We spent our first and second Thanksgiving in Italy at Ternana’s, having pizza. Last year we were in the states for Thanksgiving, having a very traditional, dysfunctional-family style meal. This year we had a traditional Thanksgiving dinner in Italy, celebrating with other American expats. Maybe the secret to a wonderful holiday experience is to spend it with family….just not your own.
My job was to bring the pumpkin pies, and initially I’d planned to use my mom’s recipe using bourbon. But then a discussion on the Expats in Italy message board mentioned Bourbon Pumpkin Cheesecake, and of course I couldn’t resist trying something new!
There were eleven of us for dinner….Larry and Shelly, who aren’t quite expats but are moving closer every day, their son and his wife, the wife’s parents, an American couple who’ve recently been posted to Libya by a large oil company, and our friend Judith.
We feasted on roasted turkey with dressing and mashed potatoes with gravy, and also sweet potatoes brought from Libya which were white, not orange. We also had rolls, waldorf salad, green bean casserole with cream of mushroom soup AND canned onions on top! Oh, and date nut bread…reminding me that I should make some for holiday gifts.
For dessert we had the two pumpkin concoctions I brought plus a pecan pie and an apple pie that Judith had baked. The added treat for the apple pie was that we ate it New England style with a slice of CHEDDAR CHEESE!!!! Those of you who aren’t expats have no idea what a treat this was, but for expats, cheddar cheese has got to be the number one most requested, most missed food time of all times!
Is there even any need to say that we all ate until we were absolutely miserable? Man, everything was sooooooooo good! I can’t believe that Shelly and Larry managed to cook all of this food in their small kitchen, but they did. Next year they plan to have their new kitchen installed, but I can’t imagine that the food could be any better.
After dinner and dessert we loaded the cars with people and olives and drove to the frantoio to watch Larry and Shelly’s olives being pressed! As always it was interesting to watch the process, and when it was all done, we got the coolest party favor ever….a tin of oil to take home!
We’re thankful we have such wonderful friends, and we’re happy to have spent the day with them. We look forward to initiating the new kitchen next year!