“We Didn’t Just Stuff the Turkey” By Chris Zito

Sure there was turkey with all the trimmings but it didn’t stop there.  Thanksgiving in my house also meant stuffed artichokes.


Never had one? Sad for you.

The stuffed artichoke was the kind of food that turned brother against brother. Most years Mom would make enough for everyone to have two, one with dinner, one for later. Strangely there always seems to be an extra choke or two lying around. Here is where the conniving and scheming came in. Artichoke espionage! It wasn’t unheard of for artichokes to end up in the back of the crisper drawer. As the years went by hiding places became more and more remote.


Alright. Where is it?

I remember as a little kid not being all that interested in the heart, which of course is really the best part. My older brothers agreed and told me it was best left untouched. They would then divide it amongst themselves. Why would my parents allow me to be duped this way? Simple. They got a cut.


Zito men have been hoodwinking their sons for generations.

Whatever unusual food your family has at Thanksgiving, savor it, enjoy it, and for the love of God, hide the leftovers. If your family is anything like mine you can’t trust anyone!

Thanks for reading. Tell your pals.
Chris Zito


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7 Responses

  1. Aw, loved this one! Thinking of you guys..

  2. One of my favorite memories of Sunday dinner a the Zito house in Giestown is your Mom’s stuffed artichokes. I had never had one before, and i wasn’t even sure what it was, because you all called it by its Sicilian name (Cuccuciola? It’s been a long time…). Sunday dinner at your house was always an education, and a warm safe haven.

  3. I remember the first time your brother fed me one of these things. He had to assure me I wasn’t about to eat a hand grenade. I tore off the leaf, as instructed, stripped off the stuffing and pulp with my teeth and, to your brother’s astonishment — and, quickly, to mine — popped the leaf in my mouth and attempted to eat something that had the resilience and edibility of a piece of bamboo. I thought one ate the entire artichoke. It was 1969. I have just now finished chewing.

  4. your mother’s were the best.happy thanksgiving

  5. being Italian, stuffed artichokes are a mainstay at my aunties house….as is the seven fishes on Christmas Eve…. love it!

  6. Making the stuffing now!

  7. Mom, aka Aunt Lucy, would make them too! Course with nine people in da house we only got one each, but what a treat! Now, visits to your house meant spaghetti whenever I wanted it!

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