First off, let me say that there is no such thing as Italian Thanksgiving. The fourth Thursday in November is just like every other Thursday: work, school, appointments, and our Italian lessons carried on as usual. One of the most difficult things for us being here during Thanksgiving was knowing that all of our family and friends were together for Friendsgivings and family feasts on a day when we were still going about our normal Italian lives.
BUT we are very grateful that we were able to have a WONDERFUL Thanksgiving on Saturday. We teamed up with two half-American families to stuff ourselves silly and be grateful that we live in a place where we CAN stuff ourselves silly. And there were so many little details that made it feel like home. We had emails flying around for several weeks about who would cook what and text messages flying around about what movie we would watch (we ended up watching both Charlie Brown’s Thanksgiving and Home Alone – absolutely perfect). We had certain food requirements to consider – at home it was cooking for a vegan, here it was cooking gluten-free, but it still felt home-y. Jon and I recorded the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and the National Dog Show so that we could watch them Thursday morning while cooking (my family always did this on Thanksgiving). I made Pumpkin Scones for what has become our traditional Thanksgiving breakfast. We listened to Christmas music. And it’s good that we had three families coming together because we (as always) had way too much food that needed to be cooked in multiple ovens. Most importantly, we were with people who feel like an Italian family to us.
Even though we have only lived here 6 months, we feel loved by and we deeply love the people who have taken us into their families. It’s amazing how quickly we can feel bonded to new people when all of our other close relationships live far away. We are so grateful for the Italian ways of loving, building relationships, talking, laughing, and eating together often. These friendships that we have built are really what made Thanksgiving a joy this year, when it could have just been filled with longing to be home. We have quite a lot to be grateful for.
As far as food goes, I cooked the following:
Pumpkin Scones (see previous post )
White Wine Cranberry Sauce with a hint of Orange
Baked Brie with a Date and Red Onion Glaze
Roasted Autumn Veggies
Grandpa’s German Stuffing
Mashed Potatoes (nothing fancy, just classic)
I spent most of Friday and Saturday cooking and stayed up until 2am both nights – so today I slept until 11, which I rarely do. But it is a good kind of exhausted. I’ll post recipes later, but there’s a sneak peek.