Friday, January 6, 2012

A Twelfth Night Celebration

~or~ Happy Christmas Eve to Those of the Orthodox Persuasion

Over the holidays I have been reading a couple of books* about alternative ways of celebrating the seasons. I have been less and less happy with the Christmas/Yule season for a long time now. I feel that there is far too much emphasis put on buying the right thing and spending money. I prefer focusing on the turning of the seasons and on family. One of the ideas I came upon was to extend the holiday by celebrating the smaller days that happen during the season, thus allowing for smaller celebrations to bring your family together around. Now I am planning on adding all sorts of “celebrations” to our year.  

In that vein Rodney and I celebrated a combination of Twelfth Night and Orthodox Christmas Eve by making pistitiso and hot fudge sundaes. We did not really do much more than eat, but still it was fun. Next time I will invite some people for dinner, but I decided to do this a bit too late for that.

Of course there were a lot of dishes I could have picked to make, but I knew that Rodney really likes pistitiso so I wanted to find a recipe. A Google search later and I had a lot of recipes to choose from. In the end I chose the recipe on the Adventures of an Orthodox Mom blog.

I have only had a bite or two or pistitiso before tonight, so I really had no idea how it should turn out. It was really good though! The only change in ingredients that I made was to use Brilla Plus Penne Pasta. I would gladly have use the pasta she recommended, but I just could not find it. I also cut the recipe in half. (And I have to say, I do not know how I would ever have found a vessel big enough to cook a full recipe!)

I had a couple of things not work out quite the way I expected. First, I need to perfect the white sauce. I am not sure I let it get thick enough. Another issue was that I think I might have used too much pasta. The recipe calls for “two boxes”, but it does not say what size of boxes. I used one because I halved the recipe but should it have been 8oz or 15oz? I used 15oz. The last issue was I think it needed to be compacted more. Mine does not seem as “firm” as the ones I see online. I will be making this again, so I will have time to test out other methods!

*The books I read were: Hundred Dollar Holiday & To Dance with God

My layers are not very defined, but the top is such a lovely color!

Look a happy little salad. Okay, a Greek salad would have been more 
appropriate, but I was not thinking about that while out shopping. 

My reward for eating a salad. 


  1. I agree. The top is a very lovely color!

  2. I really like the idea of smaller celebrations throughout the season rather than one or two large ones. I have not heard or tried pastitiso before, but it looks like such a good comfort food. I bet the sauce thickens as it sets up a bit and like most pasta recipes tastes even better as leftovers. Your sundae looks wonderful!

  3. I understand that you are irritated by the commercialization of Christmas, I feel the same. It is much more valuable to spend the time with your family and to enjoy being together.

    The pastitsio looks very delicious, great! And the dessert was indeed the perfect completion of your Twelfth Night Dinner.