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[ Italian American Thanksgiving ]

Before writing this, I looked up Thanksgiving in Wikipedia. Most of us associate Thanksgiving to the 1621 feast in Plymouth Colony when the Pilgrims invited the Wampanoag Indians to celebrate their first harvest. It is also written that Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks for one’s blessings. Many of our ancestors gave thanks for setting foot on dry land. The traditional American foods were served. We think of roasted turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes with gravy, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce various fall vegetables, and pumpkin pie. BTW Green bean casserole was introduced in 1955.

In our home, in addition to the American traditional foods, we had family traditions that focused on our Italian heritage. Our family focus was around the table. It was not unusual to sit all afternoon eat, talk and laugh. Our traditional meal, which started at 2 pm, consisted of:


Escarole Soup w/Tiny Meatballs,

Lasagna w/Meatballs, Pork Chops and Brigole,

Turkey w/stuffing, Roasted Sweet and White Potatoes, Breaded Carrots, Stuffed Mushrooms, Peas and Onions.

Let’s not forget dessert, Apple Pie, Pumpkin Pie (both with whip cream) Italian Pastries, Fruit, Roasted Chestnuts and Assorted Nuts.

Homemade wine from the prior year was served. All the children had ginger ale with a drop of red wine. My Nana said, “You need some iron!” After the Lasagna I needed a time out!

The table was cleared, dishes were done, and men smoked ciga

Then, the table was re-set with the “light” dinner or sandwich time. There was a platter of cold cuts/deli meat, some sliced turkey, and hard rolls that you can only purchase in the NY area. We all left Nana’s with a box of food for the week.

Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll share with you our favorite recipes.

Starting this week with the Antipasto!

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