The leftovers from our Thanksgiving meal yesterday were almost as good as the meal itself. Lisa cooked up a storm all day after a busy day of “hunting and gathering” on Wednesday which included stops to the weekly market, her favorite bakery, the butcher shop, and PAM supermercado. It seemed as if half the town was involved in the pre-turkey day meal preparation. Natalina, the butcher’s wife, carefully prepared the turkey leg and breast and wanted to know all about how Lisa was going to cook the meal on her boat. She asked Lucia from the jewelry shop across from her on via Indipendenza, to translate for us. We laughed and snapped photos, clowning around with the turkey leg when Lucia instructed, “Show us some Leg!” Natalina actually pulled up her apron! After Lisa explained how the meal was going to be prepared and what was on the menu, Natalina exclaimed, “Mama Mia!” We delivered slices of pumpkin pie to several of the shopkeepers today — it was easier than having everyone on board.
Another Thanksgiving feast aboard Gyatso — our third since setting sail in 2005. We almost didn’t do it this year, but when another American pulled into the marina last week, our plans changed. Jayne arrived at Base Nautica, her winter port, with Aorangi, her lovely S&S Swan 47. She had to return to her home in Tuscany for a few days but didn’t have plans for Thanksgiving, so we all decided to celebrate together. Preparations began immediately (see 11/23/08 logbook entry). As you can see from the photo, we had a wonderful time drinking wine, eating turkey and pumpkin pie, and getting better acquainted with Jayne who runs a captained charter business with her boat.
Date: 11/23/08 (Sunday) Location: Coastline northwest of Gaeta, Italy
We spent the day yesterday sightseeing along the coast northwest of Gaeta in our rental car. A great day for it with huge waves crashing into the shore. Luckily things were fairly calm in the marina, and the weather has settled down again today, leaving behind the chilliest weather since arriving in Italy two months ago. It’s still in the 50’s, so you can’t feel too sorry for us! Preparations are underway for a full Thanksgiving day feast on-board, pumpkin pie and all. We even have cranberries this year, thanks to Jayne of Aorangi, our invited guest and the only other American in the marina.
We walked back from Italian language class on Via Indipendenza, a narrow street with numerous side-alleys built in the 7th Century that is now a pedestrian path lined with all kinds of specialty shops. We stopped in at one of our favorite bread bakeries, Forno Tuscano, for a fresh loaf of pane casareccio (bread baked in a wood oven) and a few samples of a seasonal treat that tastes like small spice cakes which are covered in chocolate. The next stop, just a few doors down on the opposite side of the alley is a deli “Mazarra Anna” where we picked up mozarella di bufalo (fresh buffalo mozarella) that we eat with vine-ripened tomatoes and fresh basil purchased at one of the numerous frutta e vedura (fruit and vegetable) stands. Finally, we stopped in at one of the butcher shops to place an order for turkey next week and walked out with two huge, aged steaks. We don’t eat much red meat these days, but somehow we could not resist. They were so big that Lisa had to cook each in a separate pan, but the effort was worth it. We paired them with the last bottle of Brunello that was hand-selected by Lisa’s brother Bill, a wine expert, while we were in Tuscany last month — a delicious combination.