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Commemorating a very Thankful Thanksgiving.

Every year, I struggle to reflect on meaning of Thanksgiving.

It is a secular feast,  a time to celebrate, eat and drink more than we should.  Sadly, its original meaning may have been lost. We have elevated the commemoration to what is inevitably a example of  modern mythos,  a guarantee of celebratory continuity.  We all can easily recall images of parading turkeys with bright tail spreads the size of barns,  parading across our main streets. We can also easily conjure up images of lots of yesteryear folk dressed in silly Pilgrim garb. Our front steps might be adorned by bright orange and red cornucopias that warm our hearts and overflow with foods, fruits. Sometimes they are even filled with small economy sized cars.
And if  we close our eyes, we can hear varsity band music with drum beats, trumpets,whistles as well as the sounds and shouts of high-kicking cheer leaders and marchers. They are followed by images of  shivering celebrities, riding large floats,  mechanically waving their hands at large crowds while large cleverly crafted balloons sway in the autumn city breezes. These are the images of our beloved American holiday which has become a gateway holiday, the start of the holiday season which culminates in Christmas and New Years.

Yet Thanksgiving is still for some of us a time filled with good doses of private spiritual reflection, a personal rejoicing of thankfulness for what abundance and good fortune that God has granted us through our lives in America. I like to quietly think about our collective condition.  I hope that as we have celebrated our American feast that we also thought about those who are less fortunate, here and especially abroad. And that we continue to do so as the season progresses not only in our thoughts, but especially in our future actions. 

Here's what we were very fortunate to share with friends and hosts this year over during a great evening of fun, comfort and peace. As you cal tell, at our Dinner , Turkey was not the leading character.


- Mixed Spanish Cheeses, and Peppered Salami (not shown)
- Marinated Calabrian Wild Mushrooms

Wild Calabrian Mushrooms

- Marinated Cracked Calabrian Green Olives

Cracked Calabrian Olives in Mediterranean Spices

-  Marinated Roman Artichokes in EVOO

Marinated Roman Style Artichokes

- Anchoas en Vinagre  (Pickled Anchovies )

This is a delicacy shared between Italy, and Spain . Can't which ones are best. They are super delicious. Forget everything you were told about Anchovies, these babies are very mild in taste and fragrance.

- Spicy Figs and Daikon Radishes in Sherry Vinaigrette

Tips: When making this , adjust the cayenne and honey  quantity to bring out best of the fig sweetness. Also use, a high grade , authentic sherry vinegar as it brings in more more than just acetic hints.

-  Fried Potato Gnocchi in lite Pesto and Parmigiano

This is was a recipe  inspired by some techniques that I learned from dishes from Puglia: combine your pasta with some fried pasta for extra texture and flavor. I used a light pesto on these gnocchi so that they were not overpowered. Tossing in a very hot skillet added the crispness to the pasta.

Secondi e Contorni 
-  Roasted Turkey stuffed with Italian Root Vegetable Stuffing

Tip: A rich sautee of root vegetables, crumbled Italian sausages and a reduced quantity multi-grain bread stuffing will ensure that your bird will stay very moist.

- Parsnip  and Potato Puree' (not shown )
Brazilian Style Collard Greens (not shown)

Happy Thanksgiving,  my friends, my brothers and sisters.


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