I have never been away from home on Thanksgiving. This would be the first time I was without my family, without our traditional meal. As a staunch traditionalist, I was having a hard time reconciling myself to this. I teased my family that they would have to set their laptop at the end of the table and we would have a family Thanksgiving via Skype. Thankfully, we didn't have to do that...they came to me.
My mom, dad, and sister, Lindsay, flew out to Rome the week of Thanksgiving to see me and spend the holiday with myself, Lynda, and our students. My other sister, Megan, and her husband, Josh, stayed behind in the US because it was the in-laws year for Thanksgiving. (Sorry, Meg...but kind of glad because that meant that mom, dad, and Linds got to be here...only wish you guys could have as well!)
We spent the week leading up to the big day seeing some of the sights in Rome...well at least they did, I still had work to do! I joined them in the afternoons and for dinner...it was perfect.
I was a little worried about getting a turkey because I'd been told that you couldn't buy a whole turkey in Italy. Italians just don't eat turkey like that. So, a week or so before Turkey Day I asked Sister Maria Jesus where I could buy a turkey. She said she'd look into it for me. Well, imagine my surprise when she called me downstairs on the Monday before and handed me a very large box which contained....a turkey. The biggest turkey I'd ever seen. Really. It weighed in at....33.2 pounds. Oh my gosh. Not to mention that it still had some of its feathers on it! Thank goodness my dad was here and knew how to deal with it!
We cooked the turkey on Wednesday....wasn't sure it would fit in my oven! We made pies the night before and had a lot prepped before Thursday. Then, on Thanksgiving students helped to cook food from their family tradition. It was fabulous! We decked the dining hall out with fall colors, leaves, pine cones. and turkeys made out of potatoes.
The dinner was fabulous! The turkey turned out great and all of the fixings were delicious. After dinner, we put up a fake tree, decorated it, listened to carols, and (I'm proud to add) Lynda, Lindsay, and I performed a little lip sync routine to Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Christmas."
All in all, my first Thanksgiving away was quite good. Of course, it helped that most of my family was here to help me celebrate.