Some Thoughts on Thanksgiving

Americans everywhere from the homeland to abroad celebrated Thanksgiving last Thursday. This is my fourth Thanksgiving in France. I don’t remember what I did for the first, the second I threw a little party at the English Institute I used to work for, the third I was more ambitious and cooked a traditional meal for my in-laws including pumpkin pie and a cheese ball.

The first year is the most telling: I don’t give much thought to Thanksgiving. For much of my adult life I’ve lived far from my family. Only occasionally, I returned home. Sometimes I went out with friends. One year I made pizza and stuffing, because that’s what I wanted.

We all know Thanksgiving is a time for family, a time for sharing, giving, spending time with people you love and a parade.

It seemed kind of pointless to celebrate Thanksgiving this year. I’m all alone. I have class. And yes, I could make an entire Thanksgiving dinner with turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, homemade gravy, green bean casserole et al. But I don’t need all that food, and I don’t have that much time to spend cooking. Not to mention no room in my fridge for left-overs.

Yet, I still found myself Thanksgiving week with a giant turkey leg, sweet potatoes, green beans, mushrooms, garlic and onions.

I’m not kidding about the gigantic size of this turkey leg. I didn’t think there were turkeys this big in France.

Mashed sweet potatoes, sautéed green beans with mushrooms and sliced almonds, and homemade gravy. Finished off with a baguette and cheese.

There was no ceremony here, just a woman alone, enjoying a warm meal reminiscent of a holiday everyone else would be celebrating in two days. If that doesn’t sound depressing I don’t know what does.

Never fear, I have many more uplifting restaurant reviews and recipes coming.

About Holly

I love food and wine.
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6 comments


  1. Mom

    We really missed you and Greg on Thanksgiving. One of these years, we will have to be together and celebrate. We had a wonderful time with Brooke and Rakib, but there was a definite void without you there. Especially because a 24 lb turkey with only 4 people = a lot of leftovers!

    • Sadly, I don’t know when we’ll be able to come back for Thanksgiving. The vacation days don’t line up with it. Unless we come back early November and you want to do Thanksgiving on the first week. :) I wonder if you could overnight me some stuffing…

  2. WOW that turkey leg is HUGE! At least you ate well :) I still remember Thanksgiving at your house a few years ago, that was a great time; the food was incredible!

  3. Do you have any favorite green bean recipes? They are my absolute favorite veggie and I’m always looking for fun / semi-healthy (or fully healthy…FINE) ways to prep.

    Glad you had a good thanksgiving (and the food looked yummy!)

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