thanksgiving in italy

Happy Thanksgiving…

Happy Thanksgiving!from our table to yours!

This photo was actually taken last year, but it was our Thanksgiving feast and the first time I had prepared one by myself. And it was complicated from the start.

First, we were supposed to have our own turkey, raised by P, but two weeks before Turkey Day, a sly fox got the bright idea to have her own feast early. So we had chicken instead–just as well as my grandmother never made turkey as she didn’t like it anyway.

turkey breasts
Then, considering many of the traditional Thanksgiving foods aren’t even available here, I had to get stuff flown in (think cranberry sauce and sweet potatoes–yes, I know you have them in north and perhaps central Italy but I can’t find them down here). Other than that we had filling/stuffing (mom’s recipe!), mashed potatoes, gravy, corn, and peas.

Well, *I* had all those things. P didn’t go near the sweet potatoes or cranberry sauce. Maybe this year.

turkey thighs
We’ll be having our Thanksgiving dinner on Sunday since P’s working today (and, accordingly, so am I)–remember it’s not a holiday here. But I hope all of you have a wonderful day; I’ll catch up to you on Sunday!

turkey's done!

Thanks for the Thanksgiving funnies Gil!

30 days of thanks

Today I’m thankful for:

All the Thanksgivings I’ve spent with my family, both at my mom’s and grandmother’s house. Thanksgiving is by far my favorite holiday–it revolves around food and being grateful. How can you go wrong?

And you know what? I don’t have even one bad memory from any Thanksgiving, which is pretty impressive considering I come from a family of divorce and otherwise unhappy marriages. Indeed for the most part I had a happy childhood anyway, and for that I’m truly grateful.

And hopefully I’ll get to have some more Thanksgivings with my family as the years go on–and P will be forced to try all the foreign foods. Hah!

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone who is celebrating!


[tags] thanksgiving, thanksgiving in italy, turkey, thanksgiving comics, nablopomo, 30 days of thanks[/tags]

40 Beans of Wisdom to “thanksgiving in italy”
  1. Ryan

    I will be celebrating Thanksgiving on Sunday as well, as Saturday is my birthday and both of the parents are working today too. It will be my first attempt at really cooking anything big like this (I’m only 22 and havent cooked many “real” things for myself). So with the help of the mom of the family I am with I hope we will be successful. I got recipes from my mom and some tips on a fellow expat, but if you have any suggestions, I would be very grateful. All I have is cranberry sauce so I will have to make my own stuffing and I will have to use patate americana as my sweet potatoes. Even though I am in the north I can’t find any of it here either. It should definitely be interesting..HAHA

  2. Ryan

    Oh and also.. Happy Thanksgiving!:)

  3. sognatrice

    Ryan, Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Early Birthday! I’m sure you’ll do just fine with your mom’s recipes in hand–it actually didn’t end up being nearly as complicated as I thought, so do try to relax and have fun. What an experience you’ll have when it’s all done πŸ™‚

  4. Autumn

    Wow, you heard there were sweet potatoes in northern Italy? Guess I haven’t been looking hard enough!
    I’m going to have that lindenberry sause that they sell at Ikea in place of cranberries. It’s a great replacement and I almost think I like that better now.
    Happy Thanksgiving and I hope P is more adventurous in trying new foods this year.
    Those italians can be so stuck in their ways when it comes to food!

  5. sognatrice

    Autumn, Happy Thanksgiving! Hmm, perhaps I’m just thinking of the patate americane–we don’t even have those down here, or at least they’re aren’t easy to find. I basically skip any threads on Expats about these things b/c it gets too depressing. And I have the sweet potatoes in a can flown in and then I doctor them up πŸ˜‰

    As for P, he goes in spurts with trying new things, but if he’s not in the mood, there’s just no use pressing. He hates sweet things, so I can understand why the cranberry sauce (yes, the kind shaped like the can) and the sweet potatoes don’t appeal. He loved the filling though, and I think I’m going to do a string bean casserole this year…that may go over better.

    Hope you have a great day!

  6. qualcosa di bello

    happy thanksgiving to you waaaaay over there!…both today & sunday πŸ™‚

    i am, between all the loveliness in the kitchen, taking a moment or two to be grateful for my blogging buddies like you…

  7. american girl in italy

    Happy Thanksgiving! We are celebrating Saturday. But, man! I am craving some pumpkin pie, NOW! I might have to make one today anyway. ahah Like you, I had lots of things flown in, including French’s onions for Green bean casserole. Yum. haha

    Autumn – Last year we found sweet potatoes, but they were white, up here. I asked our veggie guy, and he showed us what they were. They look a little different. But they tasted the same. Esselunga has cranberry sauce.

    I have also found lots of good things on:

  8. pat

    What kind of Italian American are you? Che vergogna? Not a lasagna, artichoke or chestnut on that table…Happy Thanksgiving anyway…

  9. My Melange


    Let me just say, your friendship is one of the things I am thankful for this year! I am looking forward to someday meeting you in person…when I come to Italy! I too love a good Thanksgiving feast!! I can’t imagine not being able to eat my favorites….well….Have a Happy Italian Thanksgiving..mio amica

  10. sognatrice

    *Qualcosa, thanks, and I hope you have a lovely day with your family πŸ™‚

    *Sara, I have stuff for the green bean casserole this year too! I highly doubt P will try it though…more for me πŸ™‚

    *Pat, happy thanksgiving to you too. I’m the kind of Italian-American who was 100% American on Thanksgiving–we NEVER had anything Italian on that Thursday, ever–even though my Italian-American grandmother cooked. Btw, she also NEVER made lasagna or artichokes on any day; she didn’t like them and to be honest, I’m not crazy about them either. Not EVERY Italian likes the same things you know πŸ˜‰

    *Robin, why thank you, and I feel the same way; can’t wait to meet you for those cappuccini πŸ™‚

  11. Currier Quinn Balent

    Happy Thanksgiving. I wondered if you celebrated Thanksgiving? We can get all the American goodies at the base commisary so we’re spoiled. We really had the best of both worlds living here… We got to experience Italian culture but also had the base to get our American products if we needed them. I wish I got the chance to meet you before we moved back Stateside. We move back in 5 weeks… my offer still stands if you make it to Sicily in the next 5weeks. Applebees serves breakfast! πŸ™‚

  12. Ashley

    Our Thanksgiving meal was pizza and gelato this year!!

  13. nyc/caribbean ragazza

    Happy Thanksgiving!!

  14. The (Mis)Adventures of a Single City Chick

    Happy Thanksgiving, Michelle! I also love this day and can’t imagine being away from home during it…mostly because my own homecooked meal would probably consist of mashed potatoes, green beans and stuffing (note: Stove Top Stuffing mix), since I’ve never cooked a turkey in my life. I still crave the processed stuffing believe it or not. That’t tradition in my family. We typically do something Italian for X-mas dinner, but Thanksgiving dinner is always Norman Rockwell tradition. πŸ™‚ Your cooking abilities never fail to amaze me, though!


  15. Sharon

    Sweet potatoes…and yams are here in Sicily. This is the time of year that we find them in the shops. In fact we ate them today.

    We did a mini turkey feast here. NO Italian food~!

  16. sognatrice

    *Colleen, 5 weeks! The countdown is on…I’ll see what we can do πŸ˜‰

    *Ashley, well that’s certainly one way to go, and not a bad one either!

    *NYC, thanks, and same to you πŸ™‚

    *Christina, yes, we did Italian stuff for Christmas too–I love the Norman Rockwell picture that’s now in my head πŸ™‚ You must try making stuffing sometime–it’s *so* easy and yet *so* delicious. I’ll have to send you my mom’s no fail recipe πŸ™‚

    *Sharon, I’m jealous. Maybe I’m not looking in the right places. Eh, who am I kidding? It’s easier from the can anyway πŸ˜‰

    And yes, this is definitely one day I draw the line at pasta too πŸ™‚

  17. Jessica_in_Rome

    Happy Thanksgiving!!!

  18. mental mosaic

    Happy Thanksgiving! πŸ™‚

    If it makes ya feel any better, Angelo & his family all seem to think that the traditional American Thanksgiving feast is a bunch of ‘schifo,’ but one of these days, I’ll make them my entire version, and see if I can’t change their minds. That’s my plan anyway, bwaa haa haa! ;P

  19. sognatrice

    *Jessica, thanks, same to you!

    *Tui, I think your best revenge will be making that delicious dinner…who cares if you’re the only one who enjoys it? That’s enough in my book πŸ™‚

  20. Fran

    Happy Thanksgiving Michelle!


  21. tongue in cheek

    Happy Thanksgiving!
    Your found comics made me laugh.

  22. Sabine

    Hiya Sognatrice, Thanksgiving isn’t celebrated here either… (and I didn’t know zilch about it before making friends with bloggers from across the pond, either!)
    But who gives a hoot! I decided to go on a thanksgiving tour around my favourite blogger friends to say thank you for being a friend. πŸ™‚ Sorry I’m not a very good friend at the moment… time is always on the run!


  23. sognatrice

    *Fran, thanks, same to you!

    *Corey, glad you enjoyed the funnies; I got them in an email this morning πŸ™‚

    *Sabine, hey now–life comes first! No points off for living around here πŸ˜‰ Thanks for the good wishes!

  24. The Passionate Palate

    You crack me up with your comics!
    Happy Thanksgiving bella,

  25. Jeni

    In another 90 minutes here, this Thanksgiving Day will officially be over and done – history. And I do think this year was one of the best ever for me mainly because of everyone blogging things that each is thankful for and it brought home the point of the day in such fullness that way. My kids and I will have another “Thanksgiving dinner” on Sunday too -because my older daughter and her family -due to work, etc. – were not able to be with her siblings and me today. So, I still have more to be very thankful for don’t I? Hope your thankful time goes smoothly – sounds like it should! Happy Thanksgiving from one PA girl to another!

  26. Karen Cole

    Happy Thanksgiving,Michelle!

    My husbands Italian mother has the tradition of homemade ravioli every holiday. It’s too difficult for her now so we do it… the turkey and the trimmings. We all love it. Don’t worry about missing the turkey…

    My thighs have definitely grown today. Great jokes!BTW

    We will also celebrate on Saturday when my daughter Emily gets home.

    I could have sworn I saw sweet potatoes or something similar in the market in Campo di Fiori in Sept.

  27. sognatrice

    *Jeni (PP), glad you liked them; I thought they were a nice addition to the day πŸ™‚

    *Jeni (PA), you know you’re right–seeing so many others giving thanks today really did make the day more special, more meaningful, especially since I’m not able to do the traditional celebration. Yet another thing to be thankful for! Sounds like you had a great day, and I wish you many more πŸ™‚

    *Karen, my grandmother used to do homemade ravioli for Christmas, but the other holidays were more “American.” So glad to hear you’ve taken up the tradition! Perhaps I’ll make some ravioli this Christmas….

    I’m sure you did see yams/sweet potatoes in Rome; we just don’t get the “exotic” stuff this far south. See my search for pretty much anything outside of pasta and tomatoes πŸ˜‰

    Kidding of course, but not by much! Hope you had a lovely day πŸ™‚

  28. pat

    Michele, you (and the rest of the expats) have to check this story out in yesterday’s New York Times. Sounds like someone I know…by the way you should post the stuffing recipe and any good Pennsylvnia Dutch stuff you have as well

  29. Sara

    hee hee hee

    The cartoons gave me a giggle. Cheers!

  30. sognatrice

    *Pat, thanks so much for that article! Very interesting. I don’t know if I’m ready to part with my mom’s secret filling recipe though. I’m not even sure it’s Pennsylvania Dutch per se, but since she’s PA Dutch, and it’s her recipe, I’ll go with it. She doesn’t make much PA Dutch food actually–although I do love me some sauerkraut!

    *Sara, glad you enjoyed πŸ™‚

  31. Jen of A2eatwrite

    This brings me back to making Thanksgiving for many friends in Krasnodar, Russia when I taught there. The two things I couldn’t get were pumpkin and cranberries, so no cranberry sauce and I made an apple pie.

  32. sognatrice

    Jen, I’m actually still waiting for my canned pumpkin to arrive…I may still make a pumpkin pie yet. We shall see πŸ˜‰

  33. Italian Woman

    What a lovely photo. I felt like I was there. Happy Thanksgiving! Hope it’s the start of a wonderful year.

  34. sognatrice

    Italian Woman, thanks and I hope you had a lovely holiday as well πŸ™‚

  35. Christine

    You set a beautiful table. The cuttlery looks very European with the long handles. Elegant.

    Your comment at the end about having no sad memories from Thanksgiving struck a chord with me. I thought about that, and I realized it was the same for me. That in itself is something to be grateful for.

  36. zandria

    I’m glad you’ll be having your own slice of American Thanksgiving over there in Italy. Hope you have a wonderful celebration! πŸ™‚

  37. sognatrice

    *Christine, isn’t it funny that I never really realized just how good my Thanksgivings have been until I stopped to think? Pays to stop and think!

    The silverware is from P’s mom’s collection. The tines on most forks are too small for P’s liking, so these came with him πŸ˜‰

    *Zandria, actually I postponed our feast since my cranberry sauce hasn’t showed up in the mail yet. But I’ll have my filling, sweet potatoes, and all the fixins someday soon!

  38. cheeky

    The table looks really beautiful and I admire how you are able to put your own twist on it, as you don’t have access to a few of the “traditional” food items. Makes it even more special to me.
    P doesn’t know what he’s missing ….. no sweet potatoes or cranberry sauce. Sheesh! One day though.

    Happy *belated* Thanksgiving to you and yours.

  39. sognatrice

    *Cheeky, thanks; we’ll still be having a feast one of these days, but I won’t do it without cranberry sauce. I just can’t πŸ˜‰

  1. [...] Thanksgiving is absolutely my favorite holiday. It’s all about giving thanks and eating–two ...
Michelle FabioMichelle Fabio is an American attorney-turned-freelance writer living in her family's ancestral village in Calabria, Italy and savoring simplicity one sip at a time. 

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