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Flavorful Fridays: Italian American Thanksgiving Dinner

November 13, 2009
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Photo by Alan L.

Can you believe Thanksgiving is already a week and a half away?! November is flying by even quicker than October did–at least in our home. I realized this the other day when shopping at Trader Joe’s where I noticed a flyer declaring that “Turkeys will be arriving on Friday, November 13!” Of course, this got me thinking about Thanksgiving dinners and all the delicious treats we get to enjoy in a couple weeks.

Now, like every other (or nearly every other) American, I love the turkey, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie that fill the table at Thanksgiving. Although, for me, it’s only one side of my family’s Thanksgiving tradition. Italian Americans don’t typically eat mashed potatoes for their Thanksgiving meal. We eat turkey; we eat beans or broccoli casserole; we may even eat cranberries; but in all my years growing up, mashed potatoes never made an appearance at my Nonna’s Thanksgiving table. And apparently, my family was not the only Italian American family to forgo the mashed potatoes in favor of a more delectable treat. Can you guess what it is?

This weekend, I plan on returning to Trader Joe’s to pickup up one of their newly arrived turkeys (a small one, of course, because my husband and I wouldn’t be able to and shouldn’t consume a large 20-pounder by ourselves). In next week’s Flavorful Fridays, I’ll provide the recipe for an Italian-style Thanksgiving turkey and reveal the other main course in our Italian-American celebration of Thanksgiving.

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