So last Friday morning, before our "at home party", one would think that relaxing or last minute preparations would be on the list... but not at our home. I was already up early that morning preparing for the following day for our third annual "Thanksgiving in Germany" meal. We have several friends that lived in the States for some time and came to know and love that wonderful "day of eating", so we decided to carry on the tradition... that and my friend "C" really loves to cook. (she worked at a cooking magazine here in Germany writing recipes before the kiddies came along, so you know it was yum-deli-icious!)
I guess I have come to miss some of the conveniences and products that are offered in the U.S. to the just downright lazy folks.... such as ready made pie crusts where you just prepare the filling and pour it into the crust. And let's not forget about canned pumpkin... besides, who ever heard of cooking the pumpkin yourself for the filling?!? (I hope the sarcasm is obvious) But oh, no... that just wouldn't do for our meal (not to mention that these things are not available here). Nope, homemade pie crust with fresh pumpkin puree, provided by "C" as a Christmas present to me.
I love using fresh ingredients when cooking, especially herbs, and this years stuffing was quite tasty. It is an interesting transition to go from being a "partaker" of the best meal of the year to becoming a "preparer"of. These past three years, I have presented a few "flops" to the dinner table, but have learned what I want to do differently for the next year. And while this year's offerings were quite tasty, I cannot boast and say that I have arrived at the level of "taste's just like grandma's" yet. (Big shoes to fill, you know)
But I think that this year we really captured what the Thanksgiving meal is all about. Sure, we got to enjoy a meal that is so yummy that you ask yourself, "how does the rest of the world make it having never tasted a meal that is so divine?" (ignorance is bliss, I guess)...
But beyond all that, for me, Thanksgiving is about family. Even though mine feels like a million miles away, the people that we chose to surround ourselves with for the evening have become my family here. You know the kind of people you can completely be yourself around, no masks or surface faces worn here. Which leaves one not having to look too far to come up with the reasons why one is thankful in the first place.