Saturday, November 20, 2010

The 2010 Thanksgiving challenge... cooking the meal in a small European kitchen (without breaking any of my bones)

So yes, this year Thanksgiving is going to be a bit of a challenge. A double challenge, actually. First of all, I have to cook the whole meal by myself —which I know from experience can be extremely tricky. Also, I'd like to cook my Thanksgiving dinner without breaking a knee, which I managed to do last year. Thank God I broke it towards the end of the cooking process, so all there was left to do was making the gravy. So when I slipped and fell and broke my left knee my first words were "Who the hell is going to make the gravy now?" So despite the fact that my knee had swollen to double its size, despite the pain, and despite the fact that my mom wanted to take me to the ER, I braved it. They sat me down in the kitchen with ice on my knee, my leg up in the air and a vodka martini in my hand to ease the pain. From there I barked orders to the rest of the party, which won me the nickname "kitchen nazi". 

Dinner was fabulous, by the way, and I truly enjoyed it even with my broken knee. 

But this year, I'll try to make my Thanksgiving dinner a little less eventful. I've invited about 12 people. If they all show up it will be my biggest Thanksgiving so far, so I have a lot of planning to do, especially because this tiny kitchen was not meant for big gathering. But, well, who cares? I hope I can pull it off. 
So here's the official menu I've decided to make. Brace yourselves. 

Homemade pate'
Creamy mushrooms phyllo triangles
Clams Casino

Roasted chestnut soup

Roasted turkey with truffle gravy
Cranberry sauce
Stuffing with sausage, fennel and apples

Mashed potatoes with goat cheese and chives
Sauteed carrots with sage
Roasted cauliflower with fresh herbs

Apple pie

Just writing it down is scary. The thought of actually cooking it... well, it's scary. And exhilarating. We'll see what happens...


  1. It's nice that you still want to carry on some American traditions now that you're back in Italy! I hope your Thanksgiving is much less eventful too! :)

  2. Your Tday meal sounds fabulous! This year I am keeping it simple. No large crowd, no piles-o-dishes and no overextended belly. Just as well...with the snow forecast I don't think anybody will be wanting to drive up into the chestnut forest.

  3. Em,
    of course I'm carrying the tradition... the whole village is really excited about trying Thanksgiving dinner for the first time in their life =)

    I just looked at the forecast and they are calling for snow here as well... good thing everyone lives really close to me!

  4. What a marvelous dinner menu! It sounds like it will be a beautiful feast all around. I can't believe you broke a knee last year- that is the biggest kitchen disaster I've heard of yet!

  5. Thanks Phoo-D! And yes, I still can't believe I broke my knee while cooking. I mean, I thought only old ladies fell down and broke their leg in their own house =)



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