Wednesday, November 12, 2008

would you get married during thanksgiving weekend?

i was so very happy to hear that vanessa from the website italy in san francisco had agreed to guest blog during our thanksgiving memories series. vanessa is one of my favorite twitter buddies..and her website is the go-to place for everything italian...she was born and raised in romagna, italy but moved to san francisco in 2001 to "pursue a career as a bridge engineer!!" wow...instead, she launched her site which she describes this way..."Italy in SF is the ultimate directory for everything Italian in the San Francisco Bay Area. Italy in SF is the insider’s guide to learn where Italians go to find the special and unique products, foods, and traditions they were accustomed to in Italy. visit this site..whether you plan to travel to italy...or san francisco....vanessa will ensure you have everything you need to "be" italian..if only for a visit...

so..about today's question..would you get married during thanksgiving weekend? vanessa her delightful post to get all the details of her first thanksgiving (and wedding rehearsal dinner!!??)

thanks again vanessa...
"We decided to get married in California. Considering both our families were in Italy, this was disconcerting to say the least for the Italian side of our loved ones. Then we decided to get married Thanksgiving weekend, so as to shock our American friends, too! To our advantage, a lot of venues weren’t booked, the prices were a lot cheaper, and since we planned our wedding in two months we had numerous choices and a lot of excitement. We decided to mix Italian traditions (the 12 course wedding meal!) with American ones (a rehearsal dinner planned for Thanksgiving night!) to maximize the experience for all of our guests. And we had a wonderful time pulling things together!
I am an only child, but I have a sister. I was an exchange student in high school for a year, and the American family that took me in for that year is very much family to me. Tasha is my sister in every way! So, my “sister” Tasha and her husband, Aaron, decided to give us the ultimate culinary wedding gift: cook Thanksgiving dinner for all of our guests as our very own rehearsal dinner! We had family and friends flying in from all over the place, and most of them made it for Thanksgiving, two days before the wedding. We planned a dinner for 20 people in our living room, renting tables and chairs to make a single, long table for everyone to partake in the experience.

Tasha and Aaron were set to make this dinner unforgettable, so they started cooking early in the day: at 8am they showed up with their own pots and pans, brought all the way from Washington DC!, to make sure the preparation went flawlessly. Dick and Penny, Tasha’s parents, were hired out as baby sitters for Tasha and Aaron’s 6 months old son, Xander, and off they went storming the kitchen and bossing everyone around to help out! In fact, since everyone who flew in had no better place to be, all our wedding guests gathered at our house for the cooking phase, so we put everyone to work.

The mild California weather made planning very easy: we set a potato peeling station on the deck of our house overlooking the Bay, and people were literally fighting each other to peel potatoes! We had a lot of mashed potatoes to make, not to mention sweet potatoes, and the turkey station, set out in the backyard inside our covered barbecue stand was another coveted spot. It might have something to do with the cold beers standing by and the low intensity of the job- just making sure enough steam was building up inside the BBQ, but not enough to blow the top off!

By the early afternoon we had green beans steaming, pumpkin pie baking, and gravy slowly boiling on the stove, with stuffing being made in the second oven (thank goodness for larger kitchens!). Cranberry sauce was ready, Brussels’ sprouts were boiled, and our dinner was well becoming a “first time” Thanksgiving for many of our guests flying in from Italy, and quite an unusual rehearsal dinner for everyone else!
However, my parents were dead set on leaving the Italian imprint on Turkey Day. They landed at SFO with what they officially named the “catering suitcase”. Inside, a 5 liter magnum bottle of Sangiovese and a 3 liter bottle of grappa. Our dinner was the lively affair you can expect of Italians, with the wonderful traditions you expect on Thanksgiving. A memorable Thanksgiving for sure!"

weddings, rehearsals..all the activities are hectic enough..can you imagine adding thanksgiving dinner to the mix?
however, this sounds like a wonderful..and very memorable..introduction to our thanksgiving holiday!...i love this story and will definitely ask vanessa to return as a guest blogger very always, please feel free to share your thanksgiving memories in the comments section of this post..and say hi to vanessa...(and to me)
napa farmhouse 1885™
"live a green life of style"™

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Anonymous said...

Dear Diane,

I can't thank you enough for having me on your blog! Such a great idea to write up Thanksgiving stories- thank you for giving me a chance to tell my story!



Anonymous said...

To answer your question: no, I wouldn't have got married on a feast day, but this is a lovely story. What great memories for everyone involved.

It was a good idea to gather stories together and I've found some lovely new sites.

Napa Farmhouse 1885 said...

thanks again vanessa for the post...

sally..thought you would enjoy reading a story from an italian in san francisco!!

Anonymous said...

I love this story. Thank you for the Thanksgiving stories. I enjoy them.

Anonymous said...

I did - and I love her site too. I've been away for a few days, just catching up with you now.