Another week of contrasts here. It’s been quite windy (hence the bluster). At first I kind of enjoyed it. Trekking to my car in the wind and planting my pansies on my covered balcony while the light rain came down. The low clouds in the sky and the occasional colorful wintery sunrise that reminds me of the Charley Brown Christmas show. Coming home to warm up with a hot chocolate that baby nearly never let me finish with her constant demands to be picked up. No, she’s not spoiled, not at all. But the novelty wore off quickly. And the days were just gray with occasional sunny spots. And when you’re already a bit down, gray is not a good color.
As Thursday (US Thanksgiving) rolled around, I was a bit out of sorts. Knowing my country was not working at all and preparing all manner of good food. Whereas I was out teaching my whopping one class smack in the middle of the day. I’d hesitated all week about whether to invite my American co-worker for a little meal. My apartment wasn’t clean enough, my cooking’s not stellar. There will always be excuses. But at the last minute I said, who cares, let’s celebrate this thing.
And so like in those hokey holiday episodes that all TV shows seem to feel obligated to produce, we had a meal and laughed and smiled (no sappy holiday music was played, however). Remi and Nicky (my over six foot tall ex-basketball player coworker) had some good-natured bantering about French and US food. So my imported Stovetop Stuffing was more lukewarm than hot but all in all it was a good imitation of Thanksgiving. Mom’s import-export business is still going strong and besides the stuffing we enjoyed a quick-mix gravy, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie (although the pumpkin part I’d already cooked from a pumpkin from Remi’s garden). And of course turkey breasts. And to top it off, some Hershey Kisses (again, thanks to mom). Those Mint Truffle ones are addictive. Remi can’t understand the Anglo-Saxon obsession with mint chocolate, so there were more for Nicky and me!
Although Remi is very open to celebrating this decidedly North American holiday, I have to say the presence of another American who likes to reminisce about all those foods we miss and our traditions, made it feel more like a real Thanksgiving. Now if I could just convince the French to give me this day off in the future…