Sunday, December 9, 2018

An Italian Christmas Meal with Friends

Yesterday we went to the Farmer's Market downtown Nashville.  A few brave souls joined us but not many.  The vendors were wrapped up warmly and ready to go for anyone who wanted to venture out.  The temps a little above freezing.  A lot of cute Christmas ornaments and decorations in the green house section.   We went down to get a couple of gifts from a vendor that is set up there.

On the way out I snapped a pic of our capital.  

Arriving at Lisa's with our salad, Italian Bread, and Shrimp and gifts, we came into a lovely decorated, cozy, and warm house.  The table was beautiful.

Pretty decor. 

A fireplace and Ms. Gigi who has trouble with her hips and has a hard time walking now.  

Lisa's tree was beautiful.

Lisa and Don went to Ireland not long ago and they wanted to share their experiences with us.  So they created an 8 course meal as they do in Italy.  As American's though we tend to eat a lot when we do, lol so there was a lot of food and we ate all day.  lol 

An Italian Meal course is this: 

  1. Apertivo - The meal starter and similar to an appetizer. 
  2. Antipasto.  A slightly heavier starter - olives, anchovies, cheeses, meats such as prosciutto, salami's etc. 
  3. Primo.  The first course - a pasta or rice
  4. Secondo e contorno is next.  Usually meat or fish. Sometimes soup.
  5. Insalata - salad
  6. Formaggi e frutta - Cheese, Fruit, wine
  7. Dolce - sweet foods
  8. Digestivo con caffe - Coffee and Grappa or limoncello.  

Lisa set up the Apertivo and of course with six of us, this became a buffet!  lol
George's shrimp added to the table and my salad was saved for course 5 since it was a salad.  However, we did have a wonderful bean dish mixed with arugula, sprouts, parsley, and I think it had figs or something in it.  Lisa had George to add some of his shrimp on top.

The Appertivo table centerpiece.

George's shrimp.  He made 3 kinds.

The antipasto course was added to the table as well.  

And here is my plate of the first two courses.  Of which was so good, I had to go back for seconds as did everyone.  

The next course was the Primo, and was a baked pasta with meatballs.  We each had small bowls b/c it's not served in a huge portion like we do at the US.  So what'd we do?  Go back for second's again!  lol  We don't get to eat like this every day!  lol

Seconda was our soup.  We had big bowls but we put smaller portions of soup in it.  Along with Italian bread. 

Oh this was so good on a cold winter day.   So good.  

And you guessed it.  We were stuffed.  We did Christmas presents swap.  And then Lisa said we had to do the salad course b/c I made it so we have to have it.  She brought out little bowls.  We ate it.  Somehow.  

After some point in time and after sharing pics and catching up on our trips and our children with football on the big tv above the fireplace, Don brought out the cheese and fruit course.

Three different cheeses with fruit. 

And then the cannoli which Amber worked so hard to make.  It was not easy.  

Don gave each of us a Limoncello.

Not pictured was the Coffee and the Grappa.  Then we packed up and came home.  What a wonderful meal.  It broadened my horizons a bit and made me think a little differently about meal time.  ;-)  I don't intend to have 8 course meals every day.  But - just something to think about.  I think what I do want to do is make the Canelli beans dish and also a similar spinach and arugula salad.  And also the prosciutto and cheeses skewers are great for a party.  The cheese with fruit added, was quite good.  It was fig.

All such a lovely day and we enjoyed each other so much.  George wanted to get in the hot tub but it was really raining so we didn't.  It was funny though as George went to change to his swim trunks.  We ended up not going outside but he wore them the rest of the night (with shirt on of course) and even wore them home.  lol lol

Anyway, what a great time.  We got home about 8 last night (I think) and took doggies out.  And then I played candy crush in my jammies til sleep came.  About 10 I got in bed and slept til 7 this morning.  I did have to get up a couple of times though in the night b/c I took my BP med before bed which has a water pill in it.

Anyway the spider bite is healing it looks like.  Not as red, not as swollen, skin around the site is healing - no blistering.   I think we are good.  I will keep watch on it.

Today we "plan" to stay home I think.  Threats of ice and such - and we will wrap.

I need to get Aunt Martha and Uncle Ken's finished and also get my Secret Pal's daily stash figured out.  Need to iron of course and get the work week's clothes figured out.  Needs to be warm I think.  I don't really have a lot of warm clothes anymore.  We don't have a ton of weather.  I do have layers I do and scarves that I pile on as needed and have coats of course.  So I make it work.  I do have a wool coat that I bought and that helps with wearing my year round clothes.  I have a lot of thin sleeved shirts so that helps with that.  For the most part though the short sleeve shirts are put up.  It seems lately a lot of my clothes are longer in the sleeves 3/4 and can go year round. So I have to figure out what to wear according to the weather this week.  I have a lot of laundry to do.  And need to do a Target order.

I will then attempt to go into the REST of the wrapping.  George bought the stamps so we'll get the Christmas cards sent out this week.

A little planning to the work week so I have my "to do's" in order, have some meals planned and I'm not sure where the cleanse day will land.  I was going to do it on Monday but that is not going to work as I'm buying my assistant's lunch as we head out and get drinks and desserts for both the plant and corporate offices.  And then we have the plant meal to help with on Tuesday and then our meal at Corporate on Wednesday.  I may not eat the plant meal but I know it will be hard not to eat something if I'm helping serve it or prepping it for them.  So Thursday might be a good day - I can't remember if we have anything going on that day.  Friday is George's company taking his department out and spouses get to go.  Saturday is the Topham's Annual Ornament Party.

So "Tis the Season" to have a problem finding a cleanse day, lol.  I do better when it's a work day.

So I will get on with the day.  Despite all we had yesterday I'm a little hungry this morning.  So off to find something. Not sure what.

Oh George asked me if I wanted to move to Canada where there is an opening.  It got my attention.  He said you had to take a puddle jumper to get there from some major city and then a puddle jumper the rest of the way.  I said "nope" you lost me a "puddle jumper".  Nope with a capital N.

Ya'll be good.


  1. ha, in Canada you pay 50% taxes. This covers all medical, college etc. I had a friend that was thinking of moving there until they checked into the taxes. The only benefit they would get was medical. They both have their educations and so do their children so no benefits there, so they stayed state side.

  2. Oh my, What a wonderful dinner you had. That would be a great experience. So different from what we usually have. I've not eaten breakfast, so that pasta dish looks particularly good. I'm trying to catch on posts today so now I'll move along to the one you have for today. Happy Monday !

  3. dinner looked scrumptious. what a neat way to eat too. funny about george and the swimming trunks. wasn't he cold?


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