Tuesday, December 3

Thanksgiving in Positano

Thanksgiving is of course not celebrated in Italy, but in the last few years a small tradition has started here in Positano. Every year Frank, of the walking tours, invites a group of friends and expats to his house for an 'As Traditional As Possible Thanksgiving Feast'.
This year the weather was bad, it rained pretty much all day long so we set off from home with boots and umbrellas.
It's not easy planning a Thanksgiving dinner when you can't get hold of many American ingredients. We didn't find any cranberries to make sauce with, last year I was lucky enough to pick some up from the NATO airforce base shop in Naples.
We made a special order at the fruit and veg store of 8 sweet potatoes, but they misunderstood and we ended up with 8 kilos of sweet potatoes. I'd quite happily eat sweet potatoes every day, especially if they were always cooked with maple syrup and cinnamon.
 I noticed how colourful the bougainvillea was as we walked into town.
 The turkey was ordered in and it was a whopper. It took 4 1/2 hours to cook and I reckon Frank is still eating turkey sandwiches a week later.
Lisa made pumpkin pie and I made an apple and blueberry crumble. I decided to bring a dash of Englishness to the dinner by bringing along a tub of Birds Custard Powder (crumble and custard-yum), which was fun because nobody knew what it was apart from one Italian lady who had lived for years in England and was horrified that I didn't make it from scratch.
 Usually we sit outside on the terrace, but as it was raining we had to all cram into the kitchen.
Every year there is a Thanksgiving quirk, some little thing that is a bit 'different'.
One year Frank served up mounds of spaghetti before the turkey and then everyone was too stuffed to eat. Last year there was a huge beach umbrella open in the kitchen and we never found out why. This year Frank insisted on turning all the lights out and lighting only 2 candles, so we ate in the dark.
Dinner starts every year with Frank telling us the story of Thanksgiving and we toast with goblets of Prosecco before tucking in to the feast. Over the course of the afternoon more people turn up and chairs are found and space is made.
Sometimes it can be sad not having family around in the country you live in, but then again, on days like these you realize that other little families are created with friends and traditions and there is a lot to be thankful for.


  1. I love the celebrations we expats cobble together so far from "home" Your Positano Thanksgiving sounded just delightful.

  2. Sounds like a wonderful time for all! xxoo

  3. Several years ago we made a special trip to Sarnano to have a special Thanksgiving with some ex-pats we knew there. It was much as you pictured it. American Thanksgiving with an Italian flair...and oh, the wine!


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