Friday, November 29, 2013

Thanksgiving

Truly
Happy
And
Never
Knowing
Such
Gratefulness
Given
Interesting
Vitality
In (a)
Nice
Group

OK, so it doesn’t rhyme, and lacking any explanatory sentences probably doesn’t make much sense to most of my readers, so I will (as usual) elaborate.

Way back when the children were growing up, Thursday was the day that they were free from school (since changed to Wednesday), so celebrating Thanksgiving was facilitated, if not easy, as I could usually take the afternoon to cook up a storm. Nothing elaborate and – as often as not – more a grilled chicken than a turkey, still we did celebrate my roots.

The children left and trying to have a family meal in the middle of the week became almost impossible, so we would do it the weekend after and I would go through the day itself thinking of other Thanksgivings and family.

Time passed, my husband died, and a housemate moved in part-time.  We could usually managed to both be here and free for Thanksgiving so for several years it was a communal effort to put Thanksgiving on the table for mainly non-Americans, but all of whom had some tie or other to the tradition: English who had spent time in the USA, persons born there, but never having lived there, etc. Hard work and two in my small kitchen took some doing, but we were both very good at doing it together and have fond memories of those years too.

Then, a couple of restaurants on our side of the lake (several large hotel restaurants in town have always done one) started doing Thanksgiving dinners. One year it was myself, my housemate, her daughter, and another couple where the wife was American and the husband French at a restaurant in the last village before the French border where the couple had spent many years in New York: delicious, but table service.

The true break-through came when our local restaurant – Café des Marrronniers  ( http://cafedesmarronniers.ch ) changed owners. For the past three years we have attended their Thanksgiving dinner, which just keeps getting better and better. One is served either soup or salad at table to start, but the main meal is set up buffet style and includes all the “goodies” of a traditional Thanksgiving.

Each year we pick a couple of good friends to come celebrate with us – making a “family of choice” in lieu of the missing of our own.  Mixed nationalities (9 of us this year: 4 held USA passports of whom 2 are dual nationals; 1 English only, 1 Greek, 3 Swiss only) and mixed generations running the gamut from 18 through over 70; didn’t count the languages but amongst us we probably covered at least 7, if not more.

An evening of wonderful friendship, good conversation and excellent food, including pumpkin pie, apple pies, cookies and New York cheesecake – a blessing in the winter gray, the memories of which will warm our hearts for many years.

Thank you my friends for making the evening so pleasant!