Saturday, November 27, 2010

Seventh Word: Thank

thank: O.E. þancian "to give thanks," from Proto-Germanic *thankojan, from *thankoz "thought, gratitude," from PIE base *tong- "to think, feel.

I'm writing this post as I eat some Thanksgiving left-overs and look out at our snow-covered castle. For anyone who knows me, these left-overs would not be on my list of favorite foods (greenbean casserole, sweet potato casserole, haggis) but the comfort and nostalgia they bring (besides the haggis, I guess) are what make these Thanksgiving foods an exception.

Alex and I hosted seven other people for dinner and two others joined us for dessert. We managed to fit eleven people into this tiny flat! Much to my surprise, the dinner went by with out any significant disaster. Ok, we broke the bowl all the mashed potatoes were in, the turkey was done an hour before all the guests arrived, and Alex forgot to take out the giblets :) But everything tasted so good! Here's a basic rundown of the foodstuffs:

-a 9-10lb turkey, not dry and very delicious
-mashed potatoes and gravy
-excellent green bean casserole
-sweet potato casserole
-corn pudding

We were blessed with a diversity of cultures at our meal: American (Jason's from Mississippi which is definitely a different culture than ours up north), Scottish, English, and Belgian. Our Scottish landlords' son brought some haggis. It was so tasty! It went perfectly will all the other flavors we had. If we can find some good stuff in the US it might make an appearance at next year's feast (beware, families!). For dessert, I made a pumpkin pie, Jason brought chess pie, which as far as I can tell is like a butter tart, and pecan pie (we had trouble deciding how to pronounce "pecan." pee-can, pee-canpee-cahn, or pih-cahn).

Our Belgian friend made delicious truffles, and Sydney (an American) brought marshmallows, graham crackers, and Hershey's chocolate. Our British friends brought whisky to add to black tea (apparently a typical Christmas drink where they are from...not even the Scots had heard of it). Every non-American there was given a s'more to eat :) I think they liked them. I know they thought they were ridiculous and messy. Also, none of them believed us about why they are called s'mores!

We played a few rounds of Telephone Pictionary and Balderdash (remember, we're in a Linguistics program!), which was full of raucous hilarity. And the best part of the evening? SNOW! It was the first snowfall of the season and they were beautiful fluffy flakes! I went out to the roof right below us and made a snow angel :) It was magical:

The best part is that the snow is still here! (I'll admit, I listened to Christmas music this morning.) And we're supposed to get more tonight.

Thanksgiving is such a great holiday, especially for the food, but last night, five cultures came together and shared food traditions and stories of holiday feasts and I think we all felt pretty thankful for being together. Most of us were displaced from our families back home and it felt good to be a part of a family again. Alex and I missed our families, of course, but our family over here is pretty cool too. 

My "Say What?" in this post comes from an interesting cultural difference that was mentioned last night:

We were all talking about childhood memories and Alex brought up "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles." Ben, who is from England, noted that Brits must be more cautious about tv violence than Americans because when he was growing up it was called "Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles."

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