My favorite one day holiday has arrived: Thanksgiving! This Thursday will be the fifth year in a row that I haven’t sat around a big turkey with my family, and I really miss Thanksgivings in Maine. The holiday used to be like a religion for me and realizing all too late that it’s not even celebrated here was hard to handle; but it’s gotten easier.
First and foremost Thanksgiving in Europe is different because I am without my family. The concept, however, stays the same: gratefulness. Obviously you want to always be aware of all the good things in your life but we all can get so caught up in life that it’s hard to acknowledge our blessings on a daily basis. Thanksgiving is just a day that makes you stop and count them, makes you slow down and realize. I was always lucky to be surrounded by family: proof that I have a lot of things to be thankful for. Now I’m thankful for Skype so I can “be with” my loved ones from home.
And you know I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the food. Thanksgiving is really a feast. The best part about it is that it’s homemade. I used to love watching my parents in the kitchen bouncing around boiling pots, rising bread, and roasting turkey. And Germany has some great food but for the first two years here the main entrée of my attempt at an American Thanksgiving was chicken (gasp!). That’s right, turkey isn’t real common around here and the proof is in the price: our turkey this year, about 15 pounds, is going to cost around 60 Euros (that’s about 80 dollars)!! Baking pies is an adventure (their baking dishes are more designed for their traditional torts and cakes) and I have to have my pumpkin puree and Stove Top stuffing shipped over from the homeland.
This year, we Americans are really bringing the tradition in full force: we are having the whole team over for the feast. That’s 17 people in total! Yikes. Luckily one of our team sponsors is a butcher and he’s volunteered to cook the bird for us (phew). I have learned a lot from watching my family cook when I was little and I have made a few mini-Thanksgivings myself but this year will be the mother load. I’ve had a lot of fun planning it and I’m excited/nervous to see the finished product.
Stuffing (boxed and homemade)
Sweet potatoes in brown sugar
Tollhouse cookie pie
Recently Christmas has crept into my “favorite holiday” spot because I get to spend it with my family and friends in Maine but Thanksgiving is a big part of that, too. It’s the unofficial start of my countdown to home. Before that happens though, I am excited to be a part of some of many of my teammates first Thanksgivings. Most of them will be tasting stuffing and pumpkin pie for the first time and I bet by the end of the meal those two things will be on the list of what they’re thankful for. Stuffing is most definitely somewhere on mine!