My first xmas in Rome

Seeing all the fairy lights and decorations being hanged around buildings reminds me a lot of Hari Raya.

For the first time I’m celebrating Christmas in Rome when normally around this time, we’d be back in Singapore. It feels a little strange for me to celebrate it as a non Catholic/Christian and at the back of my mind, it’s not the same thing as Hari Raya but nevertheless, I don’t see anything wrong with sharing happiness together.

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Anyway, we spent Christmas eve at Cart’s sister, Paola’s house. Entering the house, the tree was the most eye catching item in the room with the presents at the bottom. The dining table was already set with cutleries and appetizers.

By the way, the tradition here in Italy is to eat fish which is a “non rich food” instead of meat on this day so you’ll see loads of families cooking fish related items. And since I love eating seafood, I had a lot of fun, because there were so many wonderful things for me to eat!

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We started off with L’insalata russa which is basically a potato salad.

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And then little mozzarella balls. Not the type that is yellow and solid and comes in rectangle shapes by the way.

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And then mixed Seafood salad.

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And then I had smoked salmon slices with tuna salad at the side. The green vegetable that you see in the picture is called valeriana and it’s interesting to me as it tastes a little bit like mint.

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And then there are baked crochette of potatoes and olives. Cart and I prefer them fried though *coughs* Perangai budak gemok *coughs*

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And then these are ravioli stuffed with crab and served with creamy crab  sauce. Oh gosh, these was such a dream. It was so delicious! I normally don’t like creamy based pasta, but these were so light and yummy!

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So good that I ate them all up. I need to ask Paola how she made it!

And here is Cart manually grating parmigiano on his pasta. If you’re wondering what we were watching on the telley, it was a show which was rather inappropriate for christmas

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And this my linguini with a sort of arabbiata sauce with tuna.

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My niece and nephew are very picky eaters though. They won’t touch anything if they think that it contains things that they don’t like. And to my horror, I saw that my nephew is eating pasta. Plain. Not even with a hint of oil nor cheese.

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Anyway, after that we had a sort of quiche with the puff pastry and zucchini and cheese inside. This thing is awesome! But we still had more to go!

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These are roasted fish called pesce persico but by this time, I was feeling so stuffed. Even though I was really greedy and I wanted to eat them, I could only pick at them and not finish. Sheepishly asked to have them put in a container so I could eat them later.

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And then these are mussels cooked in tomato sauce which was supposed to be used for pasta. But Paola seeing how stuffed we all were, just served them as it is. I could only manage to eat one!

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And these are artichokes. But at this point of time, I was already too stuffed to take another bite. Le sigh! How sad! I wanted to try everything!

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I felt so full that I had to waddle to the sofa for a bit and soon after I felt sleepy and decided to take a  snooze on Cart’s belly while watching the kids getting ready, stacking their presents to unwrap them. Eating is tiring work!

And when I woke up from my power nap, I found these ready for me. More food! Pandoro with lemon and strawberry ice cream!

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I was so stuffed! This is probably what it feels like for a goose being fed for foie gras. And I didn’t even get to try everything!

Nevertheless, it was approaching midnight and we started unwrapping our presents.

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Here is Cart opening his present.

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Here is Paola inspecting the present that we got for her. It’s a hi-George teddy bear! With inbuilt speakers on it’s little feet.

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Here are my in laws inspecting the olive oil bottle stand that we got for them.

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Nephew has an Angry bird action set! Now you don’t even need to switch on the computer or phone. I couldn’t believe that it exists! And I blame it on Cart for introducing this horrible game.

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Here’s the niece playing a Play doh Smashed Potato game. I couldn’t play this one though. The poor potatoes keep getting smashed and cut and diced …

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And after playing for a little while with them and opening our presents, soonafter it was time to go home. It was a lovely gathering. And while I do miss my family and friends in Singapore, it’s nice to be with my other family too.

But it wasn’t over yet, because the next day, there was a xmas lunch! More food! I could hardly even eat breakfast. I was that full. And instead we waited for lunch and had Pasta with funghi.

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I added some chili flakes because I like hot food. I’m still Malay after all.

And then baked potatoes with rosemary and roasted lamb. Not only for xmas, but they eat lamb during easter too. I suppose it’s a tradition to eat lamb here on accordance that there are a lot of lambs in Italy and also of it’s religious significance.

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MIL asked me if we Malays eat lambs but in all honesty, beef and chicken are more popular meats to eat even though there are loads of ducks and goats around. Not sure what happened to make those meats less popular.

And to end it, a slice of pandoro, a popular xmas and new year sweetcake.

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So good! But oh boy, I’m so stuffed! How does one even lose weight this way?!

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