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Thursday was Thanksgiving, which is a huge deal in the US. As we had no family out here, De Vito family out in New Jersey kindly offered to take us in. Our presence brought the total to 15. The De Vitos opined that this was really rather small; in past years they’ve had up to 30.

I’ll cut to the chase; you will all want to hear about the food. Well. We began with bread and cheese. But no ordinary cheese – this was parmesan that Uncle Mario back in Italy had sorted out his family out with. It was superb. Strong crumbly cheese, fresh bread and a cracking glass of red. Guests arrived (Uncle Ron was late), each bringing a dish. Then the real fun began.

Turkey, sweet potatoes with marshmallow, garlic mushrooms, cheesy asparagus, stuffing, cranberry sauce, spinach and gravy. It was so good I even had a second helping of turkey with gravy and stuffing. I regretted this almost instantly.

Then came the fruitbowl. It was enormous and filled with chopped melons and berries. It was placed in front of me and I began to whimper.

“There isn’t room!” I said.

“Go on!” replied Mr De Vito. “Fruit is refreshing.”

Out came the pies: Key Lime, Pecan, Pumpkin. Then came the pumpkin squares, the cannolli and other assorted pastries.

“Here’s the whipped cream,” said Mrs De Vito. “It’s hand-whipped.”

“Have some pumpkin squares,” said Marisa to her godfather.

“I’ve had a cannolli,” replied Mr De Vito.

“You’ve only had a canolli? But I made the pumpkin squares myself, you’ve got to try them. I can’ t believe that you wouldn’t taste your own god-daughter’s cake.”

“OK – pass it over.”

The desserts were swiftly followed by the walnuts, hazelnuts and  figs and the hot chestnuts, fresh out of the oven. Then came the coffee, the prosecco, the Frangelico and the Remy Martin.

Shortly after this, Mrs De Vito is trying to offload the Key Lime pie. It looks pretty good – huge great globules of meringue on top – but the lime bit is the texture of Jell-o. No one is impressed.

“Have you tried the Key Lime pie?” Mrs De Vito asks each member of the family in turn. “Try some!” she says as she hands them a spoon.

We left around 7pm with a plate piled with dessert and another with turkey and stuffing. To give you an indication of how much we took with us, as I write we still have two cannolli, one slice of pumpkin pie and two pumpkin squares.

Mad props to the De Vito clan for their Italian-style Thanksgiving. What a blast.


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