For the Italians, our Thanksgiving Day, Il Giorno del Ringraziamento, celebration is a little foreign to say the least. Turkey, for one, is not something that is readily available in these parts. Well, I take that back, it is in the form of sliced breasts or even maybe the odd leg or two, but never the entire turkey. If you would like one, you need to order it at least a week in advance from a butcher, and lord knows where they find it. This year we were debating on making the whole Thanksgiving feast, and at the last minute (the night before) decided to put the word out we needed a turkey. We got the call at 2:00 in the afternoon on Thursday…they found us a turkey…a HUGE turkey, 7.5 kilos (16.5 pounds) to be exact.
I had anticipated we might locate what we were looking for…I had made some side dishes in advance that morning…thinking that if no one came, I would eat them myself. Keeping the Italian pallet in mind, I made Connoisseur’s casserole (my very favorite from the cookbook I mentioned before here), St. Paul’s Rice (because my family always does rice), and spinach and artichoke casserole. We stuffed the bird with a very special stuffing of bread, sausage and apples, (and whatever else we could find) and threw it in the oven. It barely fit and I wanted to post a picture, but it was just too much to show. I frantically called around to see who might be able to make the feast…at one point we were 12, by the time dinner was finally ready (9:00 pm) we were down to 6. Actually a very easy number to manage. We insisted all the boys have a beer before…tradition, say one thing in which they are thankful, drink all sorts of wine, arrange all of their food on one plate (this was a hard one!), and eat until their heart’s content. Dinner was over way after midnight…and although it was not exactly like being in America, it was special just the same.