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No, Italy doesn’t celebrate Thanksgiving, though every year, more and more restaurants in the center host a “Thanksgiving menu” for the Americans that aren’t home for the beginning of the holidays. The lists are full of mac & cheese and turkey, of course. But no one here is going to come close to what I want. My Thanksgiving is a great turkey, ok, but for the rest – give me cranberry sauce and stuffing and I am set.

So that’s exactly what we did today. Up and down to the fruit and vegetable truck in the morning, and down into the central market by midday to get a whole chicken. The turkeys were out on the front-row display in the butcher, hoping to catch the eye of last-minute cooks (they’re fresh, remember, not frozen. We opted for a much more normal-sized chicken for two, and headed to the international grocery store to grab a can of cranberry sauce from the “American section” and the crackers I needed for the stuffing.

The stuffing. The only stuffing I ever want in my life is the most simple recipe that I’ve grown up with, even if the main ingredient,Crown Pilot Crackers, disappeared after 1996, and my family went into a panic trying to find a substitute. Bell’s Seasoning is also needed, which is another thing that isn’t that popular in Florentine supermarkets, or any markets, but I made my own thanks to the internet, and somehow, the international market has a cracker from the Philippines that is pretty close to a chowder cracker like what I need – so I got my cranberry and my stuffing, and our chicken was excellent and I’ve already talked to half my family at home.

To top it off, Rami found incredible apples at the market and with a little cinnamon and sugar, I’m home in more ways than one.


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