We did Italy this year for our Annual International Unit Study. (Click here to see pictures from the past twenty or so celebrations.) Laura and I, being the only ones left in school, read books about Italy and wrote reports. (She wrote about holidays in Italy and I wrote about an Italian monk named Savonarola.) Then to culminate our study, we had everyone over for a beautiful feast with decorations, costumes, and dancing.
Mama set the table really nicely for dinner. She got the wine bottles from an Italian restaurant because they were just throwing them away. The candles dripped wax down the sides and made pretty red stripes all around the bottle.
The first course of our meal was this lovely antipasto tray made by Mama, along with a salad.
On the right is a polenta layer cake from Sardinia, which is kind of like lasagna except made with layers of solidified polenta instead of pasta. It was surprisingly easy to make and the fennel gave it a very unique flavor. The other things in the picture are white beans with sausage and Milanese Minestrone with pasta on the side.
This was our last course: fruit, nuts, cheese, cookies called "love knots", and pizzelles. Katie made the pizzelles using a recipe passed down for generations in Ray's Italian family. It has apparently had some modifications over the years as the filling includes ingredients such as chocolate chips, maple syrup, and an enormous amount of nutmeg.
Laura and I dressed up as nuns.
Mama and Anna went for the peasant look.
Peter was Julius Caesar!
Even James wore a costume.
Here is everybody else. John had the mafia look, Seth went so far as to put on a hat, and Ray combed his hair the way his Italian grandfather did.
We finished the evening with reading reports, singing the Italian anthem, and dancing some Italian folk dances.