Monday, January 21, 2013

Giving Thanks!

I'm not sure how we pulled it off, but we managed to host Thanksgiving dinner for 17 Italian guests this November. Several of the guys Cole works with had asked about Thanksgiving meals - so we offered to host an American Thanksgiving for our friends. The dinner was held on the last night of Jessica's trip - so it was a fun way to wrap up her visit and take advantage of having her help, too. The toughest thing about cooking this meal was probably locating the ingredients... 

"Cream of" soups don't exist here, so we made some from scratch. I had to haul our 8 kilo turkey (15 pounds) four blocks and had to order it from the polleria in advance. Canned pumpkin? What's that?! Our pumpkin puree had to be made fresh... We had to have french-fried onions to top the green bean casserole! So, of course, we had to slice and pan fry those onions! There is also no such thing as Stovetop stuffing. (Don't cringe, people. It's good stuff!) So... we cut up bread and made our own stuffing. So, basically, we had to do a lot of cooking the hard way. Thank the Lord for all of the food bloggers these days! We sure did a lot of "googling." :) On top of the tough ingredient searches, we have a smaller oven and smaller refrigerator and no microwave oven! Timing the cooking and fitting everything was like a high-pressure jigsaw puzzle! 

One of Cole's co-workers let us borrow her rice cooker -
which worked great as our crock pot / mashed potato holder! 
Our little refrigerator! Stuffed to the gills!

Aunt Jessi brought the cutest shirt for Eva's 1st Thanksgiving! 
Time to eat! We are so thankful for our Italian friends!

It was a lot of work, but so rewarding when our friends arrived and said they felt like they were in an American movie! Thanksgiving is something they've only seen on TV... The clapping and smiles when they saw our giant turkey were awesome! We even went around the table to each say what we're thankful for - and they all participated so graciously. We definitely have a lot to be thankful for, even if we weren't able to spend this Thanksgiving in the U.S.A. It was so much fun being able to share an American tradition with our new friends here in Italy!