For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.
The market is still bustling outside my window as I begin preparations for my contribution to the Thanksgiving potluck. Golden raisins fatten while they soak in sweet Alsatian wine. A warm baguette has been transformed into crispy fresh croutons. This season’s clementines give a bit of festive color…
Darkness falls and I’ve been taking my sweet time chopping. My new Dijon Children’s Choir CD puts me in the mood for Christmas, but what can I do? There’s no Thanksgiving music to be had in these parts. At half past six I glance out my window and see my neighbor Nadine is returning from work. By chance, she looks up toward my apartment, raising a hand to her head to hold her bonnet secure. I wave.
When I hear her footsteps in the stairs I open my door. “Bonsoir,” I sing.
” ‘Ello,” she says, giggling as she shakes a bit of snow from her hair. “‘Ow are you?”
“Good job!” I say, encouraging her English. “I’m doing well, thanks, mais…en fait, as-tu un grand saladier?” I seem to have bought everything but a receptacle large enough for an enormous green bean salad.
“Je reviens,” she says. “I’ll be back in a moment…”
Did you know it is possible to cook a turkey in a toaster-oven? We assistants can’t be held back by a lack of supplies. Of course, I will mention that it wasn’t a whole turkey, but three big breasts wrapped in fat, a la francaise. Add some herbes de provence and gravy and it might as well have been an obese American turkey. Along with our sweet-potato casserole, honey-nutmeg carrots, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and macaroni salad, it was delicious.
Taya had her American honey flown direct from Maryland for the occasion. The paper turkey is one of Mark’s many contributions to the festivities.
Americans in France: So much to be thankful for, especially our friendship. End of sappiness.
Finishing touches: A bit of French flair made its way into our meal by way of a delicious pain d’epices! Of course, what’s a Thanksgiving feast without pumpkin pie? And we had two!