Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas part 1

Merry Christmas! This year we spent a very fun and low-key time with our fabulous neighbors! It was great! We had (king) crab and ravioli at our side on Christmas Eve and they treated us to Christmas dinner at the galley, which meant no cooking or dishes. That's always a great time in my book. Santa was very generous to Nate and Joanna this year. The big hits were Nate's Spiderman scooter and Joanna's roller blades. She didn't take them off all day! (Yes, I did let her skate in the house. It was Christmas, okay? They are banned to the basement forthwith, however.) Here are some pictures that Jen took of our festivities. I have some too, which I'll upload a little later. xoxo

Nate enjoying chocolate cake at the galley
Joanna giving her rollerblades a go
Merry, who are these angelic looking children?
Ah, I recognize them.
Jake and Dale
Me slaving away in the kitchen with my straightened hair

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Speaking of family traditions...

Christmas has always been a special time of family traditions for me. Some of my fondest childhood memories are of Christmas and all the special times we spent with family. One of the most sacred and time-honored Camagna family Christmas traditions is making home made ravioli - from scratch. I'm talking pasta, filling, everything. Each ravioli is a hand-crafted labor of love. I remember vividly my great-grandmother's basement being filled with her own little pasta factory and her making and serving my great-grandpa his daily 5-course meals in the dining room of their cute little 2-bedroom cottage in San Jose, CA. I would give just about anything to be there again, with them (and the rest of my family members - living and passed -) eating that amazing food and celebrating together. As a child I didn't fully appreciate how special and wonderful that was. As an adult I cherish those memories and wish I could re-live it all. That, however is impossible, so I do my best to make new memories and instill traditions with my own family.

Anyway, my grandma Madeline (and maybe Grandma Mina too, I don't know) taught my mom how to make ravioli for Christmas. My mom took it over from there. They are hard work. My mom used to say that she was disappointed because she would spend hours making enough ravioli for everyone only to see them disappear in a matter of minutes. That, to me, was a sign of their sheer deliciousness! :)
The past few years the task was left to my dad and I. We would make them while my mom was at work and Joanna was just starting to be old enough to "help". We would talk and remember the good times and the funny memories of past Christmases.
Last year I moved to Kodiak. I did not make ravioli. I think I was revolting against the lack of family up here. Jake was underway. It just didn't feel right. Well, once Christmas rolled around, and there were no ravioli to eat on Christmas Eve, THAT didn't feel right! I was bummed.

I actually didn't give ravioli another thought until a couple of months ago. I invited my friend Audrey over to watch Days of Our Lives with me. Well, we ended up not even watching our show, but stayed up late just chatting away (what, me chat away?). Somehow the subject of Christmas or food or something came up and I told her about our ravioli tradition. She asked me if I would teach her how to make them! I felt a shot of inspiration! She could help me! We could have ravioli again this Christmas!

Well, today was the day! Joanna and I went over to Audrey's house, along with our friend Terri and her daughter Myriam (who is Joanna's good friend from school) and we made the ravioli! Let me tell you this: THESE GIRLS ARE PRO'S!! It took them only one round and they caught on so fast and were making them like they'd been doing it for years!! It was awesome!! We had fun listening to Christmas music (and chatting, of course) while the girls "helped" and played. We even had a visit from Santa himself on the Coast Guard fire truck! We each got 75 ravioli out of the deal, which isn't bad for a hard day's work. Best of all, I felt like I was around family and I got to carry on my special family tradition. It truly felt like my grandmas were there with us. I really think they were. xoxo

Myriam and Joanna
Santa in Lake Louise??

Audrey and Terri <3

The process

hand crafted with love!

rolling out the dough

It's a multi-person job, man!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Thanksgiving/All Joanna wants for Christmas!

Joanna has now officially lost both of her top front teeth! It's so cute, and so timely...clearly it's all she wants Santa to bring. :) We had a good Thanksgiving. It was very low-key and relaxing, but somehow I feel like I'm still doing dishes from it all... We're thankful that Daddy's home!


The Thanksgiving masterpiece!

I'm thankful my husband is so macho. He made quick work of that turkey with his electric knife!