22 November, 2011

Getting Ready, Giving Thanks

This wild guy is on borrowed time.
Wampanoag woman prepares a meal, Plimoth






The weather has not been conducive for late November. The leaves still cling to the oak trees, folks are still sporting flip-flops.  I'll take it just fine, but I remember huge snowstorms to go to my Aunt Vivian's for the big feast. At the end of the evening, when the whiskey highballs came out, the kids watched The Wizard of Oz, as it was shown only once a year.  Those flying monkeys terrified me!  This year we are eating a turkey from a local farm, quite near us. We will dine with friends from "away," Rochester, NY and South Africa, and lobster tails will be included. Extravagant! Our puritan meal as kids always included turnips and parsnips. No crunchy onions, just the pearl ones. Plain stuffing with Bell’s seasoning (never a mushroom!).  No recipe was ever consulted, unless maybe the cookbook from 1947 (which I still have and use!). It was heavenly.  

All over facebook are questions about how expats will celebrate. The Americans closest to me haven’t had an American Thanksgiving in decades and won’t start “stuffing themselves silly” now.  My Thanksgiving in Grenoble was fun, and necessary act as I was away from my daughter, husband, sister and dying mother.  Many nationalities came to the true Yankee feast, complete with canned cranberry jelly from Cape Cod.  I looked strange carrying that huge bird, quills sticking up here and there, on the bus back home from the shopping center.  There was no Macy’s parade, no Wizard of Oz, but there were good wine and new friends.

Eldest Child
So this year is a mélange again.  My mom is gone for eight years now, but I will make her parsnips, and deviled eggs recipes.  My little boy wants the whole shooting match, ending with an Ice Age and a Charlie Brown TV extravaganza. Sunday we will march into the season of Advent, and we are ready with calendars and choirs and organ music to see.  But Friday morning my special girl will arrive on the red eye from the West Coast and help us with the tree.  For that I am truly grateful.