Wednesday, November 16, 2011

nostalgia wednesdays: turkey-gate '08

Not everything I'm nostalgic about happened in Venice three years ago, but a whole lot did. Including "turkey-gate '08," which you can read about here and here.

Rewind to the week(s) leading up to Thanksgiving 2008. I was student assistant in a huge palazzo full of college kids, and collectively we were putting on a traditional American Thanksgiving for roughly 70 people. Our budget was more in line with half as many guests, and we weren't exactly living and shopping in a country that stocked canned pumpkin starting in October. On top of all of that, the Italian ladies who ran the program were not quite on board with buying enough bird to serve the entire guest list.

We only had two old, unreliable gas ovens to cook and bake with, but somehow we made it work. There was an excel spreadsheet to track ingredient quantities needed, a detailed oven schedule, and a last-minute covert trip or two to an American Army base for extra turkeys. 

Having never cooked a Thanksgiving meal (or hardly any meals for that matter), nor spent the holiday away from my family, it was an undertaking I secretly dreaded. Despite my trademark fretting, it turned out to be one of the best Thanksgivings of my life. 

Naturally I missed my family, but I got to do a handful of things that we never do at our family holidays, including dressing up for dinner, listening to a classical music recital after dinner, adjourning to a bar, and concluding the crazy day with a visit to the kabob shop and a spirited pumpkin pie fight. 

This year I'll be spending the holiday with our family in Georgia, but before I head south next week, my friend and I will be hostessing our first annual "Friendsgiving" this weekend. We're going to whip up all the traditional dishes, and have a whole mess of coworkers and friends over. Neither of us are exactly skilled when it comes to things like cranberry sauce (for example: "hmm, I guess that recipe looks good...I don't eat cranberry sauce..." silence... "me neither").  So if the meal falls flat, we're just going to pour generous glasses of wine and hope no one notices. 

Sadly I have basically zero pictures of the Venice Thanksgiving spread, which is a mistake I will not make at Friendsgiving this year. Because I have no evidence of the successful turnaround of Turkeygate '08, I'll leave you instead with some pretty Venice pictures. 

No comments:

Post a Comment