A Memorable Allrecipes Thanksgiving, Italy Style - Cooks and knits Blog at Allrecipes.com - 274931

Cooks and knits

A memorable Allrecipes Thanksgiving, Italy style 
May 10, 2012 11:21 am 
Updated: Aug. 4, 2012 9:36 pm
In August of 2009 my daughter Natalia left for Italy, where she would participate in an exchange Master's program between Carnegie Mellon University (her school) and The University of Bologna in Bologna, Italy. The program would last about 5 months, which meant that for the first time she wouldn't be home for Thanksgiving.

In our home, the Thanksgiving menu has evolved to one that the family will not let me change: Turkey braised in wine, cornbread stuffing, homemade cranberry sauce and sweet potato casserole with crunchy topping. I can do other things, but those four MUST be made. True story. I have been warned that if I don't make them, a boycott will ensue. And she wanted to make them in Italy.

As the holiday approached, we started having conversations about what she and Elizabeth (her roommate and classmate from Carnegie Mellon) would do to celebrate. Her biggest concern was that she had already checked the local grocery store and many of the ingredients she wanted were not available. I told her not to worry, that I would pack up several Thanksgiving meal essentials and mail them to her in advance. At the top of the list were dry cornbread cubes for the stuffing and a bag of cranberries - with fingers crossed that they would not spoil in transit. I got everything together and mailed it 2 weeks before the holiday. 

Allrecipes.com had already become a household name in our house; I can't even remember how I found the website, but know that I opened my profile in November of 2006. The recipes for the 'basic four' were already in my profile as personal recipes, so we agreed that she would access them via internet. She received the box of goodies the day before Thanksgiving. Life was good.

Then something awesome happened. On Wednesday afternoon (it was already night in Italy) Natalia called me from Bologna. First I worried a bit, our conversations were via Skype and phone calls were to be only for emergencies. She sounded happily excited, so it couldn't be bad news, but I could hardly understand what she was saying!!

She finally calmed down and told me why she was calling. As Natalia and Elizabeth gathered everything and started preparing for the next day, Natalia asked her to open the browser and log in to the allrecipes.com website so they could print the Thanksgiving recipes. Elizabeth did, and within seconds started yelling excitedly from her room:  NATALIA, YOUR MOM IN ON THE INTERNET!!! CHECK THIS OUT!!!  

When Elizabeth opened the website, my smiling face greeted her. I was not aware yet, but Allrecipes.com had chosen me as Cook of the Week THAT WEEK!!! Thanksgiving Week, the week where everyone goes to the website looking for what to make. What an honor, and to have my daughter call me from Italy to tell me was really cool!!!

Thanks Allrecipes, for making that holiday special for my family!!!!

Cook of the Week Nov 2009
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May 10, 2012 8:51 pm
I just loved your story!!! It is so sweet! Through your story I can tell you have such a special relationship with your daughter. What a cool story.
May 11, 2012 5:38 pm
Ha, that's so sweet! How perfectly timed! So was your daughter able to make everything for Thanksgiving? I was a foreign exchange student in Austria my sophomore year of high school, in 2000. I lived in a small town near the German border but spent Thanksgiving in Vienna with a teacher and her daughter. I had chicken on a roll for Thanksgiving dinner :) Anyhoo, just wanted to tell you that I happened upon a review for something you made (don't remember what it was?) a couple of days ago and I've been looking through your pictures that you posted on AllRecipes and the recipes you've had published. You seem like a great cook and a very interesting lady!! I'm so glad you have a blog because I was wishing I could tell you much I enjoyed looking at your recipes. Just wanted you to know :) Also I'm going to try your cornmeal cookies very soon.
May 11, 2012 8:50 pm
Ahhh, that is so sweet, Milly! You are famous!
May 14, 2012 5:34 pm
Yes, she was able to cook an awesome Thanksgiving meal. The host family loved it; intrrestingly, the mom was particularly impressed with the homemade cranberry sauce. Go figure!
May 14, 2012 7:20 pm
Awww... thanks Bunny Chef!!! Hope you like the cookies!!
Jul. 25, 2012 8:11 am
Awww what a beautiful story.
Jul. 25, 2012 8:12 am
Hi Milly By any chance do you have a good recipes for Dulce de Coco.
Aug. 4, 2012 9:36 pm
Hi Millie, which kind? There are different styles... let me know and I'll look in my books, I'm sure I can find something!
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Milly Suazo

Home Town
Barrio Tejas, Humacao, Puerto Rico
Living In
Allentown, Pennsylvania, USA

Member Since
Nov. 2006

Cooking Level

Cooking Interests
Baking, Grilling & BBQ, Frying, Stir Frying, Slow Cooking, Asian, Mexican, Italian, Nouvelle, Low Carb, Dessert, Gourmet

Knitting, Sewing, Needlepoint, Gardening, Biking, Walking, Music

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About Me
I was born and raised in Puerto Rico (grew up in Humacao) and after getting married in 1985 I moved to the continental US. My husband was in the Army and therefore we lived in several states: Kansas, Arizona, Texas (El Paso). He then left the active duty service and we have lived in: Maryland, Texas (Rio Grande Valley) and now in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Our daughters are now 25 and 22. If you would like to contact me send your message to: millysuazo@gmail.com
My favorite things to cook
I truly have no favorite, but if I have to choose I would say desserts because those are the ones that generate the most WOW effect from others. I cook traditional puertorrican fare and also all kinds of cuisines.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Thanksgiving and Christmas menu. I have tried different turkey recipes over the years, but the one that stuck is the one where I cook the bird in a roaster oven with all kinds of veggies and a whole bottle of wine poured on top. No dry turkey meat in this house. Ever. It's in my shared recipes (Pavo al Vino).
My cooking triumphs
The recipe I invented for fluffy cream cheese frosting is by far my best accomplishment. The second is my Tortilla Soup, also my own style. The most legendary -but not my own recipe- are my Cinnamon Rolls. Big, gooey and delicious. The best recipe ever!
My cooking tragedies
One time I made one of my really good cakes and beautifully decorated it so the girls and I could take it to my husband's office for a surprise birthday party. My oldest daughter (10 or so at the time) was holding it in her lap in the front seat. I had to step on the break and the cake went flying to my daughter's feet. We had to stop on the side of the highway to try and put together the cake the best we could. It wasn't as pretty, but we still managed to sing Happy Birthday to him.
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