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.