What do you do when November 25th rolls around and it’s just another workday? Realize that though it stings a little to be so far away from so much you love (7-hour-drives down Rt. 17, Dad’s pancakes, the Thanksgiving Day parade on TV, the nights of board games and diner dinners that usually typify holiday weekends), you’re in a good place. Surrounded by friends, cute French houses, and nutella. You can’t complain. The bulk of the “I am thankful for…” lesson is more or less not understood by your young students during class, but you know a few things you could put on that list.
That was pretty much how I felt on Thursday, my first Thanksgiving abroad (only Thanksgiving abroad? Who knows?). There’s only three Americans — including me — that I know of in Évreux, but that didn’t stop us from having a huge Thanksgiving meal with our French, Scottish, Canadian, English, and Irish (I think that’s it!) friends. I mean, who can really say no to a holiday where the main reason to gather is to eat? For my part, I made sweet potatoes (the ones here come from Israel — that seems so far away — and cost beaucoup. But it was worth it), chopping them up with my sole sharp knife (only meant to cut cheese), boiling them, and mashing them. So tasty.
Alix and Katie were able to rent out the common room in their apartment complex, so everyone was able to pile in comfortably. My sweet potatoes were in good company — pumpkin risotto, stuffing, turkey, broccoli casserole, quiche with Roquefort, pumpkin pie, lemon tart, more pumpkin pie. Mmmm. It was a really great night, maybe one of my favorites here.
* I know that the current currency of France is the euro, not the franc. But for pun’s sake, let it slide.