Saturday, November 26, 2011

Thanksgiving Update

What a wonderful Thanksgiving I've had this year. Even though I don't get home very often, the time I do spend with my family is incredibly special.

Thursday, my daughter, my brother, and I headed to my mom's house for a wonderful feast. She fixed an amazing meal and we all had quite the food coma. A walk along the river and two games of Clue later, we declared the day to be a success.

Yesterday, I ended up in Denver with my grandmother and my father and his girlfriend. We went to a traditional Italian restaurant, Bella Bistro, then went to see The 1940s Radio Hour play at the Arvada Center in Arvada, Colorado. What a show! It was so neat to have my grandmother sitting beside me, too, since it's hard for her to travel. But she enjoyed it so much.

Tonight, we're making our family's homemade Italian salami. This is a recipe from my great-grandparents and every few years, we get together and make it. It takes quite the crew to grind all the meat and put it in casings, etc., so we're also fixing bagna cauda (pronounced "bunya cow-da") to feed everyone. This is a traditional Italian dish and comes from northern Italy near Turin where our family is from. It literally means "hot bath" and consists of butter, garlic, and anchovies heated up in a skillet. You then dip raw vegetables, bread, meat, and anything else your heart desires (though I wouldn't dip chocolate in it!). With this, you either love it or you hate it! But if you do go to northern Italy, you'll find this hot dip in many restaurants.

My Grandpa Shorty with his nephew, 1940s
I love being part of a family that still celebrates its ethnic heritage, and I hope this next generation can keep it going. It is truly something special.


  1. Melissa, thanks for sharing this slice of your heritage. I love the pride that comes with continuing those special family traditions:)

    That dip sounds good too!

  2. Sounds like a wonderful Thanksgiving, Melissa. Gosh, I haven't played Clue in decades, but it's a great game, and my family played it when I was growing up and had a blast.

    And that play sounds fun, especially since you got to go with your grandma. And then making Salami with your family, that's soooooo cool. And, yes, I think that's special to celebrate your family's ethnic heritage. And that other dish, the bagna cauda, oh that sounds so delicious. I love anchovies!

  3. Aren't those the best holidays, so filled with family and connection. I have a feeling celebrating your ethnic heritage will always be a part of your life, especially as a gift for your daughter :)

  4. Homemade salami...wonderful! Sounds like a perfect Thanksgiving.

  5. MMMmmmMMMmmm... salami and bagna cauda. They sound delightful!

    My ancestors are not Italian but I thoroughly enjoyed reading about your Italian heritage, food, and gatherings. This is a wonderful treasure for your daughter and your future grandchildren.

    God sure did bless us when He put us in families!


  6. Sounds like a wonderful Thanksgiving! I really missed missing Thanksgiving this year. Granted, it was for a good cause! But getting together with family on that day is always one of my favorite things. I'll just have to make up for it at Christmas. :)

  7. You're right heritage is so important - lovely to hear of your special time.


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