Saturday, December 26, 2009


My family is tight. We enjoy each other's company in a way that makes holidays a lot of fun- a nice excuse to spend the day together with nothing else to do.

When my brothers and I were little, the day changed often - we'd attend church on Christmas Day, a visit to grandparents when we lived in New Jersey, relatives staying with us in Atlanta. Present opening was a flurry of ripping paper and flying bows, squeals of delight and playing with toys all day long. Christmas Eve was about the anticipation of that event the next morning.

Now we're a little bigger and well, I'm married. We visit Ray's family during the day on the 24th before driving to meet mine for church, the same one we were married in. This evening's events have remained steady for at least 5 years now- Mom readies the components for Spaghetti Carbonara before heading for church, and it's finished shortly after we return. We're all starving by the time we get home and it's a joyous, noisy, hungry meal.
She sautes the bacon until crisp and lets it drain on paper towels. Pouring off all but a tablespoon of bacon fat, she adds a few smashed pieces of garlic with a bit of olive oil and sautes until golden, scraping up the good flavor bits from the bottom. She removes the garlic and sets it aside too.

Into the serving bowl goes some eggs which she beats until frothy, then adds lots of grated parmesan cheese and chopped parsley.
The pasta water goes on the stove on low heat before we leave, so it's nearly boiling by the time we return. In goes the spaghetti for a quick 9 minutes until al dente. Meanwhile, we hover around the kitchen island snacking on anchovy-stuffed olives and crusty bread. We munch on leaves of a tossed romaine salad with our fingers, a practice we'll never grow out of.

When the spaghetti is almost ready, the bacon and garlic go back into the pan with about 1/2 cup white wine to reduce. The drained pasta is thrown into the bowl with the eggs and the bacon-garlic-wine mixture. Toss immediately with tongs to coat. The egg cooks when its hit with the hot pasta; toss really well, it's a big bowl!

Mom comes around the big bowl, it's a little hard to pass. She dishes with tongs to everyone before coming back around to deposit some bacon on the top that always sinks to the bottom of the bowl.

It's scrumptious, with a little salad and a glass of champagne especially ;-)

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and that you, like me, will reflect on the new memories throughout the coming week.



Erica said...

What a fun tradition....and delicious :) I hope you guys had a really nice Christmas

Unknown said...

sounds like a wonderful christmas eve! hope the rest of your holiday season is restful :)