One way to carve a turkey: a Thanksgiving drama in two acts

I volunteered to organize a Thanksgiving dinner in Anghiari this year (albeit on Sunday as opposed to the usual Thursday celebration). I arrived at the butcher to procure my pre-ordered turkey, who met his maker the day earlier. What seemed a simple errand turned into an Italian style opera of mixed identities and crossed communication. Turn the volume up on any opera by Rossini, Verdi, Donizetti and imagine the following scene…

Butcher: (allegro) “Buon giorno, signora…allora…the turkey?”

Me: (confused) “Dead, I presume?”
Butcher: (genuinely curious) “..But tasty?”
Me: (really confused) “Let’s hope.”
Butcher: “But didn’t you already…?”

A pause. A moment of silence. Glances are exchanged between butcher, the butcher’s wife, myself and another innocent carnivore. I start to understand that my turkey is no longer in the house. Then the profuse apologies come pouring forth. My turkey was given to the wrong American. With little difficulty, I follow the turkey trail of expats and find out who gobbled up my bird at his timely Thanksgiving table.

A phone call later and another bird is bound for the chopping block. Only this one is twice the size and too large for my guest list. We agree that I will take half. That’s one way to carve a turkey – now I just have to figure out how to stuff a half turkey.

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2 Responses to One way to carve a turkey: a Thanksgiving drama in two acts

  1. Kathy Rubin says:

    My Thanksgiving in Milan 20 years ago was hysterical. It started with trying to convince the butcher that yes, I did want the WHOLE turkey, not just the breast. Then getting the sweet potatoes and cutting them open to find they were grayish white inside, not the bright orange that I expected. (Now I know the difference between sweet potatoes and yams!) I covered them with festive green, pink and white marshmallows my friend had brought me from France, only to have my German friend Phillip take the first bite and declare this was the most disgusting thing he had ever tasted. That’s how we discovered the green marshmallows were mint flavored and the pink were strawberry! All in all pretty funny and a great memory.

    • kmingo says:

      That is hysterical! Yes – we had some of that gray mush on the menu too. (Here they call them American potatoes.) Some other mysteries include how to make cranberry sauce without cranberries, and what the heck are pecans called in Italian.

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