It turns out that American Thanksgiving food is exactly the same as our traditional Christmas dinner. Who knew?!
As I’ve mentioned before, my family doesn’t do the traditional meal. However, I was used to eating a turkey dinner around Christmas every year before I started travelling – there was always the office Christmas do, of course, and the odd meal round at a friend’s house. Turkey dinners are not, on the other hand, such a common occurrence in Daejeon. Mashed potatoes exist only in fairy tales, and I can’t even remember the last time I saw gravy. It was probably in a dream.
My joy, therefore, at the plate being set down before me on Saturday night was understandable. This had better be worth it! we were all grimly saying beforehand, having shelled out 18,000 won each for the privilege of a ‘home-cooked’ meal. (I’ve just realised that that’s about £10, and am amused at what now seems ludicrously expensive to me!) I was expecting to try a vaguely familiar but still foreign cuisine from another country’s holiday, and instead I got a good old British Christmas dinner. Turkey, ham, mashed potatoes with gravy, cranberry sauce, winter veggies, and the best part – stuffing. Oh, the sheer joy… stuffing, I tell you! I honestly almost wept. Then I proceeded to eat so much I felt sick for two hours afterwards, which is apparently another holiday tradition we share with the Americans. Pete came out of the kitchen to see how his cooking had gone down with the Thanksgiving Virgins. Do you want another plateful? he inquired, noting the empty plates with satisfaction. It’s a real Thanksgiving meal… you can have as many helpings as you want! I could only groan in response, and managed just one bite of the pumpkin pie that then appeared in front of me.
And so it is Christmas once again. No visit home this year (saving that for the summer, when I will better appreciate the change in climate and also am less likely to end up snowed into Brussels Airport for days on end), but a wee trip to Hong Kong sounds alright, wouldn’t you say? ;)