This year I’ll be celebrating my second Thanksgiving. There’s no such thing as that in Europe, and it’s just the right occasion to set the festive mood for the upcoming December.
My first Thanksgiving was also the first time I met M’s family. I was a little nervous, but when his aunt came to pick us up with his sister S and brother D and I saw they were all wearing turkey shaped paper hats, I knew I’d have been fine.
The day after Thanksgiving M and I prepared an Italian dinner for the crew. It was a lot of fun, especially when his dad started toasting and laughing uncontrollably, in an Amatriciana-sauce-induced state of ecstasy.
This year, upon explicit request by M, I’m supposed to prepare Lasagna. Lasagna makes me nervous. It’s impossible to predict the final outcome of it until the moment of serving it comes. Will the sauce be too dry? Will it be too liquid? Will the cheese melt appropriately? Will it release too much water and make it too soggy? Will the layers keep their structure during the move from the tray to the plate?
But most of all, Lasagna is a so called “piatto unico” — “unique dish” — not in the sense that it’s unique (but I can’t argue against that…), but rather in the sense that Lasagna is itself a full meal. So what kind of menu can I arrange around it?
I’m considering many options. Right now I’m digging the idea of an aperitivo with Bitter Campari and Italian snacks (lupini beans, olives, mini-bruschette, Parmigiano chunks, assorted salumi), a side of peas and artichokes, and a dessert with Panettone and Pandoro. Maybe I’ll play my secret card: the Zuppa Inglese cake (Pan di Spagna cake soaked with Alchermes liqueur, filled with chocolate-chip cream and frosted with hard cream).
M will be pissed at me because for the second year in a row I’ll fill a bag with foods to carry on the Amtrak train to Pennsylvania. This is what we traveled with last time:
Needless to say, both bags contained food.
How are you going to celebrate Thanksgiving? What are you guys gonna eat besides awesome turkey?