A Favorite Christmas Tradition…

There are so many things I love about the Christmas and Advent season. The marvel of lights, the gorgeous music, the specifically Catholic traditions (I’ve been slowly adding to our nativity scene each Sunday, and when we have a little more space one of my first wish list items is an advent wreath!) Then there are the family traditions which are some of my favorites

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A blast from Christmas past… over 20 years ago with my sister, mother, and grandmother…

Some of the traditions we’ve decided to carry on I already wrote about last year and we have done or plan to do many of them again this year (though we have to skip the champagne this time around…) but we also continued the tradition of buying a new Christmas book each year, and we plan to make some of our family favorite holiday treats such peanut butter bon bons, sugar cookies, pizzelle (Italian Christmas cookies- my mom took care of this one this year as we still don’t have a pizzelle maker) But my absolute favorite food centered Christmas tradition is homemade ravioli.

For as long as I can remember, my grandma would make these for the holidays and while it was always a favorite dish, it became even more solidified in my mind with a main Christmas event when I became vegetarian and pasta became my main course for the evening! These are a bit labor intensive and so making them doesn’t happen that often so this was a big deal.

One of my fondest memories with my grandmother is making these with her and my mom shortly after my husband moved back to Arizona. It was a tradition I knew I wanted to keep and I cherish that time with her even more now that she passed away this year. So I told my mom the one thing I wanted to make sure and do this Christmas season was make homemade ravioli with my grandmother’s recipe.

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My grandma and my husband cooking up spinach for the ravioli filling… it’s blurred but the memory it provokes is crystal clear.

15542271_10207835250303820_437866993031307046_nSo last night, my mother, my sister, and I cranked out about 100 ravioli together. I’d made the dough shortly before they arrived, my mom took care of the filling, and then the three of us assembled them. As we worked, I marveled at how my grandmas did this for so long into her old age. Maybe it’s just the pregnancy talking, but I was exhausted by the end! And we only ended up making half as many as we planned!

The effort was well worth it though, and it is a tradition I plan to keep and pass down to my children as well. I can’t think of a happier (or yummier) way to remember my grandma this holiday season. It brought back so many memories and made for a really wonderful family evening. It was a perfect final big cooking project for the year and made me hope that in a few months I’ll be up for making some homemade pasta again, even if I keep it simple while I wait for next Christmas to make ravioli again!

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