Thanksgiving is my second favorite holiday (sorry, but Christmas is King.) That being said, it is one of my absolute favorites; the food, the people, being home. So naturally this year, things were different. I wasn’t home, I wasn’t with my immediate family, and there was no turkey. But this Thanksgiving was still amazing.
From the moment my best friend Linnea and I realized we would both be in Florence this semester (in separate programs), we knew that one thing was for certain: Friendsgiving 2017 would be an event. Maybe not a crazy event, but one nonetheless. Originally I had wanted to eat with my homestay family and have her over to help, but their vegetarian daughter was coming home for the weekend, so they weren’t going to do anything Thanksgiving related. Luckily, Linnea has a working kitchen, so we relocated our Friendsgiving and made a few changes to the menu. Since it was just us and we had no meat thermometer, we decided upon a super simple but delicious menu: chicken cooked in her honey balsamic dressing, mashed potatoes like her mom makes, and stuffing like my mom makes. I was a little nervous that the stuffing wouldn’t be perfect; I didn’t quite have every single ingredient the recipe called for, and no turkey gravy to baste with, but I was still hopeful. After a long morning of Thursday classes, I biked to the Conad (a supermarket) close to her apartment and bought all the fixings for the stuffing, as well as some brie cheese and grapes for a cooking snack.
Some of Linnea’s flatmates were throwing a large Thanksgiving dinner in the downstairs apartment, so occasionally we were weaving between dishes, but all turned out completely fine. I got into chopping mode and chopped everything short of the onions since they make my eyes water terribly (thanks Linnea and your non-watering eyes!) I chopped apples, literally broke bread, and melted an amount of butter as big as my hand; no one said Thanksgiving was Healthsgiving, just saying. As the stuffing sat in the oven, Linnea made the chicken and mashed potatoes and everything was smelling wonderful. We worked to the lovely sound of every Bob’s Burgers Thanksgiving episode we could find online and found ourselves feeling like real adults.
The end result was magical. Everything came together better than I could have imagined. I remembered how much I loved cooking and creating; we had so much fun. Later on I facetimed with my parents and sister who had yet to prepare anything, thanks to the six hour time difference. All in all, it was a very laid back, delicious day.