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Sicilian Feast of the Seven Fishes for Christmas Eve

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Sicilian Feast of The Seven Fishes for Christmas Eve

I learned early on that when you get married, you also marry your husband’s sports teams (at least with my guy… go Reds!). This extends to cultural traditions too, especially if he comes from a strong cultural background. That’s where one of our favorite Christmas traditions called “Feast of the Seven Fishes” finds its roots.

If you’re wondering what food to make for Christmas Eve dinner, give this a try! And yes … there really are seven fishes!

A Way to Keep Tradition Alive

My hubby came from a large family of Italian descent on one side. He and all of his siblings identify as Italian, even though it is just part of their cultural history. Of course, we want to pass on the best of the culture, traditions, and heritage from each side of our family. For the Italian side, this often means passing on the food and recipes.

Trying to have a healthy lifestyle isn’t about throwing traditions centered around food out of the window. Far from it! Instead, I’ve modified meatball recipes, pasta recipes, and even biscotti recipes to fit our allergies and dietary needs.

One Sicilian-American tradition in particular was easy and fun to continue with our family. It is called “The Feast of the Seven Fishes” in the US but simply “La Vigilia,” (the vigil)  in southern Italy. As the name suggests, this tradition literally involves making seven (or more) types of fish on Christmas Eve.

Feast of the Seven Fishes: It’s What’s for Christmas Eve Dinner!

There is much debate as to the historical origin of this tradition, though we continue it simply because of its connection to family. Eating fish on Christmas Eve traces back to the Roman Catholic tradition of abstaining from meat on Fridays as well as specific Holy Days. Abstaining from meat on Christmas Eve would have signified waiting and anticipation of of the Christ Child’s arrival on Christmas morning.

The number seven is also up for debate, as many families serve fewer types of fish (and some serve as many as 13 different fish varieties!). Seven is likely the most common number because of its strong historical and cultural significance in many parts of Europe, including Italy. In biblical history, the number seven represents completeness and perfection.

NOTE: You don’t have to make all of the dishes at once to try this tradition! I certainly didn’t start making all seven at the beginning. Pick just one or two and you’ve got a festive, meaningful, and delicious Christmas Eve meal.

Our Family’s Version of “La Vigilia

It has taken me almost a decade to finally get into a good routine for this special Christmas Eve meal. As you can imagine, there is a lot of prep work and cooking involved! I’ve added a dish each year until I got to the full seven over the last few years. These are our favorite dishes and the ones I’ll be making this year for our Christmas Eve dinner:

Crab and Clam Arancini (Appetizer)

Sicilian Crab Cake Arancini Recipe

Arancini are a traditional Italian food, but I’ve added two types of seafood to make it fit with this meal. The name means “little orange” and they are small fried balls of rice that resemble an orange once cooked. They are traditionally filled with mozzarella cheese and meat, but I use seafood, herbs, and peppers for a flavorful alternative.

Mussels in Wine Sauce

A dish that seems really fancy but couldn’t be simpler to make. Since this meal has so many courses, we only make 2-3 of these per person. The kids think they are fun and enjoy helping make them. I use this recipe and mix up the herbs and spices a little each year.

Shrimp Bisque

savory seafood bisque recipe

A family favorite recreated from a soup we had in a restaurant. This simple shrimp bisque is really easy to make and has amazing flavor. Making this one at Christmas always reminds me how good it is and to put it back in the family meal rotation.

Baccalà- Salted Cod in Butter & Wine Reduction

Baccalà is a traditional main course for the Feast of the Seven Fishes. Traditionally, this is made with true Baccalà cod that has been preserved in salt and dried. Since this can be hard to find in our area, I’ve made my own version using fresh cod and salt in a butter and wine sauce. I’ll share my recipe soon, but here is a classic Baccalà recipe if you are interested.

Scallops in Browned Butter

I love scallops and they are a perfect part of a holiday meal. Our favorite way to make them is with a little browned butter, olive oil, and fresh herbs. Since there are so many other dishes at this meal, we only make one per person. My recipe is very similar to this one (I leave out the capers) and I’ll share my version soon.

Skillet Bang Bang Shrimp with Sriracha Dipping Sauce

All the flavors of the famous bang-bang shrimp without the deep frying! I saute shrimp in butter until cooked and serve with a sweet chili and sriracha sauce. I’ll share my recipe soon, but this one also looks good.

Serving Tips and Side Dishes

Pasta dishes often accompany this seafood spread, but since the meal is more complex we keep it sides and dessert super simple on this night. I make a fresh salad, roast some broccoli, and serve fresh fruit with a little whipped cream for dessert.

This is quite a few meals to prepare at once, so I typically prepare everything except the scallops ahead of time. I gently reheat the dishes, sauté the scallops, toss the salad, and we’re ready to go!

Another way to make the meal more festive is to have some special wines on hand. Since I discovered Dry Farm Wines, I also make sure we have several bottles of their white wine to serve for a perfect pairing, along with some sparkling fruit-infused water in fancy glasses for the kids!

Do you have any special traditions for Christmas Eve or Christmas dinner? I would love to hear what your family does!

On Christmas Eve, I prepare the traditional Sicilian-American feast of the seven fishes with crab cake arancini, shrimp bisque, salted cod and more!

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Bill Gates: Third Shot May Be Needed to Combat Coronavirus Variants

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With more than 40 million Americans having received at least the first dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, a third dose may be needed to prevent the spread of new variants of the disease, Bill Gates told CBS News Tuesday.

Gates’ comments come amid growing concern that the current vaccines are not effective against the more contagious Brazilian and South African variants.

Pfizer and Moderna have stated that their vaccines are 95% and 99% effective, respectively, against the initial strain of COVID. However, some scientists have questioned those statements. Additionally, the World Health Organization and vaccine companies have conceded that the vaccines do not prevent people from being infected with COVID or from transmitting it, but are only effective at reducing symptoms.

Gates told CBS Evening News:

“The discussion now is do we just need to get a super high coverage of the current vaccine, or do we need a third dose that’s just the same, or do we need a modified vaccine?”

U.S. vaccine companies are looking at making modifications, which Gates refers to as “tuning.”

People who have had two shots may need to get a third shot and people who have not yet been vaccinated would need the modified vaccine, explained Gates. When asked whether the coronavirus vaccine would be similar to the flu vaccine, which requires yearly boosters, Gates couldn’t rule that out. Until the virus is eradicated from all humans, Gates said, additional shots may be needed in the future.

AstraZeneca in particular has a challenge with the variant,” Gates explained. “And the other two, Johnson & Johnson and Novavax, are slightly less effective, but still effective enough that we absolutely should get them out as fast as we can while we study this idea of tuning the vaccine.”

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is funding the studies being conducted in Brazil and South Africa, CBS News said. The foundation has also invested in the AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson and the Novavax vaccines, which are being tested against new variants. Once the AstraZeneca vaccine is approved, the Global Alliance for Vaccine Initiative or GAVI, founded by Gates, will distribute it globally.

“Gates continues to move the goalposts,” said Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., chairman and chief legal counsel of Children’s Health Defense. “Meanwhile the strategies he and others have promoted are obliterating the global economy, demolishing the middle class, making the rich richer and censoring vaccine safety advocates, like me.”

Kennedy said that the exclusive focus on vaccines has prevented the kind of progress required to actually address and recover from the pandemic:

“From the pandemic’s outset, clear-headed people familiar with the challenges inherent in the vaccine model have understood that the path out of crisis would require multiple steps. Those steps would need to include the development and/or identification of therapeutic drugs, the sharing of information among doctors to hone improved treatment models that reduce infection mortality rates below those for flu, and the kind of broad-spectrum long-term herd immunity that protects against mutant strains and that only derives from natural infection.”

Instead, Gates and vaccine makers are proposing a lifetime of boosters, supporting insufficient testing to determine safety and failing to address the inadequate monitoring of vaccine injuries, Kennedy said.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Children’s Health Defense.

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Young nurse suffers from hemorrhage and brain swelling after second dose of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine

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(Natural News) A 28-year-old healthcare worker from the Swedish American Hospital, in Beloit, Wisconsin was recently admitted to the ICU just five days after receiving a second dose of Pfizer’s experimental mRNA vaccine. The previously healthy young woman was pronounced brain dead after cerebral angiography confirmed a severe hemorrhage stroke in her brain stem.

Her family members confirmed that she was “breaking out in rashes” after the vaccine. She also suffered from sudden migraine headaches, and got “sick” after taking the second dose of the vaccine. At the very end, she lost the ability to speak and went unconscious. The migraines, nausea, and loss of speech were all symptoms of a brain bleed and brain swelling, something her family did not understand at the time, and something nobody would expect after vaccination.

While on life support, neurologists used angiography to image the damage inside the brain. They found a subarachnoid hemorrhage, whereas a bulging blood vessel burst in the brain, bleeding out in the space between the brain and the tissue covering the brain. The ensuing swelling cut off oxygen to the brain and caused brain death. On February 10, 2021, Sarah reportedly had “no brain activity.” Some of the woman’s organs are now being procured, so they can be donated to other people around the world.

Doctors warn FDA about COVID vaccines causing autoimmune attacks in the heart and brain

Experimental COVID-19 vaccines may cause inflammation along the cardiovascular system, leading to heart attack and/or stroke. This serious issue was brought forth to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) by Dr. J. Patrick Whelan, M.D., Ph.D. and further confirmed by cardiothoracic surgeon, Dr. Hooman Noorchashm, M.D., Ph.D. The two doctors warned that a recently-infected patient who is subject to COVID-19 vaccination is likely to suffer from autoimmune attacks along the ACE-2 receptors present in the heart, and in the microvasculature of the brain, liver and kidney. If viral antigens are present in the tissues of recipients at the time of vaccination, the vaccine-augmented immune response will turn the immune system against those tissues, causing inflammation that can lead to blood clot formation.

This severe adverse event is likely cause of death for the elderly who are vaccinated despite recently being infected. There is no adequate screening process to ensure that this autoimmune attack doesn’t occur. The elderly are not the only people vulnerable to vaccine injury and death. Pfizer’s experimental COVID-19 vaccine could be the main cause behind the sudden death of Sarah Sickles, a 28-year-old nurse from Wisconsin. The Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System has captured five permanent disabilities in Wisconsin, 58 ER visits, and eleven deaths in just one month. This is the first case in Wisconsin of someone under 44 years of age suffering from severe COVID-19 vaccine side effects and death. There are now more than 1,170 deaths recorded in the U.S. related to the experimental mRNA vaccines, a reality that the FDA and CDC continue to ignore.

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Powering hypersonic weapons: US armed forces eyeing dangerous 5G tech

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(Natural News) Much of the conversation surrounding the benefits of 5G is geared toward the consumer side of the technology. People will be able to download videos at lightning speed and will be more connected than ever, proponents claim, although there are serious questions regarding its safety. However, some of the most important 5G applications are not civil at all – the technology will be used extensively in the military domain.

Some of its military uses are outlined in the Defense Applications of 5G Network Technology report, which was published by the Defense Science Board. This federal committee gives scientific advice to the Pentagon. Their report states: “The emergence of 5G technology, now commercially available, offers the Department of Defense the opportunity to take advantage, at minimal cost, of the benefits of this system for its own operational requirements.”

The 5G commercial network that is being built by private companies right now can be used by the American military for a much lower cost than if the network had been set up exclusively for military purposes.

Military experts expect the 5G system to play a pivotal role in using hypersonic weapons. For example, it can be used for new missiles that bear nuclear warheads and travel at speeds superior to Mach 5. These hypersonic weapons, which travel at five times the speed of sound and move a mile per second, will be flying at high altitudes on unpredictable flight paths, making them as hard to guide as they will be to intercept.

Huge quantities of data need to be gathered and transmitted in a very short period in order to maneuver these warheads on variable trajectories and allow them to change direction in milliseconds to avoid interceptor missiles.

5G for defense

This type of technology is also needed to activate defenses should we be attacked by a weapon of this type; 5G automatic systems could theoretically handle decisions that humans won’t have enough time to make on their own. Military bases and even cities will have less than a minute to react to incoming hypersonic missiles, and 5G will make it easier to process real time data on trajectories for decision-making.

There are also important uses of this technology in combat. 5G’s ability to simultaneously link millions of transceivers will undoubtedly facilitate communication among military personnel and allow them to transmit photos, maps and other vital information about operations in progress at dizzying speeds to improve situational awareness.

The military can also take advantage of the high-frequency and short-wavelength millimeter wave spectrum used by 5G. Its short range means that it is well suited for smart military bases and command posts because the signal will not propagate too far, making it less likely that enemies will be able to detect it.

When it comes to special forces and secret services, the benefits of 5G are numerous. Its speed and connectivity will allow espionage systems to reach unprecedented levels of efficiency. It will also make drones more dangerous by allowing them to identify and target people using facial recognition and other methods.

Like all technology, 5G will also make us highly vulnerable. The network itself could become an attractive target for cyber-attacks and other acts of war being carried out with cutting-edge weaponry. In fact, the 5G network is already viewed as critical infrastructure and is being carefully protected before it is even fully built.

While the focus on 5G’s dangers to human health and the environment is absolutely warranted, it is also important not to lose sight of the military implications of 5G. After all, it is not just the United States that is developing this technology for military purposes; our enemies, like China and other countries, are also making great strides in this realm.

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