Thanksgiving Reminisces

23 Nov

Photo by Magda Ehlers on Pexels.com

Not long after I moved to Spain six years ago, (from the Central Coast of California), a Norwegian friend expressed interest in trying an American Thanksgiving. I was happy to do it, and invited a group of friends, not anticipating some of the challenges to come. While this year does not allow for Thanksgiving and other holiday get-togethers, I am reminiscing and laughing about a couple of past Thanksgiving celebrations.

It took some effort to find some of the American ingredients, like canned pumpkin pie filling, spices like sage for the stuffing, but found a whole turkey at the local carnicería (butcher.) When I purchased the turkey, I was asked if I wanted it cleaned. At first I said no, then asked to have her remove the remaining feathers and pins.

Surprise Thanksgiving morning as I began to prep the turkey, and discovered the giblets (internal organs) were not in the usual bag as in the U.S., but were still attached to the cavity of the turkey, so I had to detach them. No bueno. There were items inside I had never seen in the U.S. bag of giblets. Worse yet was the head was still attached, and I had to detach it, which took over an hour. I began to think there would be no turkey for dinner. Finally, got it in the oven, but the electricity in the stove and other appliances kept shutting off due to too much electrical demand, (a repeated experience at my dinner parties.)

In the end, it all worked out and the guests expressed pleasure at all the traditional American Thanksgiving offerings. Or perhaps they were afraid to give me their real opinions. I doubt I will ever make a whole turkey again.

I am reminded of my last Thanksgiving in the U.S. before I moved to Spain, which I wasn’t sure would happen. My three sons had other commitments on Thanksgiving, so I asked if they wanted a family Thanksgiving on an alternate day. All three enthusiastically agreed so they found a mutually agreeable date. Even with the standard Thanksgiving dishes, the dinner was atypical in their chosen topic of discussion: best and worst U.S. vice-presidents. I could add nothing elucidating to the conversation. As I was putting all the dishes on the table, I remembered the bread was still in toaster oven; I have an unfortunate habit of burning bread. My middle son remarked, “It’s not dinner until Mom burns the bread.” Good times.

 

 

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