NOW we're talking. If you know me, you know my love affair with food and cooking.
Being Portuguese, a lot of our family get togethers center around the food and what is being served. We like eating, we like food and we go out of our way to make it special.
Growing up in Portugal, Christmas wasn't really Christmas until we went down to Lisbon, walked around looking at the lights and the store windows, and stopped at one of the street vendors to grab a cone of newspaper filled with freshly roasted Chestnuts. Oh my word, it's like I can still smell them and imagine their taste. They were always roasted to perfection.
I can't roast them like they do, but every year, I buy some chestnuts at the grocery store and roast them in the oven. It is not, nor will it ever be, the same, but it does the job. If you want to try for yourself, you can try my recipe over on my food blog.
Oven Roasted Chestnuts
Now, remember I told you that we do the big celebration on Christmas Eve? We don't do a specific dinner, though many times it would be Bacalhau Cozido com Grao (Boiled Cod with Chickpeas), or Bacalhau a Gomes de Sa (Cod Fish with Potatoes and Eggs). Love them both and haven't had any in many many years because trying to find Salted Cod here in Idaho is quite the pain in the bum.
As soon as dinner would be finished, the dishes would be removed, the table cleaned and cleared, a fresh tablecloth put on and then the snacky food would start being piled on, and oh my goodness that is one thing I really looked forward to.
The plan was, sitting around the table, talking, laughing, playing games and snacking all night long until midnight. Then opening the presents, then back to the table to snack a little more, then everyone to sleep. Another tablecloth would be draped over the whole table, covering the food, and the next morning we would just wake up, wander in there and snack off the table again. Wonderful memories!
So let me show you my favorites for Christmas food, and these are usually what you will find on my table to this day.
Bolo Rei - King's Cake
There are many many more, but for me, this is usually what I love the most. These are the ones I always make sure to have on the table because it wouldn't be Christmas without them.