Good afternoon Mr. Lombardo,

I am thankful this year I had the opportunity to be part of the Rotary’s weekly meetings. Thank you so much for allowing me to join.

As I promised, I attached to this email the photos of Pescara’s main square -Piazza Salotto-. In that area, the traffic is restricted so families can stroll around downtown, buying Christmas gifts. I have always loved Pescara’s Christmas lights!

Tomorrow I will send you the photos of our table and the dishes that my mother and aunt will be preparing.

I am glad to share with you the photos of our Christmas. My mother, Giulia, began preparing the ingredients days before our Christmas dinner. Indeed, our menu was not sophisticated, but the preparation of the ingredients took the longest.

The antipasto (appetizer), comprised of a small portion of shrimp cocktail, fried battered baccalà (codfish), and roasted peppers.

Then, as the primo (first course), my mother prepared a mare-monti (sea-mountains) recipe that entails that type of rectangular pasta you see in one of the pictures, chickpeas, and clams. It has an interesting delicate flavor that astonishes the palate with an unforeseeable aftertaste. It is quite popular in the Southern part of Italy to have these mixed recipes.

As the secondo (second course), my mother surprised us. On the left side, there are two pieces of baccalà. Upon draining it, she added potatoes, olives, garlic, cherry tomatoes, homemade tomato sauce, oregano, olive oil, and salt. It was marvelous! On the right side, you see two fish meatballs. My mother prepared them with baccalà, parsley, finely chopped garlic, and a bit of bread. Probably this course was my favorite!

As the dolce (cake), my mother prepared a typical Abruzzese sweet. It is traditional of the city of Lanciano, 1 hour from Chieti -my hometown-, and it is called bocconotto. It consists of a regular cake dough made of flour, eggs, oil, and sugar. On the inside, it is filled with dark chocolate, almonds, honey, and cinnamon.

What about your Christmas dinner Mr. Lombardo? I hope you had the chance to spend Christmas with your family, friends, and loved ones. I also hope it was as good as mine was after many years that I do not attend this tradition with my family.

I hope you enjoy the pictures.

Thank you so much.

Sincerely grateful,
Marco Del Grosso