Friday, December 2, 2011

An Italian Thanksgiving

For thanksgiving Josh and I invited our Italian friends over for dinner. This made me really nervous because I've never cooked Thanksgiving dinner before!! Not only that... our oven here is maybe 3/4 the size of our oven back in MN. It's perfect for roasting a chicken, but maybe not a big turkey. Luckily our friend Ilaria informed us that we have to order the turkey a week ahead of time from the Butcher. So, I was able to do that in time. I ordered a 12-14 lb turkey and kept my fingers crossed that it would fit in the oven. Josh wanted a bigger bird, over 15 lbs. Personally, I thought he was crazy! After all, there would only be six of us for dinner. We weren't going to eat two pounds of turkey each!

Preparing for dinner was an adventure... I went shopping for the essentials- groceries, pie pan, meat thermometer, roasting pan, etc. Unfortunately, I was only able to get the groceries. But, I was able to find pumpkin pie stuff at a specialty grocery store that has imported foods (including Mexican! I found our place for Mexican food when we have cravings! So excited about that...) At our grocery store they have most of the essentials, except the pans I needed. So, I ran to a kitchen specialty store and looked for everything and couldn't find one thing on my list!! After that, I stopped at another grocery store thinking they had to have everything. Again, nothing! So, I had to go to plan B for the pumpkin pie and leave the meat thermometer and roasting pan to Josh. I ended up making mini pumpkin pies in a cupcake tin and they were really good! That with homemade whipped cream- yum!!
I cooked mine in a cupcake tin, but you get the idea.

On Thanksgiving morning Josh was on duty for a few things- pick up a roasting pan, meat thermometer (from Ikea), and pick up the turkey and be HOME by 1PM. Well.... he made a few side stops and called me at 1PM from the butcher shop. He informed me that they were closed for lunch until 3PM. This was exactly why I wanted HOME by 1PM... So, we had to wait until 3 PM to pick up the turkey. They finally opened at 3:15 and Josh rushed home so we could get it into the oven. Again, we ordered a 12-14 pound turkey... well, we ended up with a 16 pound bird!! It barely fit in the oven! It roasted for a solid four hours and it was not even close to being cooked all the way through. Unfortunately the only edible part on the bird when everyone arrived at our house at 8:30PM was the breast. So we ate that along with the stuffing, potatoes, and other sides. Our friend Marina wanted to bring something for desert or a side, but I told her we had plenty of food and not to bring anything. When she sat down and saw all of the food she was amazed! She laughed and understood why I told her not to bring anything.

We had a great time sharing Thanksgiving with our Italian friends. It was their first Thanksgiving and they really enjoyed learning about our tradition and experiencing it. We even went around the table and said what we were thankful for this year. It was a really fun night! Overall, it was a success even if a few things didn't turn out as planned. I have a new appreciation for all of those people that cook Thanksgiving dinners every year- you are amazing!! It's so much work!

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