This post is a bit (um… 2 months) late, but I have my reasons. Not the least of which is the fact that December seems to breeze by, especially when Christmas is the crux of your work schedule. And January… well you’ve all borne witness to my radio silence this month.
But it’s more than that. I’m having a hard time finding something clever or even interesting to say about Thanksgiving this year, perhaps because I’ve posted about Thanksgiving many times already. Thanksgiving as an expat is a completely different holiday than it is when you are close enough to go home to your family… and when it’s a national holiday.
This year, I had two Thanksgivings: one giant one that surpassed even my biggest Thanksgiving, hosted by a friend who lives outside of Paris, and one much smaller Thanksgiving — just me and The Country Boy. After two previous Thanksgivings that had ended in sensory overload for my poor Frenchman, I decided to make the traditional meal for just the two of us, so that we could celebrate in the language we speak best: franglais.
The first Thanksgiving, celebrated the Sunday before the real Big Day, was a franglais occasion as well. We had hot mulled cider and negronis to start, as well as some truly fantastic confit pigs’ ears, which I do not have a picture of because they were all gobbled up.
We had rabbit pâté and were warned to look out for stray shot. I didn’t stumble upon any, but knowing how fresh these rillettes were made them even more delicious, somehow.
We had truly fantastic stuffing and lobster mac and cheese that the Country Boy raved about. Considering that he’s a blue box fanatic, it’s not surprising that he fell for the real thing.
There were also salads, which were quite welcome, and four turkeys: two deep-fried and two smoked. Each more delicious than the next and neither of which I photographed, though I do have footage of the deep-frying somewhere in the recesses of my Smartphone. Suffice to say, it was pretty extraordinary as far as Thanksgivings go, and perhaps the closest I’ve ever come to the atmosphere that was Thanksgiving before I took it over, before it became a holiday I was in charge of instead of a holiday I attended and broke opened tubes of Grands biscuits for.
This being the case, I did make Thanksgiving for myself and the Country Boy. We barely made a dent in all the food. There was chicken and mashed potatoes, of course. A stuffing that I intended to make with chestnuts, then forgot; instead, it was celery and onion and bread and delicious, delicious chicken juice, which I finally made myself, because I had the oven space and because I had the time — TCB wasn’t rushing me, and I wasn’t rushing myself, thinking about having people over.
Anyway. I don’t have much else to say about Thanksgiving this year. It’s come and gone, and so has Christmas. Working in food took some of the magic out of it for me this year, as did having my pool of fellow expats quickly dwindling. But that’s OK. I like to think the Country Boy enjoys Thanksgiving just as much as we do… even if he doesn’t quite get cranberry sauce.