Thursday, November 25, 2010

Madrid: Thanksgiving Overseas

Thanksgiving. Similar to every American, I love everything about it: the food, family togetherness, football season, pie night, you name it.  Something I have learned for now the second year in a row: being away from home and family truly makes you thankful for everything you have.  It is a unique and refining experience.

Thanksgiving last year:

Changzhou, China.  Just-add-water corn, potatoes, and stuffing.  Looks disgusting.  And quite frankly it was.  But in that moment it was delicious. Much better than the *ahem* food we were eating in the school cafeteria everyday . . . 

Seaweed and gelatin tofu-ness.  Don't get me wrong- I love tofu.  
But this and the chicken feet were a little much.
Completely worth every bad meal though to be able to get to know these stinkers:

Love them. Miss them.

Thanksgiving this year:

Went to the downtown market and did the best I could at pulling together a traditional home-made Thanksgiving meal.  [Boo for no cranberries, supermercado.]  From bottom-left going clockwise: mashed potatoes, apple pie, sweet potatoes, oven-roasted chicken (wasn't quite ready to attempt the turkey by myself), and stuffing.  Everything off of Mama's blog- isn't the world wide web something special?  Spent a few hours with Alex (The live-in maid, who refused to have her photo taken.) trying to make everything delicious and perfect.  Of course, I was looking forward to a great meal, but what I really wanted was for the Fernandez family to have an ideal taste of what a true Thanksgiving is.  

Here we are.  The whole family (with Christina recently returned from a foreign exchange in Ohio). They asked me to show them a traditional Thanksgiving like I would have in the Foster home. This was something new for me, and a great opportunity.  We prayed, we each shared what we were thankful for, and we ate.  A lot.  To my utmost happiness and relief, they loved the food.  It was their first time for yams and stuffing.  The stuffing was an absolute hit!  Which has always been my personal favorite as well.  The family continued to thank me for sharing this custom with them and told me it would be a family memory they would have forever. 

And one last thing . . . 
Birthday girl this year (today):

Mother. Missing her delicious and incredible Thanksgiving feast.  Missing her pies.  Missing her stories, her humor, her funny whistling noise she makes.  Missing my travel buddy and best friend.  Another obvious reason to be thankful.  

*  *  *

All in all:
I am thankful, I am happy, and life is good.
Happy Thanksgiving.
With love and besos from Madrid.


Melwel said...

YOu are amazing. I am glad you shared thanksgiving with the foreign fam.....
You continue to be awe inspiring!

erin noelle said...

Happy Thanksgiving Brooke!! What other 20, 21? year old girl makes an entire Thanksgiving dinner? You should be proud of yourself!

natalie said...

that looks like a perfect thanksgiving in a foreign country!

so thankful for you brooke. you are great.

loves from arizona!

Danielle Ycmat said...

I LOVE your blog.
What a fun experience.
So jealous.
I envy your spontaneity.
Glad you had such a great Thanksgiving!

PS Thanks a bunch for the comment. I'm such an amateur to the blogging world :) Workin' on it.

Si said...

I love you Brookles.

The Lonely Boy said...

i loved this post. Thanksgiving in China was definitely an experience. It made me truly thankful for everything I have. I cannot wait to swap stories. You're amazing. Miss you.