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.