Thanksgiving, Part II

Yesterday Markus and I left Annie with the just-arrived grandparents (Nana and Grandpa Drew) and went to our friend’s place for a U.S. Thanksgiving dinner.

Nicole and Tom are from California. Tom is working here at a high-tech company and Nicole is learning German (I met her in class) and looking for work.

We arrived with our wine and a salad and a dessert in tow to be greeted by the most delicious turkey smell that sent me right back to holiday dinners of my childhood. There was a great mix of people: two Canadians, three Americans and the rest Austrian or German, including three children to fill in the required giggle complement. The conversations switched between German and English with topics flowing from politics to wine to work to travel.

We also had some stomach-splitting laughs. My favourite was (and this next part is kid-unfriendly drunken bawdiness) when Tina, a Marketing professor from San Diego, and Nicole shared an obviously inside joke from days gone by, by toasting with “up yours!” instead of Prost! or Cheers! One of the German speakers didn’t quite get the phrasing, and the next round he toasted with the much more x-rated, “Up your ass!” This quickly deteriorated into Ring of Fire comments. Ah, to be drunk and able to make sarcastic juvenile jokes in my native tongue. Loved it.

But the greatest things was the food. Oh my goodness, was it spectacular. Nicole had ordered a turkey, as you can’t buy a whole bird in the stores. Roasting an entire turkey just isn’t a tradition here. There was apparently some tension, as the small Euro oven just barely fit the turkey, but Nicole managed to squeeze it in.

As well as the juicy bird there was mashed potatoes, mushrooms baked in filo, Brussel sprouts, cheese-covered cauliflower, and amazing homemade stuffing and gravy. I ate so much my stomach hurt, and then I ate some more. Just as Thanksgiving is supposed to be. For dessert there was a sort of apple-looking-cake-thing (they don’t have pie here) cobbler, whipping cream and ice-cream. I sigh in satisfaction just thinking about it.

It sure made me miss my old life. But as long as I can carve out these occasional home-styled moments, perhaps that will be enough.

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