Sunday, 30 November 2008

Thanksgiving Adventures

I get so utterly distraught on Thanksgiving. It is the price I pay for living in England.

Most people here don't know it is Thanksgiving or they have forgotten. Even my husband forgot this year.

I ate a salad for lunch on Thursday and rang my sister as soon as I got home from work only to make myself more miserable by listening to all the preparations going on. I caught snippets of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade on the news. But gave up and went to bed early.

There is an upside to this. There is absolutely no pressure or opportunity to be sucked into the Black Friday shopping extravaganza/riots. Did you hear that a person was killed at a WalMart in NY after being trampled by eager shoppers? How absurd is that?

On the first Saturday after Thanksgiving I delude myself into believing that it is the real Thanksgiving and proceed to prepare a traditional feast for my family, who are after all, half American. The turkey is roasted and the stuffing is my extra special recipe full of surprises (no oysters since Marc hates oysters).

But Thanksgiving in a foreign country is not without its troubles. This year I had my fair share of challenges. The cans of condensed milk I opened for the pies were about 3 years out of date so I had to pop down to the store right in the middle of the production. The grocery store failed to deliver fresh cranberries which I didn't realise until mid morning on Saturday so there was no or little time to pop out for some. The dog munched into my gorgeous pies the night before.

But I rose above it all. The children are finally old enough to recognise the difference between a feast and mac & cheese so they truly appreciated all my efforts. Plus they now eat and enjoy just about everything that is put on their plates. In fact Abigail had seconds and perhaps even thirds of turkey. She really enjoys the combination of cranberry sauce (out of a jar, unfortunately) and turkey. And Sebastian now prefers my stuffing to Stove Top (about time, the philistine!).

I have a fear of gravy. Not eating it but preparing it. Each year I persist and the practice is paying off. This year's gravy was quite possibly the best gravy ever - sorry, Mom! Marc didn't talk much because his mouth was always full and he had thirds. Considering the resulting collapses on to the sofa, we were suitably stuffed.
In the age old tradition of giving thanks, Marc was most grateful to live in country where he and his are safe and warm which is particularly poignant given the recent activities in India (a country with very close ties to Britain). Abigail was most grateful for being given a big girl's wine glass at dinner from which to drink her cranberry juice cocktail. There's actually quite a deep thought in there which I interpret as her being grateful for having grown another year bigger and another year wiser. Sebastian didn't use any metaphors when dishing up his gratitude telling us he was thankful to be alive. Phew, me too!
Me? What am I grateful for? I don't even know where to begin. I have so much. But at the end of the day, I am thankful to have found a man to grow old with, to raise children with, to have an amazing life with its ups and downs and be fairly certain he'll be there for the roller coaster ride of life no matter what.

The neighbours popped in just as we were finishing and we made up wee little sampler plates for them to taste which they loved. Little Helena even ate the pumpkin pie!

I had asked Marc to carve up the gigantic turkey and put it into little bags for the freezer and made my first mistake by assuming that because I had asked it got done. I woke up this morning to find the remnants of a very large turkey carcass in Bailey's bed.

Marc had left the turkey on the counter overnight and it was far too much temptation for Bailey to resist and he demolished nearly all of it. Looking at him collapsed on the lounge carpet I reckon he's got that turkey tryptophan high and just wishing we could put a football game on the television for him.

I most cross over the missed leftover turkey sandwiches. Might have to pop down to the supermarket and get some cooked turkey for sandwiches. How sad is that? I am not so grateful right now for the dog.


Marla said...

I am glad that you had a nice Thanksgiving day with your family. Me and my kids went to Lynn and Curt's. Two of Lynn's kids were home, and mom and dad were there. Lynn did the Turkey,potatoes, stuffine, gravy, etc. The rest of us brought side dishes and desserts. Way to much food, and I felt miserable by the time I got home.

Anonymous said...

HI, I'm Janel's niece from California, Paulette. I often read your adventures on your BLOG. I visited England several years ago and loved everything about it.

That's a whole other comment...I was thinking how much your pup sounds like Marley. Have you read the book? If you do, keep a box of tissues handy. I listened to it on CD from Seattle, WA to somewhere, Oregon a couple summers ago.

Thanks for sharing your family adventures!!

LaDawn said...

Have read the Marley book and in fact posted a review here.

Glad you loved England. If you come back, let us know! Did you see Windsor Castle?

Janell said...

Your Thanksgiving sounds like it was lovely! Shame on Baily for spoiling your change at sandwiches! I, on the other hand, have reached my turkey saturation point.

Anonymous said...

I saw a play at the Globe (awesome). I also visited the famous prison (name escapes me). I spent a week in Kent at the university. I helped run programs for kids whose parents were at a missionary conference. I woke up every morning to a view of the cathedral.