Monday, November 28, 2011

Thanksgiving in Tuscany

Chocolates from Boston
This was by far the most eventful Thanksgiving I've had in Florence. I got to celebrate the holiday twice, in two different ways.

A friend of mine who makes chocolate sent a care package of chocolates which were quickly gobbled up. Thanks, Jen!

Between tours on Thursday, I stopped by the Casa del Vino for a late lunch. Gianni and Nicoletta  made a porchetta style turkey. The deboned turkey was filled with sausage, bread, chestnuts and prunes and slow cooked. They served it sliced with a little gravy and spicy cranberry sauce (this is the best sauce ever!!!).

Turkey Panini at the Casa del Vino
It was a blast to eat turkey sandwiches in one of the most incredible wine shops on earth (it is my zen place!). Even the locals were raving over the turkey sandwiches, which is a huge accomplishment considering they have easy access to prosciutto and pecorino that we'd spend a small fortune for in the United States.

Donald's Turkey Crostino
The highlight was running into Donald, an expat that is always a trip to spend time with. No photo of him, I know he'd prefer not to be shown- but here is a shot of him holding a turkey crostino. Did you ever think you'd see the words turkey and crostino in the same sentence? Artusi is probably rolling over in his grave. But he'd have written about these crostini if he'd had a chance to taste them!





Madeline preparing the sweet potatoes.
On Saturday, I brought my man Gionni over to a full fledged Thanksgiving meal, complete with sweet potatoes, green beans with onions, corn bread, and lots of pretty American girls to look at. I was grateful for the meal, which was topped by pecan pie, pumpkin pie and apple cobbler made by my Southern belles, Nancy D and Madeline C.

Meanwhile, Gionni was thankful for the chance to speak in English and flirt a little with my permission.

It was a crazy mix: About 15 Americans, 12 Italians, and a couple of English people who looked equally perplexed by our American English and our choice of menu.

The fact that a group of Americans convinced self respecting Italians to eat a bunch of stuff off of one plate, all at the same time, was an enormous accomplishment.

I could see the first-Thanksgiving-Italians, their eyes darting back and forth, as they enjoyed the hodge podge of flavors from a single plate, all the while seeking the approval of their Italian peers.

After lots of gobbling, plenty of wine, and even jello shots (my first ever!) singing and story telling ensued.
Old McDonald was sung in both Italian and English. Can anyone tell me what noise a Kangaroo makes? Anyone?

The magic kitchen in Andrea's apartment during preparations.
I'm sad to say I did not charge my battery for the event, so I was only able to get in a couple of photos. They don't do the meal much justice. I would have needed a wide angle lens to capture all the stuff that was laid out on the table. It was impressive.

To see some fantastic photos taken by a local who joined the dinner, and discover a fun blog, click here.

Thanks to Andrea for hosting the dinner, and to Nancy D and Madeline C for inviting us!

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