Friday, November 23, 2012

Thanksgiving in Argentina

Thanksgiving Day is a holiday celebrated primarily in the United States and Canada. A Thanksgiving meal consists of turkey, stuffing, gravy, yams, corn, Apple Pie, Pumpkin Pie and several other assorted plates. But how do you celebrate Thanksgiving in a country that doesn’t observe the tradition?
My spouse and I decided that we’d go to Wal-Mart to buy our Thanksgiving meal. We hoped that since the store’s origins are from the U.S. that they’d have all the items we’d need. We were wrong.
We found the turkey, well at least we think it was turkey, but it was extremely pricey for our budget and even if we’d bought it, there would have been no way to thaw it and prepare it in time for dinner. So we decided to go for a more economic approach. Chicken!
I should point out that turkey is extremely uncommon in Argentina. At best, you can order it in thin slices, like ham. Wal-Mart is the only place that has turkey, and I have only seen it sold during the month of November.
We bought the ingredients we needed to make the stuffing and gravy. Since we were unable to find the vegetables that are common in a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, we decided to blend the two cultures together. So we bought the ingredients to make Empanadas. Fortunately, we also found something at Wal-Mart that is difficult to find in Argentina … Mac and Cheese. So we got that too. 
We started cooking as soon as we got home. My spouse insisted that I help him and I'm so glad that he did. I’ve never cooked with him before and it was a very enjoyable experience that brought us closer together.
Once the food was done, we called my parents (his in-laws) over. The meal consisted of chicken, potatoes, gravy, stuffing, Mac and Cheese, empanadas and bread with pesto sauce. We gave thanks for everything good that has happened to us in the past twelve months. Then we dug in and enjoyed this amazing meal.
My spouse and I both agree that while we’ve celebrated Thanksgiving many times in our lives, this was one of those rare moments where the true meaning of the holiday was observed. There was no bitching about the cooking or any family drama (backstabbing, gossiping). It was a small circle of people full of love and respect for each other.
I may have started a brand new Thanksgiving tradition in Argentina. I hope you all had a great holiday like we did. I’m looking forward to next year.

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