An Ex-Pat's Thanksgiving

Posted by Lori | Posted in | Posted on 8:40 AM


We were 15 Spaniards, 1 Puerto-Rican-American, 1 French guy, 1 Argentinian, 1 German, and 2 Americans. And everyone was hungry.

With good reason, of course. It was almost time to eat Thanksgiving dinner.

The cooking marathon had started the night before...baking pies* until 4 AM in an oven that seemed unreasonably slow. We watched episodes of Big Bang Theory to keep morale high.

And then it was an early morning to:
Bake the turkey
Make sweet potato casserole
Fret about the turkey
Make the tomato-herb gravy
Check on the turkey
Make the stuffing
Name the turkey**
Make the not-quite-cranberry-sauce***
Take the turkey out of the oven and realize that it's beautiful.

A few Spaniards stopped by to check on our progress and sample our food. "Wow, Americans do know how to cook!" one responded, after a bite of stuffing. This was Thanksgiving - of course we know how to cook.

Next came the mission of transporting everything to the flat where the feast was to take place. Nothing spilled, and no one got burned. Success.

We arrived, gave the dishes some finishing touches, and all sat down at a very large table. And we ate.

For the majority of the dinner, I was far too tired to begin to engage in the rapid-fire Spanish conversation. So I just sat back and smiled and watched everyone else smiling and laughing and chatting. And I was happy to see everyone else so happy. This was Thanksgiving - eating too much and talking too loudly.

Later I informed everyone that we had to go around the table and say what we were thankful for. Naturally, since it was my suggestion, I had to start. I don't like being put on the spot when I have to speak in I began...

"Pues...voy a decir gracias para estar aqui, en Espana..."

They cut me off. I knew it had been a cop-out.

"Vale..vale...digo gracias para que todas las cosas no se quemaron."

Juan pointed at my sweet potato casserole that might have gotten a little burned on the top. I laughed.

Then slowly, and very rowdily, we went around the table and everyone got a chance to say something. This was Thanksgiving - making crude jokes coupled with sentimental quips.

After dinner, before dessert, we went outside and attempted to teach American football. It was an interesting venture, and I think what everyone enjoyed the most was the strategy-planning huddles. Team Pavo won.****

Back inside we had some pie and played a game. Then it was cleanup time. And we boxed up leftovers for later. This was Thanksgiving.

*2 apple, 1 pecan. And yes, the crust was made from scratch, of course.
***We went crazy trying to find cranberries and couldn't. So we used red currants instead. Different, but I liked it.
****My team, naturally.

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