Thursday, November 23, 2006

Corn and Fish.

Another Thanksgiving spent miles away from the country that raised me on turkey, pumpkin pie and the joy of throwing around the ole pigskin on a brisk fall day in November. Of all holidays I think I find Thanksgiving the hardest to be away from family and friends back in the states.

This holiday to me is more important than all other holidays in America. Thanksgiving doesn’t take in account religion or race. It is a rare time in a vacation skint country where Americans get two full days off to spend time with their families, gorge themselves on good home cooking and relax.

It’s a time of year I find hard being so far away, but I’m making do with my own mini feast this Saturday with a stuffed turkey, green bean salad, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce and thanks to the help of a charming colleague, pumpkin pie for dessert.

I’ve had to field a lot of questions from my British friends about this strange American tradition.

Brit: So do you give each other presents?

Me: No. We just eat a lot and watch American football on t.v.

Brit: So where does the tradition of thanksgiving actually come from?

Me: Well, they teach us in school about how the Pilgrims and the Indians came together for a big feast. The Indians taught the Pilgrims how to plant corn and the Pilgrims taught the Indians how to fish.

Brit: I have a hard time believing the Indians still didn’t know how to fish at this point.

Me: Yeah, you’re right. I think it was more along the lines of the Indians taught the pilgrims how to grow corn by planting it with a fish.

Skeptic Brit: Uh huh….

Me: Well, I know there’s something to do with corn and fish and a big feast.

Brit: Ok.

Me: But of course in reality it was like hey Indian, show me how to plant corn. Thanks. Now here’s a musket in your face and a blanket of small pox. But yeah, pumpkin pie rocks.

So come to think of it, perhaps I don’t deserve to be over in the states for Turkey day

Check out my recollections of Thanksgiving pasts in last years past


Anonymous said...

I am also an American who lives in Nottingham, also having bemused British friends for a Thanksgiving feast today. I keep trying to train them that it's an all day event during which one has to eat more or less continuously. They keep acting like it's a pleasant dinner party.

I'm a school teacher, so I've read up on the "first Thanksgiving" story. Squanto was the friendly Indian who helped the pilgrims; he's been to England and could speak English. The puritans had just brought some useless wheat and started dying in droves. The Indians had to help them with just about everything. Apparently it wasn't until some time later that muskets got involved.

Danielle said...

I would miss it too. Especially the mashed sweet potatoes and time off of work.

You were in my dream last night, and you were cooking. I pulled you away from the stove to tell you that I was being stalked by a man who was known as the Playground Killer. Oddly enough, I woke up feeling comforted, because I had seen you.

Anonymous said...

Where did you find canned pumpkin? I'm desperate for some.

Lauren said...

waitrose in newark Mr Johnson

Anonymous said...

Hullo, from the land of the Pilgrims, Lauren. Sorry you didn't have the traditional Yank feast, but more sorry that you missed the start of a brand new tradition: The First Annual Black Friday Champagne-O-Rama, brought to you by Belle of the Ball Productions and RiehleCool Productions. You'd have loved it. Miss Ondine will be posting pics soon. Hope you and the boy are doing well. Have a lovely Christmas, as well. Cheers, Jamie