Thursday, November 27, 2008

Maximum Consumption

Homemade apple pie....mmmm....

Happy Thanksgiving, y'all.

Folks back home were curious about what we had planned for Thanksgiving. We kind of wondered about that too. We went with our usual plan of trying not to be the ones cooking but rather the ones eating. This plan has never let us down, and this year was no exception.

I hadn't seen any turkeys in the stores here, though I had heard that at least one woman was inviting the neighborhood over for Thanksgiving. As she was making her Filipina maid cook all of it, undoubtedly the poor thing's first encounter of the holiday, I couldn't feel terribly good about that scene. I think her mistress sort of missed the point.

Thanksgiving is a quiet sort of holiday here...didn't get mentioned on BBC radio, though I was gratified to be wished a happy Thanksgiving by one Brit (Graham is unfailingly thoughtful). National Day is the big holiday coming up on Dec 2nd, (the day the UAE gained independance from the British. Celebrated with fireworks, sound familiar?) so the kids at Bethy's school were all dressed in their "national" uniform. As I couldn't coax my little princess (sigh) into jeans, she went with a red,white and blue and rainbow ensemble:

This was take two for the dressing up scene. On Sunday the kindergarten classes had dressed up and sung for the entire school.

On that day Bethy chose to wear a Disney Princess outfit. American Princess? Apparently.

There were some showstopping outfits on the 5 year olds for the assembly, from Turkey and Korea and Spain and Sweden and an armored knight of England and, well, you get the idea. There was a little girl from Lebanon who outshone them all in her golden beaded headdress and bikini that sparkled with sequined tassels as she moved. Quite the outfit.

National Day aside, and back to our little American holiday, there were no days off from school or work for our family. Nevertheless we were looking forward to a turkey dinner with friends, and we got one. My friend Cathy ( from the States and her husband Scott are apparently always looking to adopt and feed people on Thanksgiving and we fit the bill. We had a marvelous time with them and their young two sons and Scott's vivacious mom Rachel who has the best New York accent. Music to my ears, that.

She had come out to visit and brought striped Keebler cookies to make pilgrim hats. I was unfamilliar with the pilgrim hat phoenomenon; they are a Thanksgiving tradition for our hosts. Striped cookies topped with big marshmallows which are then dipped in melted chocolate (Hersheys! No way!) to make the requsite hat shape. Tasty!

Tyler and Bethy eating their hats
Cathy and Scott made us a perfectly American dinner, including a Butterball turkey, cranberry sauce, yams and carrots with brown sugar, a green bean casserole topped with crunchy goodness and gravy to douse the entire offering. Fabulous.

Alex (7) amused us on the harmonica, Bethy sang us some Arabic, no less, and Thomas did his best Elvis:

Coffee and ice cream and homemade apple pie, lots of talk and laughs later, we dragged our tryptophan-dazed selves home, having satisfied all requirements for a wonderful Thanksgiving away from home.

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