I hope you noticed the plural there, because I had not one, but TWO Thanksgivings this year, which I’m pretty thankful for. Since everyone has moved on to Christmas already, I’ll keep my anecdotes brief.
Thanksgiving Round 1: The Host Family (they lived in the US for 6 years, so they’ve had a few Thanksgivings)
Culture Shock Moment: My host mom was astounded when she read that the turkey was not only going to cook for 3 1/2 hours, but it was also supposed to sit for 30 minutes after it finished cooking. However, we also had a French-style aperitif, so by the time we actually sat down to eat almost everything was cold. We agreed that whoever made the recipe hadn’t accounted for aperitif (probably because they weren’t French, since, you know, Thanksgiving).
Cooking Incidents: Condensed milk instead of evaporated milk in the pumpkin pie, which meant it was just a leeeeeettle too sweet. AKA I couldn’t finish my piece, but it didn’t stop me from picking at the leftovers all weekend. / My mom’s Italian Sausage Stuffing recipe became a French Sausage Stuffing made with baguettes, but it was still delicious!
Drink count: 2 glasses of champagne, two glasses of wine, then two glasses of Perrier because wait how can I feel tipsy when I’ve eaten this much?
Thanksgiving Round 2: American (and Canadian and British and Australian) Au Pairs… and a different French host family
Culture Shock Moment: Canadian au pairs insisting they were celebrating “Fake Thanksgiving” since apparently Canada’s Thanksgiving is in October. LOL right, whose Thanksgiving came first and also, who cares about Canada… at all?
Cooking Incidents: What kind of potatoes should I buy for mashed potatoes? / Oops, I forgot to put olive oil on the roasted veggies. / Wait, did anyone set a timer for that? / Does anyone have a meat thermometer? / Were you still planning on cooking something here? Because we’re about to start eating. / Yeah whatever, Valerie, you think you’re special because you showed up here with your stuffing all done and ready to go? (Yes.)
Drink Count: 3 glasses of wine, 1 cup French Press coffee
And to finish up, almost a week late but here are some of the things I’m thankful for: well-illustrated children’s books, the classic December “Santa threat”, headphones, international calling and skype, a mother who will listen to even the most inane details of my life, friends who haven’t forgotten about me even though I’m in France, new friends who keep me sane, blog readers who are understanding of my inability to post in any relevant time frame!