27 Nov 2012

Thanksgiving Feast

So maybe this is old news as Thanksgiving was last Thursday, but I still feel it's necessary to grace this special day with a blog post.  Better late than never and all that jazz.

After celebrating Canadian Thanksgiving a month or so ago with some Canadian friends in Paris (which, admittedly, was rather scrumptious), it was finally time to celebrate (real) Thanksgiving with the Americans.  And since 85% of the people I work with hail from the US, celebrating Thanksgiving was sort of a no-brainer.  It's the highlight of the year for most Americans, and being an American in Paris certainly wasn't going to spoil the fun.  Although I did find myself asking what exactly it is that the Americans are giving thanks for (despite being a half-breed myself).  Surely it isn't just an excuse to eat nice food and be merry?  I thought I'd do some research...

It was originally a religious celebration, but much like Christmas, the true meaning has been frosted over by secularism.  The notion of Thanksgiving has been around since 1621, celebrated by Pilgrims and Native Americans after a successful harvest.  But times have changed and this spontaneous gathering of ''Thanks'' held atop green hills has failed to transfer to the modern day (a third of American adults are obese...that plus hills is never a great mix.)  It wasn't until October 3rd 1863 that Abraham Lincoln proclaimed, by Act of Congress, an annual National Day of Thanksgiving "on the last Thursday of November, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens.''  A time for families to come together and give Thanks to the Lord for all the blessings received over the past year.  Or an excuse to kill a bird, eat yourself into a coma, and forget to say Grace.  You see where I'm coming from.  And I still find it difficult to get my head around the fact that we all receive presents at Christmas.  I mean, imagine planning a huge 21st birthday party and all your friends come bringing a multitude of gifts.  You then realise that they've brought gifts for everyone apart from you, and ignore you most of, if not all of, the evening.  I think you'd be pretty bummed.  Yet God is a lot more gracious than we could ever aspire to be; another reason to be thankful.

Thanksgiving started off like any other day here at the IHT until around 2pm when editors and journalists came flooding in with blow-up Turkeys (getting in the spirit of things!), Thanksgiving style napkins with pictures of Turkeys on them, festive tablecloths and mysterious food hiding beneath lots of tin foil.  We decided to go ahead with ''pot luck'' which essentially involves hoping and praying that there will be enough food for everyone (without knowing who will come), as well as having faith that we won't end up having 20 birds and no dessert.  Fortunately for us, a very kind member of the newsroom offered to organise Turkey, gravy and stuffing (or the French equivalent) which essentially looks like thickly sliced spam which I think comes in at number 1 (narrowly beating school dinners) in the ''I wouldn't feed this to my pet'' category.  But apart from the ludicrous stuffing, I had officially died and gone to food heaven.  The creamiest mashed potatoes, the tastiest sweet patatas, beautifully dressed green beans, sautéed mushrooms, roasted root vegetables oozing with garlic, home-made cranberry sauce, cornbread (my taste buds still can't work out whether this is supposed to be sweet or savoury), quiche, red wine, macaroons, pumpkin pie, individual pecan pies, brownies (made by yours truly)...red wine. 

You get my point.  And it didn't matter that we were all eating off flimsy paper plates, or that gravy spillages were snaking around the newsroom, or that the food was lukewarm, because it definitely makes a gourmet change from Emmental omelettes and wilting salad.  

Watch this space.



  1. and while some are eating till they blow up there stomachs others are hard at work... lol

    1. hehe, you could have come up and joined in on the fun ;)