Around each of the holidays, my family and I would travel down to Staten Island to go to my Aunt's house. It was at these times where I would get to see them, other than the occasional weekend trips.Christmas has to be one of the best holidays of the year, it usually brings about the largest turnout of the family and with them, comes their specialty dishes. The seating and table arrangement fluctuated from year to year, but a good time was had nonetheless by all.
Cooking usually began the day before and Christmas Eve. I remember my mother would always bake the Raspberry Thumbprint cookies and a Honey Glazed Ham. After these were finished, they would be wrapped and put in the refrigerator, until we made our trip down the next day. We arrived at my Aunt's house and the cooking of the main dishes would usually be done here, a few hours before dinner began.
This year, however, my family went down earlier than we usually do, so we could assist more with the meal. I took a central role in one of the appetizers, the lasagna. More specifically, I had to roll the mini meatballs for it, with some help of course. I am probably overestimating here, but I must have rolled about 700 meatballs. It was painstaking, to say the least. I have now secured my place as the roller, and I have something to look forward to next year.
The meal would always be served in the traditional format, Appetizer Dinner, Desert. The lasagna was a staple in the meal, and way always served. The focaccia, as good as it was, I wish I hadn't had the 3 or 4 pieces of it. I ate in the moment. not looking at the long term effects, but it is a holiday! The Prime Rib was rather delicious, however, I find that it is better broiled than slow roasted. It tends to be juicier and more tender, something I have to see if I can implement the next year. Desert always brought me to the Almond and Lemon Frosted cookies, one of the best desserts that we had.