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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A Calabrese Thanksgiving.

In preparation for the upcoming holidays, my sister and my mother were discussing the who, what, when and where for Thanksgiving. Now, as we know Thanksgiving is an American holiday, so in keeping with traditions of course we do the (ta-kee-no) but with my mother's Calabrese touches. When you ask my mother about her first impressions about Thanksgiving and being here for her first American holidays, she always tells you about how strange she thought everything was when it came to food. She had to adapt to making a large bird with stuffing, then the traditional cranberries on the side..yada yada. I mean, if you look at the meal and how she makes the stuffing now, she could be a grade A -American Thanksgiving expert.

Now, why are we celebrating Thanksgiving? There was a whole learning process that went into the reasoning for why you cook a big bird on this day. For her, it was always like the day every year that Americans cook turkeys. But, obviously she learned about the history of the first pilgrims, settlers, Indians and the idea of giving thanks. So, as much as its educational and all, its hysterical, because as I write this..I hear my mother telling me the story about "perche fanno un (ta-kee-no) ogni anno?"

In celebrating this holiday, we do the traditional American things but with our Italian twist. So, we do have the turkey, but we have to have the lasagna, meatballs, salads, pastina and we don't buy store bought stuffing, my mother goes beyond the depths of making from scratch. Then after the turkey, we will have pastries followed with espresso. There might be an apple pie, but I'm not sure anyone will eat it. I guess what happens is there is a traditional Italian meal also prepared with the turkey as the opening act, but I think we all secretly wait for the real familiar Italian food. So, as much as there is American in this holiday, of course we Italians have our touches on meshing this festive occasion. When it comes to meals, Italians use reasoning along the lines of how can you make only one thing? All I have to say is, I'm glad I'm American and Italian.

1 comment:

Joe Ascoli said...

I couldn't agree even more. I was just talking with my father last night that I don't even look forward for the turkey because all of the other things my mother cooks are so much better. We are Calabrese also, so my mom will make a frittata in the morning, then she starts with her home made stuffing, the stuffed mushrooms with bread crumbs, the mashed potatoes with fresh mozzarella, the antipasti, the tortellini soup, etc. The American holiday also gets "Italianized" if that makes sense, by us Italians because we always have to put in our input when food is involved, which I must admit is a great trait we have haha. Got to love being Italian!