Wednesday, November 24, 2010

America Feasting Comes to Basilicata

Happy Thanksgiving Day everyone!  First, let me say how thankful I am to have such wonderful friends as you, who come along for the ride and read about our everyday adventures here in the mother land.  Grazie a voi!

Remember a few years ago when I gave you my top ten reasons for not celebrating Thanksgiving in Italy that year?  Go ahead; give it another look.  I'll wait.

So anyway, that was then.  This is now.  We're paesani.  We're part of the village.  We're throwing a Thanksgiving feast.  For a tribe. 

It all started innocently.  A friend inquired why Americans go pazzi for tacchino.  We talked turkey and discussed the fact that, unlike Italy where every holiday and saint's day has a special meal attached to it, Thanksgiving is the only American holiday that really centers on food.  Well, why don't we show you?  We'll cook up a turkey, it will be fun, said we.  Just a few friends and the cousins who live nearby.  Va bene.  Then more friends needed to be included; don't want them to feel slighted.  Then we thought, why not send out a general invite and see who wants to come?  All told, we will have 27 guests.  At least, I think we're holding at 27 and not edging up any further.  Some friends are even making the drive down from Ascoli Piceno.  We're thrilled. 

And tired.  I've been making rounds of stores in Potenza to procure all the necessary provisions.  But the preparations have been made a bit easier, thanks to our friends.  One has a brother who is a butcher and he has procured a big ol' turkey for us (not an easy feat in much of Italy, lemme tell you).  Another friend's dad gave us a big pumpkin, which I cut, cooked, and crushed into pie filling.  Our neighbors are giving us fresh fennel and lettuce from their garden.  Another wants to give me the apples for the pie and the potatoes for mashing.  Our friends who own an agriturismo are letting us hold the party there and use their commercial kitchen to cook it all up.  Maybe the adage that "it takes a village" is true; they all want to contribute something to the meal, so when it's all said and done, this will be an American holiday but a very local feast.

While you're eating your turkey and fixings, I'll be baking pies.  We're holding our holiday on Saturday to accommodate everyone's work and school schedules.  But I wish you all a very happy day, and hope you have much to be thankful for.

Tante belle cose, my friends.

13 comments:

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

Happy Thanksgiving to you as well!

I will be celebrating on Saturday too with my American friend and his Italy wife. It's a fun lunch with a mix of American and Italian food.

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

opps that should be Italian wife.

Judith in Umbria said...

Hey, must be Berla who is the only one I can think of who thinks all the women in Italy are his!

Anyway, shall think of you both on Saturday.

travelingsuep said...

Sounds fantastic - far better than your earlier 10 reasons why not.

Happy thanksgiving. Enjoy your village, thanksgiving feast.

J.doe said...

Sounds like a busy preparation but I'm sure it will be all worth it in the end. Sounds fun.
Have a great thanksgiving.

LindyLouMac said...

I think you may well have started a new annual event in your village, have a wonderful thanksgiving meal on Saturday evening.

janie said...

What a wonderful idea-have a fabulous day. I'm sure all your friends will love it.

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Louise at Abbastanza Buono said...

Thanksgiving is all about family and friends. What I like best about it is it is the only American holiday (besides 4th of July) that transcends heritage and religion. Turkey is traditional but who cares if it is serves with tamales, curry or lasagna. And, the spirit of the holiday can be appreciated by everyone, even if they are not American. Buona festa!

CAROL said...

Hey V&B, Happy Thanksgiving to you. I'm sure your dinner will be incrediblly delicious, especially with all those natural, fresh Italian ingredients. How are you preparing the fennel, and what did you do abut stuffing? Salute e buon appetito!

Mama Jo said...

Your Thanksgiving, creating a blended 'family' in the village for the feast, is a great illustration of the true meaning of the holiday. Guests came from far and wide -- just like in the U.S.

You've taken the tradition to a whole new level.
Congratulations!!

Alicia said...

I agree with Mama JO, you've really taken the tradition to a whole new level. It's not just the food that matters anymore, particularly that turkey but also how neighbors really are willing to help each other out.

Miss Footloose said...

I've just been catching up on your posts of the last few months and am happy to know you are now una vera paesana!

So, how about your Thanksgiving feast? How did your Italian friends like the American food? The pumpkin pie? I'd love to hear!