I had to go down to the fish monger – Seafood USA in Wayne –  this morning to buy clams, mussels, and cod for tomorrow’s Cioppino. I had already picked up the other things I needed, but these were all fresh. The entire world seemed to be shopping for La Vigilia tomorrow, but I thought it wiser to face the crowds today than to face a bigger crowd, tomorrow. While the shop was busy, the folks were in good moods and I even ran into an old TJ’s customer I’d known for years. We had a fun chat while waiting, I talked clams and smelts with another guy, and reminisced about fresh anchovies in Sicily with yet, another. Somewhat surprisingly for two days before Christmas, no one seemed to be in a huge hurry.

The folks behind the counter were friendly and efficient with lots of smiles. It was an actual pleasant shopping experience – something I haven’t experienced many of these past few years – especially around Christmas.

I got home and gathered everything I need for tomorrow – I’m disgustingly organized, sometimes – and found I had more than the requisite seven fish for tomorrow. Now… that’s not an issue, but part of the horde was about 5 ounces of langostino that really didn’t need to go in – and could be reworked into tonight’s pasta dinner.

They became part of tonight’s dinner.

I cooked up two links of red pepper sausage from Martin’s and added a splash of red wine and then a jar of Victor’s homemade pasta sauce. I let it simmer a bit and then added the langostino just as the pasta was finishing cooking.

A sausage and langostino sauce over thick spaghetti – a perfect meal for a perfect day.

Tonight, we head next door to visit the neighbors, tomorrow morning is the gym, and then it’s crab cioppino, Christmas, and total relaxation.

This is the way Holidays are supposed to be!