I have a pumpkin pie in the oven. It smells like Thanksgiving even though it doesn't' feel like it. The weather here is hot and sunny--tropical. I miss the weather in Minnesota. You can take the girl out of Minnesota, but you can't take the Minnesota out of the girl. On tv, when I see people wearing winter coats, I can hardly remember people out there actually have coats!
Today we are invited to dinner at the Ambassador's house. A cozy dinner for 25; but honestly I would rather be cooking the entire dinner by myself for my closest friends. I cooked my first Thanksgiving dinner in 1990, when we moved to Texas. Before that, I always had Thanksgiving at my grandmothers and later at my parents house. The first time I had to cook the turkey it was quite amusing. I think I called my Mom 10 times to get advise about the giblets, the gravy, the timing, everything. After a few years of practice, I got pretty good at it. Here are a few of my favorite Thanksgiving memories. Enjoy and have a wonderful day! I miss you all.
First Texas Thanksgiving 1990: Made all the food with lots of telephone advice from Mom in Minnesota. Was thrilled to have a fireplace for the first time, so we made a nice fire. Unfortunately, it was about 90 degrees that day in Austin, so we put on shorts and turned the a/c on and enjoyed the fire that way!!
First Thanksgiving in Germany 1997: Invited neighbors, friends, and strangers who wanted to experience a traditional American Thanksgiving. Cooked dinner for about 15 people. Had to use my every-day Corelle dishes, because that's the only thing I had with 15 matching plates! Had to borrow tables and chairs from everyone. The most challenging part was trying to coordinate the food. I had a very small oven, so I had to use the ovens of everyone nearby so I had to figure out what side dish was at which house and when it would be finished and how to get everything on the table! The German guests thought it was quite strange that I served fruit salad with the meal. I had to convince them to try it, as they felt it was only for dessert. I assured them that we had pumpkin pie for dessert! Everyone had a great time. It was especially meaningful to explain to them that on Thanksgiving, all Americans are pretty much doing the same thing and eating the same foods. They don't have such a holiday in Germany.
First Thanksgiving back from Germany 1999: Dave (my ex) had left for California by then. Ryan was in college in Philadelphia, Angela was in college in College Station. It was just Laura and I. We were shell-shocked from moving back from Germany and without any family. I decided to make the whole dinner anyway; just for the two of us. Honestly, it was the saddest Thanksgiving ever. We had all this food, but no family or friends to share it with. I felt like I went to all the work but the joy was just not there. We had leftovers for weeks and I really wish we would have invited some homeless people to the table. That Thanksgiving reminded me that the holiday is all about Family and close friends.
This year I'll be at the Ambassador's house with my colleagues. I'll let you know how it goes.