Wednesday, November 21, 2007

All The Trimmings

It's the day before Thanksgiving, and while that doesn't mean much here in Italy as we're going to be celebrating on Saturday, I know that people back home in the states are getting their preparations ready, tweaking the menus, and baking pies. I wish I could be a part of it too, and even though I feel a bit far away from the action, my brother is having Thanksgiving at his house this year, so the neat thing is that we will be able to communicate via skype (does that mean I get to try the cranberry relish too?). In the meantime, to prepare a bit for my big Saturday dinner (with Americans and Italians alike) and to bring a little bit of Thanksgiving to the blog, here is some Turkey Talk for you:

While I am a vegetarian and don't get to partake in the main course, I love side dishes. This New York Times article that Corrie sent me about vegetarian-friendly Thanksgiving sides is a great way to expand my dining options (even if I definitely get more than just cranberry sauce on normal Thanksgivings!). This does remind me of the time my mom made mushroom gravy for us non-meat eaters (my sister-in-law is also a vegetarian) and my uncle confused it for the meat gravy and drenched his mashed potatoes with it. Needless-to-stay, based on the funny face he made after a bit of chewing, he was not pleased with the results! Those poor mashed potatoes ended up in the trash.

This little tidbit from an Expat in London over at the San Francisco Chronicle struck me as just right for me, an expat over in Italy, to be reading. The difficulties with trying to make Thanksgiving just right were all things I could relate to: finding a turkey, getting that turkey to fit in the oven, making the meal as American as possible, and finding good fall decor. The article is definitely a good read, and here's a snippet:

One year we had to perform a bit of surgery before a roasting could take place. Last year this problem was inadvertently solved when I couldn't find a whole bird at all and had to assemble the turkey myself from bits and pieces. I managed to get two legs of somewhat varying sizes and one nice, plump breast half but had to build the other half with ground turkey and give the poor beast wings from a duck. It looked a bit Frankensteinian -- although it is amazing what a garnish of lots of parsley can do -- but tasted delicious.

And finally, thinking about that from another perspective, I wonder what my grandmother and grandfather's first Thanksgiving in America was like, right after they'd moved across the ocean from the Philippines? Here's Vangie Baga-Reyes's article about what a Filipino Thanksgiving might be like, complete with adobo-flavored turkey stuffing. Now that's something to try!

Good luck getting your bird ready, or whatever Thanksgiving preparations you have to do! Tomorrow is the big day!



At 11:11 AM, Blogger rowena said...

I am a big LAME-o, because this year instead of turkey, I'm preparing a couple of duck breasts for tonight's meal. Bite me, but it just isn't the same without the folks back home.

Nevertheless, have a happy T-day foodfest on Saturday and I look forward to a post with photos!

At 9:01 PM, Blogger sognatrice said...

Happy Thanksgiving! We're having our Turkey Day (with pheasant instead of turkey) on Sunday :)


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