A Happy Valley Christmas

T and I spent Christmas 2009 with my parents in State College, PA. It was an adventure getting there as our original travel plan to fly directly to town were thwarted and we ended up landing in Newark, NJ on a completely different airline and then driving 3 hours to State College. This was the first time T had met my folks and he did great. I think they really liked him. We had a great week, visiting with cousins Amy and Griff (their travel nightmare from FL was nothing compared to ours), watching PSU bball, and eating, eating, eating. Oh, and throw in some Amish sight-seeing to round it out. I also finally got to see Betsy’s greenhouse. I’ve returned to CO  with a serious itch to grow something and to write a book about the Sicilian tradition of the 7-fish Christmas Eve Dinner.

Anyway, here’s the hightlights, in pictures:

T and I at the men's and women's bball double header. Both wins! Go Penn State!T and I at the men's and women's bball double header. Both wins! Go Penn State!

Amish buggies lined up at their Wednesday market. We walked around, checking out the few sellers and looked in at the livestock auction pit. Afterwards, we went to this local store, "Peachies", where I found chocolate stars (yay!) and mincemeat pie (not so much).

On Christmas Day we went to visit friends Betsy and Bob and check out the greenhouses. I want one, but guess I need yard to put it in first.

Dad and one of the two octapus we cooked for Christmas Eve dinner. One was transformed from this into a fantastic stew with tomatoes, conch, garlic, and fresh parsley. The other was cooked until tender and then chopped up with more conch for a room-temp salad with garlic, celery, peppers, onion, lemon juice, and olive oil. In an accidental twist, Dad added cilantro instead of parsley. It was still de-lish.

Lobster prep.

Sister Karen steamed clams and mussels and then fried shrimp, squid, and smelts.

Fried stuff and mom's (should be) world famous baked-stuffed-clams.

The octapus and conch salad.

Shrimp coctail.

Octapus and conch stew.

Linguini del mar. Mussels, clams, lobster, cod, tuna, squid, and shrimp in maranara sauce.

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One thought on “A Happy Valley Christmas

  1. This is one meal that I would have preferred to not see in photographs!…wasn’t one type of seafood enough!? 😉
    That octopus looks like a gnome…his pointy hat, old face, and long beard tendrils…yucky! Actually, you made some of it sound good with all the lemon and herbs and tomatoes. Any get-together with that much food looks like a jolly good time 🙂

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