asked her if she remembered when I'd always ask about Malocchio and she said that it was all a bunch of crap, so let's just eat. That was my Mama! Her love for food was the same as always as she continued to eat her calamari and Spaghetti aglio e olio. Some things never change.

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