Last year I embarked on my overseas travel to few countries across the ocean. I went to few places that I really wanted to visit in mind and others were based on spontaneity, invites from friends and other circumstances. As for thanksgiving, an American friend I met while I was in university invited me to celebrate it with her family in Colorado, USA. So I made sure that I was in Colorado then.
Few days before thanksgiving, I arrived in the US. My friend picked me up from Denver airport and took me to her house and introduced me to her family in Fort Collins.
That was my first American experience, staying in American house and eating American food. She was trying to give me as much American experiences as she could; especially in terms of food because she knew how much I love food.
While I was there, I had 3 thanksgiving celebrations. The first was thanksgiving night with her church where chilli was the main meal and the congregations were asked to bring dessert. On American thanksgiving, there were countless pies available from classic apple pie, pumpkin pie, pecan pie, blueberry pie, cherry pie to chocolate pie. I wanted to try everything but my stomach could not cope with my heart desire. American pies were sweet but they were yummy and certainly would satisfy your sweet tooth.
The second thanksgiving was with my friend’s family. It was a decadent meal with entree, main and dessert – more pies for sure. Two turkey served with potato and sweet potato sides, corn bread casserole, green beans casserole, spinach casserole and Hawaian bread rolls served as main. Wine, eggnog and apple cider was generously provided. and the main think was that all the family member were present and their good friends whose family were far away were invited. It was nice that even stranger like me was treated nicely. The gathering lasted till late and we end it with games.
My third thanksgiving meal was a lunch at her parents in law’s place. They surely took this to the next level. The meal was taken longer than expected and while waiting for the meal we were playing a fun game and munching on entree. The star of the menu was turkducken that took hours to cook! It was massive! Served with cornbread casserole, green beans casserole, stuffings, salad, buns, cranberry sauce and gravy. I could not remember what we had for dessert; I was stuffed from the main meal. After meal, we tell stories, jokes until everybody feels tired and sleepy. And as if all those party meal were not enough, she taught me how American have their Cinnamon buns and Cookies (dough).
I really appreciated my thanksgiving experience; with family came together, having well prepared meal, being thankful for each others and the blessings they have had and eating to your heart content. It was a wonderful experience and I was very grateful for my friend for giving me such experience and kind hospitality.
Now I am back in New Zealand hearing my friends posting things about thanksgiving, reading thanksgiving recipes posts, receiving letters from Canadian friends about their preparation for thanksgiving and remembering my thanksgiving experience in the US. I cannot help but started counting my blessings and hoping that this year somehow… I can celebrate thanksgiving with friends and loved ones. Perhaps it is just a wishful thought, but I will still indulge in it.
On that thanksgiving, I had the North American snow for the first time; snow that thick enough that I could feel it, walk on it and play with it. They took me to Rocky mountain for real Colorado experience and we found some mountain goat on our way. Big thanks to my friend for a great thanksgiving and Colorado experience.