It’s An Italian Thing…
My guest blogger for December goes deep with me…all the way back to our first communion in second grade. She is now the godmother to our “Super Kate” and the blessings of friendship and love continue to grow year after year. I truly am so blessed.
I honestly could have asked Chiara Falco Mosher to be my guest blogger anytime of the year, as this Italian Bella comes from a long line of family traditions. She celebrates when she cooks and dances while whipping up the most creative designs. So many are thankful for her gifts. She is a loving wife, super mom to 2 sweethearts, owner of Flawless Skin & Tan and my best friend…meet my Cracklin Rosie.
The Falco December Tradition
Since I was a girl of about 11 years old, my parents have been hosting a party that, now, some 30 years later has become a party that kicks off the Christmas season for a ‘chosen’ group of about 30 adults. The original intent some 30 years ago was to entertain my two older brother’s friends with a fabulous Italian meal.
My great grandmother’s recipe for Crab Cioppino was the inspiration. Her name was Filomena Franchesconi, then later married into the Falco name. She didn’t speak a lick of English, but was known for her miraculous ability to make a meal from scraps! My mother always tells the story of Nani bringing her Crab Cioppino in bed after she arrived home from the hospital after the birth of my oldest brother, Rob. Not an easy meal to eat in bed, but so tasty!
The tradition now, as it stands, starts with the invitation, a formality really, because it is always the first Saturday in December at 4pm. Everyone brings their own fresh crab and the best bottle(s) of red they can find. We line the tables with brown paper bags, have big soup bowls and dishtowels for napkins. In front of each place is a number written in black sharpie. When you arrive, you throw on a Falco Feed T-shirt and grab a number from a bowl to see where you’ll be settling in for the night.
The men crack and clean the crab, being careful to preserve the precious crab butter which is essential to the age old recipe. My mother prepares the cioppino sauce and then we cook the crab. When all is complete, the men bring it to the table in giant silver pots quite ceremoniously! We have only the best sourdough bread in baskets all over the table and dig in!!!
But the night doesn’t end there! After we eat, (and this takes some time), we have dessert, which always includes my mom’s famous ‘green centered cookies’. Then we take turns reading The Grinch…sounds korny, but with multiple languages spoken at the table and some text ‘adjustment’ it is fun!
The guest list has been virtually the same for all these years with very few adjustments. Friends of mine are always asking to be invited, so we were thinking of having a ‘B Listers’ Cioppino party in January! Hee, hee!
In the end, the true spirit of family, friendship and the love of Christ is what is felt around the table each year…a great way to start the Christmas season.