I remember spending only two Thanksgivings away from home. The first was in the fourth grade, I think, when my parents and I road-tripped to Florida to meet dad’s side of the family—my uncle, my aunt, and my only girl cousin. We arrived at our Pensacola condo only to learn that the others were trapped in a snowstorm with little to no probability of escaping their Tulsa confines. Needless to say, it was a quiet Thanksgiving. (And no, I will never tell you where or what we ate for dinner.) The second was in the eighth grade when my parents and I spent the break in Spain while my dad played in a golf tournament. I don’t recall exactly what we ate for the Big Day. That Thursday I might have been bedridden with a high fever, or I perhaps ate a meal of paella. With the exception of my fourth-grade memory, I have always looked forward to and enjoyed Thanksgiving. It has always been one of the few holidays where I can just relax with family, friends, good food, and good conversation—no gifts, no pressure.
This Thanksgiving will certainly go down in “the books”—or, more accurately, my blog—as one of my most memorable. While I cannot say that this was my first Thanksgiving away from home nor that it was my first in a foreign country, I can say that it was MY first dinner. Seth and I made the turkey, the (out-of-bird) stuffing, the mashed potatoes, the giblet gravy, the green bean casserole, the mashed sweet potatoes, and the pumpkin pies all by ourselves. Of course, we could not have done it without my mom, who so kindly mailed us four cans of Libby’s 100% pumpkin, two large cans of sweet potatoes, and a bag of pecans, or without Seth’s mom, who so kindly e-mailed us her recipes for stuffing and green bean casserole. Despite our lack of a proper carving knife or a meat thermometer, the turkey was near-perfect (if a little salty due to its pre-brined condition). The stuffing was flavorful; the mashed potatoes were smooth; the gravy was thick and creamy; the green bean casserole was a welcome, hearty shade of green (if a bit picante for our guests’ tastes); the sweet potatoes were rich and decadent; and the pumpkin pies were the ideal ending. Among all of the dishes, the stuffing and the sweet potatoes seemed to be the stars of the show; our Colombian guests raved!
We had seven guests in total, not including Seth or yours truly. A couple stayed the whole time, but most came and went. We ate dinner, drank beer (Colombian, American, and Mexican!), chatted, took photos, and watched a few games of college football. The day was everything I hoped it would be and more. In other words, we have leftovers!