It was not without effort, but we did manage to acquire a turkey. It took some convincing of the butcher that yes we really wanted a whole one. When we showed up to retrieve the 5 kilo turkey we had ordered, he announced the smallest one he could get was 15 kilos. That’s almost 35 lbs, people! We only had 10 people for dinner, so we explained it was just too big. No problem: he chopped it in half!
That didn’t stop us from making stuffing (cornbread stuffing by Antoinette!), or brining (you go Mystophur!), or having a FULL SIZED Thanksgiving (go Team!).
This just in from Mystophur:
GASTRONOMIC HIGHLIGHTS: Despite their rarity in Italy, we managed to locate and prepare almost all of the the foods we associate with Thanksgivings past… sadly, except the yams. The turkey that Breee arranged from a local farmer turned out to be a lot bigger than we expected (35lbs!), so we got him to cut it in half. It turns out that this is a great strategy as it cooked up more quickly and perfectly (stuffed under the skin with apples, raisins, onions, and pancetta. BenVenuto introduced SistaFlav into pumpkin-pie making, and it turned out decadently well. Christine Finn (the archæologist/artist who offered a fascinating presentation upon “bog bodies” and liminality in art, at our Symposium on Saturday) prepared a lovely though seemingly oxymoronic “bread sauce” that is the traditional gravy for British turkeys at Christmastime. Antoinette made a cornbread stuffing and the day of cooking yielded many more gravies, stuffings, salads, and pies.
The feast was followed by copious pies– apple pie by Breee and pumpkin pies by SistaFlav & BenVenuto (kudos to Mrs.Venuto’s show stopping recipe)!
You may notice the decorations in the background… In a moment of feeling like I was living in scarcity, I lamented our lack of holiday decor. Instead of wallowing in that emotion, I looked around for what was abundant. I collected fallen leaves from our fig tree, spray painted them gold, and hung them in every window. Then I borrowed a needle from Breee, pillaged a container of dental floss from the box of things left behind by guests, and sewing strings of popcorn (using styrofoam packing popcorn that has come in packages). I was pleased with the results, the most significant of which was restoring my sense that at the very moment we all have everything we need. Thank you for that!