Thursday, November 24, 2005

Turkey Day

I’m happy to report that my first Thanksgiving in a foreign country went off quite well. It wasn’t a school holiday here so I had to work until 6. But then there was a big potluck dinner for all the American students and staff which was grand. The menu was somewhat altered from the “traditional” American feast because many of those traditional food products are indigenous to North American and cannot be found in Himalayan Indian. Like turkey. You cannot buy a turkey here—except at the American Embassy grocery store in Delhi which has groceries flown in daily from the States—so we substituted Ham Loaf instead. Except that there wasn’t very much ham loaf and we were limited to one paper-thin slice each. So really it was a vegetarian Thanksgiving.

The school provided the ham loaf and dinner rolls and then the staff brought salads, vegetables, and dessert. Lots and lots and lots of it. And it was Yum (a Woodstock-ism). My bean and veggie salad with lime cumin dressing was a smash hit. I think because it was pretty. There were a few too many dishes of glorified coleslaw or plain green beans so a salad with corn, peas, tomatoes, red onion, and green pepper with red and white beans, caught everyone’s eye. I was personally a huge fan of the whipped sweet potatoes. I had not realized that sweet potatoes existed over here because they are unrecognizable unless you know what you’re looking for. They’re white and look like big deformed carrots. But they tasted just like sweet potatoes—maybe even sweeter than usual.

The dessert table did include a few pumpkin items (no idea where they got the pumpkin) but as I’m not a big fan, I stuck to things like Snickers pie and brownies. My friends at my table all grabbed an assortment and then we grazed on each other’s selections. And then we all had to walk home up the mountain, staggering and wishing we hadn’t opted for that last slice of apple pie.

The other fun thing was that we segued seamlessly from Thanksgiving to Christmas by singing some carols after dinner. I realized that my 20+ years of singing Christmas carols with my family on Christmas Eve has really given me quite a repertoire. On several occasions, mine was the voice leading everyone through the less-well-known sections of things like “Let It Snow” and “Winter Wonderland.”

But now, Thanksgiving is officially past and it is time for Serious Christmas Festivities. Of course, the Christmas festivities really started before Thanksgiving here. I spent much of the week creating Christmas bulletin boards in the library (Merry Christmas in 52 languages for one and the meaning behind Christmas symbols for another—did you know that the circular shape of the Christmas wreath is supposed to represent the infinite and unending love of God? I didn’t.) and this Sunday is the Christmas Chapel. But I did resist the urge to break out the Christmas earrings until today. Right now my ears are adorned with snow globes complete with loose glitter-snow inside. Small and tasteful they are not. But very very festive.


At 4:55 PM, Blogger Preya said...

Christmas was such a magical time at Woodstock.


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