So, what happens to an Italian girl invited to her first Thanksgiving dinner by an American family?
• She has to explain to her mother, father, friends & family in Italy what Thanksgiving is and what the Americans say “thank you” for. Pretty easy, if the questions don’t go any further and they start asking you things you don’t know… like: “yes, but why always on Thursday?” or “why is the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade in NY all about balloons?” At that point the Italian girl has two choices: do some research on the internet, or make up something.
• She has to face the fact that her friends will ask her to cook. “You’re Italian and your food is always amazing, you should help us! Come early and we’ll cook dinner together!” The Italian girl can try to tell them that she has never seen a stuffed turkey or that she does not know how to make mashed potatoes, but it won’t work. Since she is expected to be “a natural” in cooking, her friends are not going to accept any excuse.
The nice part of this adventure will be that they will teach her something new (“Cranberry sauce goes with the turkey? Really?”). She will fry bacon for the first time and she will be really proud of her job (small steps); she will cut and melt the chocolate for the dessert and she will watch the guys filling up the turkey and sewing it.
The fun thing is that most Americans rarely cook and in fact the Italian girl has heard, during the previous week, people exchanging greetings like: “Cooking this week, uh?” – “Oh yeah, don’t tell me. I have to clean all my pots and pans before Thursday and I don’t know where to start with!” So, let’s say that they cook just once in a while, but still they do it very well!
• The last thing that happens to the Italian girl before actually starting dinner is that she will be chosen to go and buy the wine, because – since she is Italian – she has to be “a natural” also in this field. And, in this case, the Italian girl will be glad to go out searching for a good Italian wine. She will take the metro and go to “Eataly” – the well-known Italian shop on Fifth Avenue and 23rd Street that sells whatever you can dream of, in terms of food and drinks – but then, at the front door, she will read this sign:
…so maybe that step was not the easiest, at the end of the day.