The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; Indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me. ~ Psalm 16:6 nasb

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas a la Italy

Time to catch up on the latest...


Christmas preparations were full of hustle and bustle last week.  Part of our annual preparations include planning for the Christmas Day meal.  Food is something special--not in and of itself, but the time spent socializing while preparing it, and the time of fellowship spent as we sit down and eat together.  My cultural heritage is both British and Italian, with the Italian side being the clear winner when it comes to food.  After all, my mom--the cook in the family--is Italian!

This year, my mom came down a week before Christmas, and we prepared part of the main course together.  On the menu for this particular Saturday morning:  manicotti.  Yummm.

First, we made the pancake noodles.  It is a mixture of egg, milk, and flour--basically, crepes.  If you've never eaten authentic Italian manicotti, you're missing out on a treat.  It is not the pasta (manicotti) tubes that you would find in your average grocery store.  Crepes are thin and light, and, when filled with the cheese filling and baked, melt in your mouth.

We oversaw the guys putting together the filling--a mixture of three cheeses, egg, freshly grated nutmeg, and parsley.  Once the noodles were made and the filling mixed together, I pretty much sat back with my camera and watched my mom work.  :)


We lay out the noodles, 4-6 on a cutting board, and use a cookie scoop to evenly measure out the filling onto the center of each noodle.  Then we pat the cheese out, sort of like a flat log.



Then we fold one side over, then the other side.



Once they're folded, we place each manicotti in a pan and place the pan in the freezer.


Once the manicotti are frozen, we pop them out of the pan and put them in freezer bags or wrap them and and put them in a freezer container.  On Christmas Day, we simply thaw them out, arrange them on a bed of sauce (in a baking pan), cover them with sauce and a little grated mozzarella, and bake them.  Dee-lish!

After the manicotti were finished, we had time to sit back and socialize.  My mom brought cookies for the boys, which they loved, of course.



Thomas earned his cookies that morning by drying dishes for us.


Fernando relaxed in his chair all morning.  His recovery from surgery is going well, and the only thing really bothering him is the shoulder strap from the brace he has to wear.


Even though he is a lefty, Fernando has no problem eating cookies with his right hand.  ;)


Back to life,
Christine

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