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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Ghosts of Thanksgivings Past

Mashed potatoes and cranberries and pumpkin pie, oh my!

To say I'm amped for my first Thanksgiving in America in three years is an understatement. The lead-up to Thanksgiving is so exciting, even being subjected to the multitude of annoying Black Friday ads on television.

No, I won't be hitting the malls first thing Friday morning. I'll instead be relaxing in my house, wearing fleece pants and eating a big bowl of pumpkin oats. It might be a crazy life, but it's our life.

Last year, I reminisced about Thanksgivings past. Celebrating in London in 2007 was one of my all-time favorite holiday memories simply because of its extraordinariness and the pure joy of experiencing Thanksgiving, that quintessential American holiday, in stunning St. Paul's Cathedral. Thanksgiving lunch may have been a Starbucks sandwich and dinner an M&S chicken, but I was truly grateful every moment.

Thanksgiving in London, 2007

Last year's Thanksgiving day dinner in Korea was at On the Border -- we were all in dire need of some Mexican food -- but a dual Thanksgiving/Christmas celebration a few weeks later brought in turkey with all the fixings thanks to the USO and Yongsan base in Seoul.

Thanksgiving in Seoul, 2008

It wasn't exactly mom's home cooking, but it was certainly a nice change from the daily kimchi-and-rice menu. My Korean co-worker said she enjoyed the meal -- she'd had a big turkey dinner before in Australia -- but couldn't imagine eating like this every day. I tried to explain that it's not exactly every day we eat like this but then reconsidered the argument, thinking about America's startling obesity rate.

Turkey may not be an option since I went vegetarian, but everything else is a go. As I told my dear friend Erin today, "I want to dive face first into a pumpkin pie."

Ain't that the truth! Tomorrow's agenda includes baking some pumpkin spice cookies (thanks to Melissa for the recipe) and getting some exercise in before it's stretchy pants and pie time.

What's your favorite Thanksgiving memory?