A very happy Thanksgiving to you! The past few weeks we’ve been frequently asked one question: what do Italians do for Thanksgiving? The answer is nothing; it’s not a holiday here. We had decided, after much debating, to not make it a big all-out gluttony-fest in our home this year (and caught a lot of grief for that decision from my step-dad!).
Top Ten Reason for Not Making Turkey Today
10. Turkey is not commonly found in the markets except as breast filets
9. If I found a full turkey (or even a full bone-in breast), my oven is too small to accommodate the bird
8. I would have to buy a roasting pan (which would likely not fit into the oven)
7. I would have to buy a casserole dish for baking the dressing (I don’t like it stuffed into the carcass)
6. Friends had planned to come but had to postpone their trip. Other friends are out of town. It seemed frivolous to spend two days cooking all that food for just the two of us
5. Pumpkin needs to be purchased, cooked, mashed and then turned into a pie
4. We are living in a foreign country where this holiday doesn’t exist
3. We try to be thankful every day, not just on a prescribed holiday
2. I have a cold and feel rather cruddy; cooking a feast seemed like a chore
1. We live in Italy where one eats well every day!
So in the end we decided to “go local” and go out for lunch instead. But what providence! We sat in the restaurant waiting for the waiter to recite the daily menu choices and were astonished to hear him say “filetto di tacchino…” Huh? What’s that…turkey?! Today of all days! Naturally, seeing the signs in the menu we ordered the breast of turkey (which was sautéed in a light, white wine sauce along with artichoke quarters), a side plate of roasted potatoes, and toasted our compatriots at home with a slightly fizzy house white wine. We explained to the waiter that nearly every inhabitant of America would be dining on turkey today and he was rather amused at the irony of it being on offer this particular day in their restaurant. We ended up having an American Thanksgiving after all, with an Italian flavor.
But, of course, the whole point of the day is giving thanks to God for his love and all the blessings and opportunities he bestows.
This year I am particularly Thankful –
-For the provision, direction, and assistance given during our delays and bureaucratic problems to reach this dream
-For the past six months in Italy and all the incredible experiences we have had, the wonderful people we have met, and the history and culture we get to partake in
-For the family and friends who continue to stay in touch despite the physical distance
-For new friends who are so generous, caring, and patient with us foreigners
-For new opportunities to devote more time to writing (and to actually get paid for it!)
-For a wonderful husband who shares my dreams and is willing to take risks in order to live them out