That's what I heard Peter telling our neighbors about Thanksgiving. The Day of Thanks. And a beautiful day it was. After some rain the night before, (By the way, the heating guy came Wednesday AM and fixed the water pipe in no time.) the skies had cleared and the morning sky was a breathtaking blue. The fields were crisp with frost and the chimneys in the village below were already busy burning off the damp. What a great beginning for T'giving 2008.
First, after trying to fit the bird into our largest roasting pan, I had a novel idea. (I never did find out how much it weighed. Peter told me that the butcher said a little over 4 kilos. I think it was heavier.) When Peter goes out to buy the paper and his bread, ask him to go to the hardware store and buy a bigger pan. And he brought home a real beauty for 15 euro! That done, I put the turkey on top of some chopped vegetables, breast side down and put it in the oven. With the timer set I'd turn it over after an hour. The cream cheese frosting (or, as we call it in the Philadelphia area,"icing") was a learning experience. I'd often seen the silver foil packages of Philadelphia Cream Cheese in stores here. Never tried it, though. I looked at a recipe for cream cheese icing in "Joy of" and saw that you could do it in the food processor. Good idea. So I followed the recipe, everything good and cold and gave it a whirl in the FP. The cream cheese promptly turned to a soup. I just stood there looking at it. The butter was suspended in tiny dots in the cream cheese soup and the sugar was just going along for the ride. A lovely goop. But it tasted just fine and I spooned it over the carrot cake and figured my audience would never know the difference. So, that's that for Philadelphia Cream Cheese in Italy. Same way with the gravy. I didn't make any. The turkey was so moist and delicious I figured why cover it up. Now I think that the compulsory gravy was needed to cover up the sins of the many dry turkeys our mothers cooked over the years. I started everything off with little puff pastry tarts made with gorgonzola, walnuts and pear with a savory custard poured on top. Everything was "tutto bene" as we say. Just fine. I ate quickly. I couldn't get enough of the flavors of Thanksgiving. And the cranberries were right next to me. Not a tomato or head of garlic in sight all day.
Yesterday, I was up by seven and the turkey was already morphing into stock and whatever. Lunch was hot turkey sandwiches. I explained the concept to Peter. You don't pick them up...you eat them with a knife and fork. When he came in from the garden and saw them covered with gravy (I finally made it.) he quickly said, "We must have bread on the table." I explained that there was plenty of bread under the gravy and not to fear.
Today is Turkey Tetrazzini. Named after Luisa Tetrazzini (1871-1940), born in Florence, an Italian coloratura soprano. Legend has it that chicken tetrazzini was created for her in San Francisco. This turkey will keep me busy for the next few days.
I hope the rain lets up today. The big outside fair for Christmas is in Stia tomorrow. Vendors come from all over and sell everything you can imagine. You can buy everything from turtles to a bra.