|Second cousins: Marissa, left, and Figgy.|
|Here they are again in Florida tonight: Marissa, 19, and Fig, 17.|
I am Italian, but never had a traditional Christmas Eve seafood dinner till tonight. Mary Jane made dinner for 17: spaghetti with anchovies; cod baked with tomatoes; and shrimp scampi. Her son Brian, in from his apartment in Queens, NY, made great steamed mussels. Then we had Mrs. Weiss's cookies, which MJ makes every year--her Grandma Millie got the recipe back in NJ from Mrs. Weiss. MJ pulled out her old heirloom recipe file and there it was, written in her [and H.'s] grandmother's hand. The sandwich cookies are made with cinnamon, jelly and chopped walnuts.
I do wish I brought some of my dough from home, or some cookies, just because everybody loves cookies on Christmas Eve, but was pressed for space with bringing our gifts.
Today I took a long walk on the beach while H. jogged and we saw blue jellyfish--exotic and stylish--and kids digging and skipping in the sand. H. took a dip. I saw a sandcastle decorated with a husky coconut shell and glossy tropical green leaves. We sipped piña coladas and watched the waves from the restaurant's outside seating. I ran into the Publix supermarket for wine and stocking stuffer chocolates. Those were one thing I didn't want to fly with from NJ, for fear of melting.
Good night, sleep tight. Merry Christmas Eve. Peace.
Photos by Tony Fariñas.
- The walk on the beach, 45 minutes.
- Big news, chose fresh fruit with my sandwich, not fries.