Showing posts with label Thanksgiving. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Thanksgiving. Show all posts

Friday, June 17, 2016

Friday Contemplations - Commodities or Laziness?

I consider myself old fashioned and a traditionalist.  I very much value the importance of nesting and I love my home. I find great pleasure in decorating, cooking and making my house feel cozy and comfortable for me and for the people I love. I also would rather make something myself than go out and buy custom made from someone else. It's not because of the money, it's because I believe an object is of greater value if it is made with love. I am not a chef, I am not a designer or a seamstress, I am not an interior decorator, but what I do know how to do very well is put passion and love into the things I do. I am Willing to learn and it saddens me when I see others act entitled and lazy and don't have the desire to learn.  People today are just so used to buying, buying, buying everything and once they're done with it just chuck it out and buy a new one. I'll buy it...I'll buy it...they say.

Learn how to make something! Don't be afraid of a drill or a hammer, learn how to use it! You want a piece of pie? Roll up your sleeves and get out a cook book ...  It's not that hard. And if it doesn't turn out right the first time, next time it'll turn out better!

It just frustrates me so.. I feel like everything has just gotten so easy and there is a general lack of contentment with life and the resources we have available to us.  When I think back on what our ancestors used to do...rigorously by hand... I feel like such a spoiled little shit.

My Italian grandmother had 10 children and she made her own mattresses for all 10 children every year (as did most Italian families in the early 20th century). Do you have any idea how difficult it is to make a mattress by hand...with sheep wool...and then beat it with a stick to make it more comfortable? And having to do this for households with 10 or more people?

source

Or washing mountains of clothes by hand.... and yet I complain about not having a dryer! Yes, you read that correctly.....I do NOT have a dryer... however I am seriously trying to negotiate with my sweetheart on this one...

source
Or make bread kneaded by hand at the crack of dawn and baked in a wood burning stove EVERY MORNING...talk about a work out!


source
By the way, no bread compares or will ever compare to sourdough bread that is baked in a wood burning stove...

Since then, we have made such tremendous progress and even the average middle class family can have access to every day commodities that these women pictured above could never even fathom possible. But yet they continued on with their every day, strenuous chores and were able to make the most beautiful things by putting so much passion and love in everything they made.  Today when we look at a hand made linen tablecloth, it doesn't have the same value as it did back then. Why? Because most people, especially the younger generation don't realize the effort that was put into that simple hand made tablecloth. They don't realize exactly the quality and value of the fabric and why it is so precious. 

If I have children one day, I want to make sure that they value all that is around them and they put the same passion in all that they do as I do. 

I get so annoyed with spoiled  and arrogant people.  They get under my skin so much that it makes me batty. 

To those people I say: be thankful for what you have, but most of all be proactive, be resourceful and thrifty.  Thrifty doesn't mean cheap either. There are so many resources available today to be able to learn new things it's astonishing. The World Wide Web is packed with anything and everything you could possibly need and more and for that I am so grateful. I Google everything LOL...Surely I exaggerate at times but I feel a sense of security knowing that at the click of a mouse I can find out whatever I want. It's there for me. 

Think for a moment at the immigrants traveling on the boat to America with their families. They left all they had and spent their life savings to jump on a boat and cross the Atlantic Ocean not knowing where they were going, how long it would take them to arrive, how much food to bring, what clothes to wear, what to do if their children got sick in the middle of the Ocean, no one to call, no navigator, no Coast Guard to help them if anything happened, you get the point... Oh the COURAGE to do something like that!  

source
This photo above is a picture of an Italian immigrant family arriving in Ellis Island, New York.  The mother in the photo looks so old yet she's probably in her early 40's. They had the courage to make that journey for the future of their families. Without our ancestors who made everything by hand, woke up at the ass crack of dawn to prepare for the day, work hard and put food on the table, we wouldn't have all the commodities that we have today. 

For this I am grateful.


Have a great weekend my dear friends...and make something spectacular!

xoxo

Silvana


Saturday, November 28, 2015

Thanksgiving 2015

Thanksgiving came and went and it was a fantastic day! We celebrated on Friday the 27th because Thanksgiving is not a holiday here is Italy so we had to work on Thursday. It was just easier to have it on Friday. My relatives from southern Italy came and stayed with us and it was wonderful. I finished my list of things and people (and pets) that I am thankful for and I found it to be a list filled with wonderful points that I will cherish forever. Things I am truly thankful to God for <3. Here are some pictures of our Thanksgiving and the delicious dishes that I made. I think I did a pretty good job if I may say so myself! 



This is the table scape. I know it's Christmassy but who cares? It was beautiful and inviting and that's all that really matters, right?


I made the classic stuffed bird :-) I let it marinate over night with a delicious balsamic vinegar marinade with lots of herbs and spices. 



It got stuffed with a classic dressing, my Grandmothers recipe. 


My side dishes were classic, good old American Thanksgiving dinner staples. Sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole and mashed potatoes. 




And for dessert I made an outstanding apple pie with a brown sugar and cinnamon crumble topping. I used this recipe from Inspired by Charm. Michael's recipes are amazing!


We had a wonderful evening. We ate a lot, drank a lot and I missed my family greatly that day but I'm so grateful that my relatives were able to spend the day with me and make it special. 


I hope my fellow Americans had a wonderful Thanksgiving as well <3 

Monday, November 2, 2015

Thankful November...

I can't believe it's already November... It seems like yesterday that the weather was so sweltering hot and I was at the beach in the water trying to cool off , and even that wasn't working because the water was too warm... We had a really hot summer here in Italy. There was one day that I got in my car after work and the thermometer read 45° Celsius!! That's 113° Fahrenheit!!! It was unbearable... seriously.
 
It's funny because when it's hot we want it to cool off and when it's cold we long for the summer days. Sometimes we are just never satisfied.
 
When November comes around I always like to stop and think about all the things I am grateful for because it is the month of Thanksgiving.
 
There are SO many things that I thank God for I don't even know where to begin. Sometimes I get sad or frustrated because I think about the things I don't have but this month I want to make an effort to forget about the things I don't have and look at the things I DO have. I will write down one thing everyday that I am thankful for and hopefully the list I come up with by November 26th (Thanksgiving Day) will open my eyes more towards the gifts I have been already given.
 
First and foremost I am thankful for my life. I'm thankful for my Faith in God. Faith is a gift you know, not everyone has received it. I am thankful every single day for the gift of Faith that God has granted me. I am thankful for the roof over my head, the clothes on my back, the shoes on my feet, clean water in my cup, healthy and abundant food on my plate, a car to get to and from work every morning and above all the love that surrounds me from my friends and family. 
 
These are things I already thank God for every Sunday when I go to Mass so I won't include these things in my list. I will think of different things to be thankful for. If there are any readers I have that are feeling a little down in the dumps, I really encourage you to take this challenge and hopefully by the end of this month we'll feel more satisfied with what this life has given us.
 


source

 
I love Thanksgiving. This is another American holiday that gets celebrated every year in my house. I usually invite some of my relatives from my mothers side of the family and my sweety and I host Thanksgiving dinner at our house. I'll be honest, some are fans of the stuffed turkey while others not so much LOL. It's not entirely ALL American food...some mozzarella's get thrown in there and maybe a plate of spaghetti for my eldest Uncle who can't fathom having a meal without spaghetti... but other than that it's stuffed turkey, mashed potatoes, Brussels spouts, beets and gravy for us! As well as Apple and Pumpkin pie of course :-)
 
So I'm excited about celebrating Thanksgiving this year. I want it to be extra special and am looking around the wonderful world wide web for lots of Thanksgiving table scape ideas. I have found some that are truly amazing! Take a look at some of my favorites...
 

source
 
I really like this one because it doesn't look too complicated and doesn't take up a lot of room on the table. I also like that it's not too full of color.
 

source
 
Isn't this table scape beautiful? I've already talked about my love for blue and white here so I think I may just try this out and see how it looks in my dining room.  
 
 

source
 
I don't really like modern decor, but the table scape pictured above adds a nice modern touch to a traditional Thanksgiving table I think.
 

source
 
My first place winner however goes to this beautiful rustic table setting. It is so elegant in its simplicity and it also looks rather easy to replicate. The possibilities are endless for this Thanksgiving's table setting! I'm really looking forward to it this year more than the others!
 
Only 25 more days left!!! How exciting :-D
 
Have a lovely Monday my friends!