And no I'm not early with this wish - for Canadians this weekend is Thanksgiving - hey the harvests come earlier when you live in an igloo! Also our holiday is based on the old Church of England calender which designated the second Sunday of October as Harvest Thanksgiving.
I remember this Hymn from my childhood as we celebrated the harvest in our small parish church - I love the pure Englishness of it being matched with what is obviously more than a flower show in this video.
We've celebrated Thanksgiving in Mexico, Egypt, Poland and when we lived in Chicago we had two - ours in October and American Thanksgiving in November. This will be the second year we've celebrated here in Rome and we are breaking with a few traditions. Because Laurent is heading for Tokyo early Monday morning we are having our Thanksgiving meal on Sunday as lunch - but in true Roman style not until around 2 pm which means we'll finish at 8 pm.
Where food is concerned we're going fusion and I don't mean tomato sauce on everything. Our Thanksgiving meal has always started with Smokey Pumpkin Soup but this year that will be replaced by Pumpkin Ravioli in a red pepper-cream sauce followed by the more traditional fare of the season with a few small changes. Its almost impossible to get a whole turkey here - the butcher looks at you as if you're mad that you would think he would even have such a thing. But you can buy turkey breast, thighs and drumsticks - though again when you ask for the whole breast the butcher regards you with some suspicion because you aren't asking him to cut it into scallops - so our guests will be dinning on turkey bits! And rather than the traditional green along with their whipped potatoes (with prosciutto and mozzarella) and glazed carrots our guests will be having sauted chicory with garlic and grilled zucchini. Desert will remain as it always has been, my friend Naomi's incredible Apple Mousseline with Zabaglione sauce - there are some traditions you just don't play with - except we just may get some fresh fig or chestnut gelato to go with it. Or maybe both!
One tradition that will continue is celebrating the festival with friends. Our old friend Ron and his partner Gord will be arriving early Sunday morning and joining us and our Roman friends Larry and Vin. I've lost count of the number of holiday meals we've shared with Ron but it will be wonderful to have him and Gord here with us this year.
To all our other friends - we wish we could gather around the table with you as we have in years past but as lunch starts on Sunday we'll be toasting you one and all.
And I leave you with this little poem from my friend Carole Collette:
May your stuffing be tasty
May your turkey plump,
May your potatoes and gravy
Have never a lump.
May your yams be delicious
And your pies take the prize,
And may your Thanksgiving dinner
Stay off your thighs!
09 ottobre - San Daniele Comboni