Happy Happy New Year to all my Family and Friends! I hope you all enjoyed your Christmas Holidays as much as our Family did this year and are looking forward to a great 2014! We were so lucky to have spent Christmas in New York City and then came back and rang in the New Year in Florida! Part of the fun this year was the quest to find the perfect Martini! Each Holiday along with new ideas for recipes, I also like to try a new cocktail. There’s something magical about white twinkling lights, glittery clothes and a Dry Martini with olives straight up not stirred. Even the glass evokes that feeling of the old days of New York City when style was elegant and traditional cocktails were enjoyed. A simple Martini or Manhattan compared to the LI Iced Tea and Apple Martini’s of today LOL!
Well anyway I had four separate occasions where I tried one and the best one for me was a Dirty Martini with olives. Creating special moments and enjoying conversation is a lost art and I’m happy to be part of a movement to restore the art of relaxing.
My Family and I created a host of Christmas Memories starting with a Christmas Concert at St Patrick’s Cathedral, several trips to see the Tree at Rockefeller Center and enjoying the Christmas Market at Bryant Park. Our first Saturday my Sister in law Terry, her Daughter Kathleen and her two granddaughters Samantha and Jessica came for dinner. I created a Pasta dish with fennel, onion, roasted peppers and swiss chard that I named Christmas Chitarra. I will post the recipe on In the Kitchen at the top of the page. On Christmas Eve we took a horse and carriage ride around Central Park, and then walked over to the lobby of the Plaza Hotel and took our picture with their Christmas tree and of course the picture of Eloise. We then went back to Stephanie’s apartment and had the Feast of the Seven Fishes for dinner, an Italian tradition. We had Fried Calamari and Baked Clams for appetizers. Next was Linguine with Shrimp and Mussels in a Marinara sauce, followed by Codfish, Fresh Tuna and Scallops baked in the oven. The Tuna was plain with a little extra virgin olive oil, capers and lemon and the scallops and codfish had olive oil, butter, breadcrumbs, lemon and parsley. After we finished our delicious Feast and cleaned up, we walked to the local Catholic Church and went to Midnight mass.
Christmas Day we took the train to New Jersey to visit our niece and nephew Peggy and Dominick and two of their sons Nicky and Dom. Peggy’s Brother Gerard and his wife Dee and Daughter Kaitlyn were there, and he made my first great Martini ! Well Gerard being a great Bartender jumped up and before you knew it viola a martini with olives in a special glass and I was sipping away and then out came all these Martini stories from everybody. It really was a riot how everyone knew someone that drank them and the consensus was I should only have one! The three Martini lunch that they all referred to must have been crazy! They were right as its quite strong but its something you sip and should appreciate! Its actually so festive in a stemmed glass and I felt great being the guest and just having fun and was living out those Queen like moments again. LOL! We had a lovely ham dinner and a Holiday bread I made stuffed with Sausage and Vegetables. Later on my husbands Brother Sonny stopped by with his wife and we had a nice visit.The time flew by so quickly and we were back in Manhattan the next morning but not before we reminisced about a Christmas we spent three years ago. Innocent snow flurries turned into an accumulation of 27 inches the day after Christmas. We were stranded for three days but had so much fun! Thursday evening my husband and I had dinner with a friend of his since elementary school Mike and his wife Betty. We decided on a local Italian restaurant and I had Bucatini amatriciano and my husband had gnocchi. Our next food adventure was Friday when my son Stephen and I took a trip to Williamsburgh Brooklyn to the famous Acme smoked Fish Market. It is only open to the Public on Friday mornings from 9 to 1pm. They ship smoked Salmon all over the United States. We tasted several samples and were on our way after getting Gravlox, Pastrami Lox, Plain Peppered Nova,smoked White Fish Salad and Herring. Check back again to read a post I’m going to write about Acme Fish market. Later we met Gerard downtown at Jim Brady’s for Lunch and I had my second Martini a dirty-one made with the olive juice straight up and I really enjoyed it! Friday night our nephew and his new Bride Nicole came to the apartment and I made Pork Tenderloins for Dinner. My husband made Martinis that evening and Nicole and I rated them high on the scale too! It was a full day and so much fun. Being on vacation gives you energy you seem to lose at home right? Well Saturday was spent with Friends going to Grand Central Station for sandwiches and cheesecake at Juniors. Next we walked back to Rockefeller Center to see the Tree for one more time and listen to the Music and watch the light show on the building at Saks Fifth Avenue.
As we flew back to Florida we all thought how nice it will be to enjoy the peace and quiet of our little town and enjoy the Palm Trees and walks down by the Jetty. We are truly blessed to live in a lovely town and still get to see New York as well. By the way my fourth Martini was Sunday night as my Daughter said she wanted a try at making me one as well. She did a great job and chose a Tomato Vodka and used the olive juice and olives for garnish and it was so delicious. What an exciting Christmas vacation! We lived in the moment enjoying delicious food and lively conversations with our Family and Great Friends. Now we look forward to the celebration of Little Christmas on Jan 6 ( Italian tradition). Then we will pack away all our glittery ornaments and think of all the wonderful memories we will make in 2014 which I’m sure will include a good Martini! LOL!
Welcome to Britalia Way! Thanks for stopping by. Please join me as I share with you a series about food, people and experiences that are special to me. English and Italian traditions are so enticing and were the inspiration for creating Britalia Way!
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