Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Swede, neep or rutabaga?

Our third Thanksgiving is nearly upon us.

To my non-American readers, one cannot express the importance of this holiday enough. Even if families cannot get together for the Christmas holiday (which here is that day only, no Boxing Day), a supreme effort is made to unite the family for the Thanksgiving feast. Families travel huge distances to be with one another on the last Thursday in November, to sit down over a gigantic meal (see below) then fall asleep during the traditional football (American version) game on TV. The origin is related to the deliverance of the English settlers by Native Americans following the severe winter in Plymouth, Massachusetts

The Canadian’s too celebrate their own Thanksgiving, on the second Monday in October, reflecting the link to the English equivalent of Harvest Festival. Here in the US it is a Federal Holiday and as it always falls on a Thursday, the Friday is very often included so that a long weekend can be enjoyed by the family.

It didn’t take long for our son and daughter-in-law to determine that Thanksgiving would be held traditionally at our home. That isn’t a problem for my wife Gail, who loves “mothering” the extended family and is more than happy to cook for six (quite a small gathering really). The day starts off with me sprawled in front of the TV (there’s not that much to do whilst the turkey is cooking, at least that’s my excuse), to watch the magical annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade held in New York. It truly is a great couple of hours entertainment and although similar parades are held in cities throughout the land, Macy’s is the regarded as the best.

The Menu
We shall be having the traditional turkey with all the fixin’s – green beans, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, etc. but with two additional fixin’s. With three of the six being of English birth, we must have roast potatoes (in lieu of sweet potatoes) and our daughter-in-law’s family tradition is to have mashed rutabaga [or as the English call than Swedes, the Scottish, neeps], so we include that. The traditional dessert [pudding] is pumpkin pie, something I thought I would not enjoy, but I do! We will also have an alternate choice, probably blueberry and maybe cherry pie. On a day when I (and nobody else) will be watching their waistline, I might just have them all!

On a more thoughtful note. As much as I enjoy the traditional feast, I do realize that we have a huge amount to be thankful for. My thoughts and prayers are with those who for one reason or other cannot be with their kinfolk, or worse haven’t the food to fill their bodies or a roof over their head – and there are many of them in this, the richest nation in the world!

I shall have a lie-in on Friday. However, Gail will be up before the sun to grab the bargains (or attempt to) in the "Black Friday" sales. But that's another story.

Happy Thanksgiving!


Maggie said...

Happy thanksgiving, Mick and Gail.

Lyn F. said...

Oh, do enjoy your Friday morning lie-in, Mick! I won't be shopping either; I've got music to practice ...