This tends to be the hardest time of year for me, from the end of October into the start of the long dreary winter, and it’s not just because there are so many Italian tax payments due. It’s the weather and the darkness in the afternoon, the American holidays I am missing, my family’s little rituals and, especially, the special foods my mom makes for our celebrations.
At our Thanksgiving at the Palace, the food was wonderful, but the yams I made following my mother’s instructions tasted exactly right. My first bite took me back to her Thanksgiving table. I could almost smell the crescent rolls we’d forgotten to take out of the oven yet again.
The boys were a little clueless. To them, it was a long Italian lunch like any other despite all my explanations about Pilgrims and Native Americans and the Mayflower.
I promised myself that next year I’ll find a way to do it at home, and make it warm and cozy with not too many people, not too many dishes. I think I like Thanksgiving better the simpler it is, when the spirit of it is the guest of honor. Maybe they will begin to understand it then. Or maybe it will just be one of those crazy American things their crazy displaced mother insists on doing year in and year out. Which could very well be. But even then, it’d be a family ritual, and so, in a way, they’d kind of be getting it, wouldn’t they?