An America Thanksgiving in Italy (and then Sweden)

Happy late Thanksgiving Everyone!  This year I celebrated Thanksgiving twice.  We celebrated our traditional Thanksgiving a week early because a group of us are doing our yearly Christmas Market pilgrimage over Thanksgiving weekend.  The first Thanksgiving was the old-fashioned one with turkey, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, and lots of wine. We also had our yearly screening of Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and National Lampoons Christmas Vacation.

Pretty much all of the wine here is very affordable, but the best deal you can get is straight from the wineries.  You can fill your bottles straight from the vat for pennies.  That means at any party here in Italy there will always be at least huge jugs of wine, one with red, one with white (I love the red, the white not so much).

This is my third Thanksgiving in Italy and my friends and I have established a very nice tradition.  I have held the past two annual Thanksgiving parties at my, but this year Ryan and Mickie offered to host it at their place, which I was very happy to hear since last year the angry Italian cops came and yelled at me (long story involving a deep fryer that may or may not have looked like a bomb in the street).

I am always in charge of the turkeys and each year I like to experiment with different seasonings, but I keep one the same, my buffalo  butter seasoning.  I had to show you this picture of the beautiful bird right before he takes his hot oil bath even though my eyes are closed.  I tried to photoshop some goggly eyes on my face but that did not make the situation any better…

For my buffalo butter turkey I mix buffalo wing seasoning with softened butter and spread it al over the bird under the skin, on top of the meat.  If you are easily grossed out I don’t recommend this technique, it is not very enjoyable.  But, it is very tasty!

Russ is always in charge of actually frying the turkey.  I had to buy this deep fryer when I moved to Italy because my Italian stove is literally too small to fit a whole turkey.  Even when I move back to the states I will probably never go back to roasting my turkeys, frying is too easy and too delicious.  The general rule for frying turkeys is 3 minutes for every pound, with 10-15 minutes extra thrown in for good measure.  All of my turkeys were 10 pounds so it only took about 40 minutes to cook an entire turkey!

I cannot even describe how wonderful it is when you lift the lid on the fryer and the amazing turkey smell fills the neighborhood.

I have heard people say that they will never deep fry a turkey because the oil makes it so unhealthy.  If you are one of those people, I hope you will reconsider.  The oil cooks the bird so quickly that the meat does not stand a chance of drying out, and the oil only fries the skin (which is still fantastic if you like the skin).  The only problem is that you cannot put any seasonings on the outside of the skin or your bird will look like a piece of charcoal when you pull it out.  Seriously, deep fry a turkey, it will change your life.

My second Thanksgiving was less traditional, but just as American.  On Thanksgiving day some friends and I flew to Malmo, Sweden to check out the Christmas Markets in Malmo and Copenhagen (only a 30 minute train ride away!).  We were up way too early to catch the first flight of the day and by the time we made it to our hotel in Malmo we were beat.  We walked 10 steps to the TGI Fridays next to the hotel and got a little smashed.  My Thanksgiving meal consisted of babyback ribs, french fries, and several Ultimate Strawberry Daiquiris.

As much as I love living in a foreign country, I really really miss American food.  In my little corner of Italy you can find a chinese place, a couple of sushi places, and I have heard rumors of an Indian place (never confirmed), other than that all you are going to find is Italian food.  Italian food is great, but when it is pretty much the only option a real American-style hamburger is the thing that really gets you excited.  So, we were all thrilled to be eating at an American chain restaurant, and stayed for several hours sucking down drinks and telling the waitstaff it was OK because its Thanksgiving!!

Now that Thanksgiving has come and gone, it is officially the Christmas season! And that means Christmas Markets!  On today’s agenda… Copenhagen!

I. Am. So. Excited.



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2 Responses to An America Thanksgiving in Italy (and then Sweden)

  1. I love TGI Fridays. It may not be the same for you since you’re living in Italy (and since you went to one in Malmo), but their sangria is awesome!

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