Anne's Blog

An Umbria Thanksgiving: More Than a Pino Turkey

Date: November 26, 2018 - categories: , , , , , , , , - 4 Comments

As always, we celebrate our Thanksgiving the Sunday after the holiday and fourteen of us celebrated the Festa di Ringraziamento together this year.

….and today for lunch, I nibbled bits of our leftovers..

There was still a bit of our “re-invented” Waldorf  salad  (with yogurt and local grapes, our olive oil…and more), creamed onions (with Trinidad rum and our crushed walnuts on top), zucca agliata (that savory squash dish of Ustica, island off Sicily, which has become a Festa di Ringraziamento standard for us) and our niece Alonda’s vegan cornbread (the BEST ever): 

          Our Giulia and her cousin Alonda on the cornbreads detail

I relished a slice of  Giulia’s tasty pumpkin pie for dessert  but had no room for the cake Peppa had brought us the day before.

There were no more oven-baked celery turnip strips. Seasoned with herbs, they’d scored high with Peppa who won the leftovers.  I think all had enjoyed the  beet/arugula salad with pumpkin seeds, our walnuts, apples and balsamic vinegar was enjoyed: non left.

Our first course, Signora Anna’s homemade gnocchi (with a buonissimo tomato/mushroom sauce)  had disappeared rapidly – and with gusto:

          Francesca helps her mother prepare the gnocchi

          Keegan and Pino relish those gnocchi

    …and for  Mutesim (from Eritrea), Anna’s gnocchi were his first

The oven-roasted potatoes with garlic and rosemary sold out, too.  As had Pino’s turkey: no leftovers.

Imagine a feast for fourteen highlighted by two turkey thighs. But deboned and seasoned as only Pino can season a turkey.  That  tacchino di Pino which always stars at our Thanksgiving feasts.  You can learn how he does it step-by-step right here in a past blog note.

And this year, Pino’s turkey goodness center-staged again our Festa di Ringraziamento.  It all starts with garlic. A few cloves:

Using his favorite little gadget, Pino grinds the garlic cloves with twigs of our rosemary:

Sage leaves join, too:When the grind is done…..

Pino mixes it with the lard our butcher Francesco sent home with the two turkey thighs he’d deboned.

  Francesco, the Assisi butcher, at work

Pino rubs the thighs with the lard seasoned with garlic and herbs and then he crumbles on bits of Umbrian sausage:

And now, time for the stuffing which Pino mounds on each deboned thigh:

Pino then puts the deboned thighs together and pats the mounds gently and almost with affection:

….before tying them together with string..

Finalmente, time for the roasting:

…and here’s what came out of the oven:

A day of thanks most truly.  And not just for the tacchino di Pino. To each of you who shared the day with us, mille grazie.

And…salute!

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