Today is Thanksgiving Day in America. A day to give thanks for the many blessings in our lives. A day spent with family. A day spent over eating, unbuttoning our pants and falling asleep in front of the TV.
A typical day in our home on Thanksgiving consists of getting up a but early to prepare the turkey. While the oven preheats, the bird is washed. Celery and onions sauté in a hot pan of butter to be added to our family stuffing recipe. I can smell it now! The turkey, who I usually give a name, lets call him Henry, is filled with the most flavorful stuffing ever. Henry is seasoned and placed to roast in the oven, occasionally to be basted throughout the day.
Many side dishes are premade the day before. Dishes to accompany Henry in many American households consist of mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes (with or without Marshmellows- this seems to be the biggest quandary when explaining to non Americans why on earth we would put marshmellows on sweet potatoes), green bean casserole, cranberries (homemade or canned), deviled eggs and perhaps a salad of some sort.
For dessert the traditional pies of pecan and pumpkin are served alongside coffee. In our home an additional German Chocolate cake or Carrot cake may also be served.
The day is spent preparing food, laughing, snacking on appetizers, kids running and watching the Macy's Day parade. The Christmas season has finally arrived when Santa Claus arrives on the boulevard, ending the parade about noon. American football is then watched throughout the day. If we can stay awake, we close the day by watching National Lampoons Christmas Vacation
Our family typically eats around 4 o'clock in the afternoon. Henry is precarved, not brought to the table in all his glory as the movies portray. Side dishes are brought alongside Henry on the kitchen counter where everyone serves themselves. Then you head to the family dining table where a blessing is said. The first bite of turkey makes you scream "Oh Henrry!" While we eat we also go around the table and say something we are thankful for.
I am not sitting at the table this year, but I can pretend. Here is what I am thankful for; the love and support of my family to us and some very dear friends this past year. It has been an extremely difficult year for us personally. Two tragic events have divided our family in ways no one could fathom in combination with our international move. The support we received during it all from dear friends meant the world to us! It is during those times you learn who is friend and who is foe. Thank you to my family and our dear friends! I am thankful to my brothers wife, whom I adore more than words can say and to their baby girl, who has given me the most joy. I am thankful to be her Aunt!
I am also thankful for the new friends I have met in Moscow and for the opportunity to live here. It is not easy by any means! But my friends have made it a lot more fun and interesting. I have not laughed so much in a long time! They are medicine to my soul.
So we say thank you for the many blessings we have been given, for the past year and the year ahead. What are YOU thankful for? What are some of the foods you celebrate with? What traditions do you hold in this Thanksgiving Day? Please share!
With love and gratitude we say...Happy Thanksgiving!