Thanksgiving Abroad

You know you’re living in Barcelona when literally a third of the people in your phone contact list are named either Jordi, Marta or Mireia. When another third are named Sonia or Ana, then you’re in trouble. Inappropriate text messages may be sent. Just an observation I made to myself this morning.

Anyway, because we’ve lived abroad for so long, we’re fairly sporadic in celebrating Thanksgiving. However, this year my two American friends and I are making the real deal including TWO turkeys (not because we have so many people but because ovens in Spain are too small to fit a regular American-sized bird), two different kind of stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, pie, etc.! Since most of the invitees are from here, this means we’ve got a lot of pumpkin pie virgins to contend with. We have considered making them dress up as Indians (we’d be the pilgrims of course, or would it be the other way around?), but we decided they’re going to have enough trouble just wrapping their heads around an entire holiday meal that doesn’t include anything made with olive oil, squid ink or codfish.

Do you remember how I told you about my Halloween party at which all the children in Nico’s class devoured the olives stuffed with anchovies but refused to touch the candy corn? Enough said. Besides, I have a nice case of conjunctivitis so the disease-spreading portion of the festivities is already taken care of.

Lately I’ve been trying to talk to Nico and Luca about how grateful we should be for all the good things we have in our lives. One reason for this is that Thanksgiving is coming up and I’m trying to highlight the concept.

Another reason is that I’m totally sick of listening to whining. “Why did you give me socks that are inside out?”, “What are these small green things I see on my chicken?”, “Why do we always have to treat Luca like he’s the king of the universe and I’m just a piece of dirty dirt?”, “Why did I know how to count to 900 yesterday and now I can’t? Why Mommy, WHHHHHHYYYYYYYY!?!?!?!”

My co-Thanksgiving dinner producers (their names are Danielle and Matthew) called me crazy but it turns out that the Catalans really love canned cranberry jelly. Who knew? (ME that’s who!). I insisted on buying three cans and although no one thought we’d even get through one, we polished off two. Ha!

Sadly, the pumpkin pie was greeted with much more suspicion and was left largely untouched. However, we predicted this would happen and because of this, I also made a pumpkin cheesecake which was decidedly more popular. All our guests needed to hear was the word “cheesecake” and they dug right in, more or less oblivious to the fact that we’d just tricked them into eating pumpkin in a dessert. I like to think of that cheesecake as a gateway drug of sorts. Every year we’ll put a bit more pumpkin and a bit less cream cheese and who knows, maybe by 2018, the people of Spain will be gobbling pumpkin pie with the best of us!