In my mother's Italian family we always had baccala (salt cod) around Christmas. I was surprised to see it the other day at our local Giant Eagle. Of course, after soaking it for 1-2 days, my grandfather would pat it dry, cut it into portions, dredge the pieces in seasoned flour and fry. He would serve it on polenta with a fresh (canned tomatoes from his garden) tomato sauce. My mother would do the same soak/dry/flour/fry method and she would serve it with what we called "Italian potato salad" which was nothing more than Idaho potatoes peeled and boiled until tender, drained, then added to olive oil which had some lightly browned onion and garlic. Parsley at the end. I'm going to buy some and make it a week before Christmas.