I left you with images of raw fish and a gnomic reference to the Christmas Forcola (not to be confused with the Great Pumpkin). I think you deserve to see how they came out.
This is what risotto made from go' looks like. Perhaps you can intuit from the look of it that the last step is to add butter. How could it not be great? If this dish was to be found on any Venetian table other than ours, though, I would be very happy to know it.
And this is the grilled eel. True, it doesn't look dramatically different than when it was raw, but I think it tasted a whole lot better.
The Christmas Forcola. For me, the only thing cooler than decorating it would be to row it in this state. But I know beyond any doubt that the mere suggestion would be thrown down the well of Discarded Americanate. In any case, I like to think that the forcola enjoys being used for something.
One of the best Nativity scenes I've yet discovered, here in the church of San Biagio. It has many imaginative touches but two flaws which concern me.
First flaw: We have all the fundamental components here except for one thing. Where's the manger? I tried to convince Lino that a hayrack could perhaps serve the same purpose, but he wasn't buying it. He was also not so keen on the fact that Mary is holding the Baby Jesus when he's supposed to be lying in the manger. But if there isn't one......
Second flaw: Much as I love this domestic scene (two bonus points for the laundry hanging out to dry), I can't get past the fact that there is a pig. I don't insist on the manger, but I can't see any justification on this earth for there being a pig. I must speak to the priest.
But while their imaginations were running wild, the designers came up with a very nice addition to the traditional cast of characters: Fishermen, with net and fish. In the upper left corner is a small waterfall, which adds a nice sound to the atmosphere. I'm not convinced that fishermen are likely to be out at night in the way the shepherds were, but I'll still go with it. After all, they've put in a pig. A couple of fish can't matter, especially when you remember their symbolic value.
Returning from the perplexing sacred to the reassuringly profane, a batch of Santas have asked to wish you all a good night. I let them stay up just this once.