Friday, November 24, 2006


I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! We certainly did here...

Thanksgiving, of course, is a very American holiday, so we took the opportunity to host the party for our friends and students, both American and Italian. All together, we ended up having around thirty or so guests. We tried to fix the traditional feast: Turkey, ham, homemade rolls, green beans, corn, sweet potatoes, dressing, salad, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, apple pie, and a dessert (the named translates to something like 'chocolate sausage'; it is chocolate with nuts and cookies and such crumbled in it shaped into a sausage-like roll and then sliced) that Melissa, our Sicilian friend who is visiting for a few weeks, made.

It was all an interesting undertaking since our stove, which is broken, only has two temperatures: off or 600 degrees. So, most things either cook very quickly, or we cook with the door halfway open (yes, it gets a bit warm in the kitchen at times...), or the oven must be turned off and on every ten minutes or so. But, everything turned out fine. Even the 'sweet potatoes.' Sweet potatoes as we know them in the U.S. do not exist here in Italy. The closest thing is a type of potato that is considerably sweeter than a regular potato, but still white and with a regular-potato texture. So, Matt mashed them and added a whole lot of food coloring. They turned out reasonably orange, and we pretended they were real sweet potatoes. They were actually pretty good, though not quite as sweet as real yams.

Everyone seemed to enjoy the dinner. I invited some of my friends from language school, and one of my students, Laura, came by. She was expecting a regular lesson, so she was in for a bit of a suprise. However, it turned out to be quite a good English lesson for her, anyhow, as she learned a lot about Thanksgiving and our traditional foods, and practiced her English with my friends. We learned a few Italian words, too. I told my friends how my great-uncle always says, after every big meal like Thanksgiving, "I'm full as a goose." Turns out 'goose' in Italian is "oca."

The funniest part of the evening was Tiziana's poem. Tiziana, a friend and frequent guest here at the Bible school, is both an English student and a member of the church here in Florence. In the past few weeks, she wrote a long poem (in Italian) telling the story of Thanksgiving. As we finished eating, Greg (as a pilgim), Gary (as an unusually blonde Indian--I guess we don't have any darker wigs), and Matt (as a turkey) acted it out while she narrated. It was all the funnier because she read the poem in imitation of Gary--in a major southern accent. It was hilarious to hear the Italian language redneck-style. :) I got a video of the whole thing, luckily.

Anyhow, it was a great evening and I enjoyed spending time with all of our guests. Anyone want any mashed potatoes? We still have entire heaping bowl! Or maybe some salad, or dressing? :)


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