It’s always interesting being an expat in Italy, and I DO enjoy being here, but sometimes you just have to have a little bit of Americana, especially around the holidays. I’m a big believer of Thanksgiving, THEN Christmas, and so having Thanksgiving plans even though I wouldn’t be home with my family was important to me. Holidays, in my opinion, are what you make of them, and they don’t even have to be celebrated on the official day. However, this year I was able to make some official Turkey Day plans, and ate to my heart’s content with fellow students and Americans here. I started off my day with a really nice potluck lunch at the American university that I’m a resident at. We only have one baking dish at my house (plus I’m l-a-z-y) but mainly I didn’t want to get into a huge discussion with the roommates about who was getting the dish so I signed up to bring bread. Smile. For the record, you can get tin pans at the euro store here. Must remember. Anyway, so the school set up this really nice table arrangement and even ordered these really pretty flowers.

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Anyway, the lunch started at 2 and I was planning to stay for about an hour and a half, and that’s how long I ended up staying… for the purpose of heading to Thanksgiving number 2! But first, a pic of the delicious first plate. The winners? Sweet potatoes, turkey and the quiche. Nom.

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Winning. I walked over to a friend’s house (she is not a student) and we live-streamed the Macy’s Parade (seriously, thanks for that, NBC! It was awesome!) and baked pumpkin-y goodness which was somewhat diminished (literally) by the fact that we didn’t have baking power or baking soda. Thanks, Italy. But hey, the taste was still good! (Also, putting nutella on the leftovers was diving. Nutella for the win).

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So the pumpkin bread was… decent. Heavy. TOTALLY DELISH WITH NUTELLA. The other pumpkin represented was this cream cheese pumpkin thing that we made a Ritz cracker crust for. UBER sweet. We also cooked dinner later, for which we bought a…. CHICKEN. Because turkey isn’t a thing here in Italy and we didn’t want to special order a whole turkey just for us.

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Thanksgiving is what you make of it. This year, I’m thankful that I had great friends to spend the day with. And the absolutely hilarious Skype date I later had with my grandparents, in which my brother texted me throughout at inappropriate times for me to laugh. I’m grateful for the opportunity to be in Italy and for the completely insane notion that took over my mind telling me I could do this! Happy belated thanksgiving, even to those of you who don’t celebrate–it never hurts to take stock and reflect on your blessings.

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