On this day, I am always reminded of the best Thanksgiving and definitely most memorable Thanksgiving I have had in my life. The one year I spent this day of thanks in Israel:
Gaz, Maz and I decided to host a Thanksgiving dinner for 20 of our closest friends. We mailed crafty invitations, set out our menu plan, and ordered our Turkey. My favorite comment when menu planning- as we are going down the list of all the yummy things to make and buy "Turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole..." and as we are all volunteering to get the recipe for, or plan to make each item Maz (not volunteering for anything on the list yet) yells out "Oh, I'll make the salad." WHAT?! Salad? My response was "who is going to eat a salad?" and my internal thought was "why are we wasting time making a salad?" She quickly recovered by volunteering to make the cranberries. And Maz made the salad too.
This truely was a valient effort by all. In the US we have all of the modern conveniences of Thanksgiving cooking right in our grocer's isle. Not in Israel. Things that we all take for granted like, canned cranberries and pumpkin, those bags of pre-dried and pre-seasoned stuffing, Butterball turkey, and brown and serve rolls. To start, I had to call my mom and have her go to the store in the US, purchase 1 can of pumpkin and ship it to me oversees. She was ever so gracious to do just that. But when she got to the post office to mail the pumpkin, they informed her that it would be over $10 to ship accross the world. She said no and went home, told my dad the story about how she could not justify spending over $10 to mail a can of $.99 pumpin. He sent her right back to the post office and I received my goods 10 days later. The sacrafice for this meal was just amazing. I had to find a recipe online for how to make real stuffing- I had no idea. I spent 3 days drying bread in the oven and on the counter and then cutting it into perfect cubes. And then there is the turkey- which was delivered to me in a black trashbag- like the kind that Glad makes. I really didn't know what I was getting myself into- then I opened the bag- only to find that the turkey still needed plucking. Yes, I spent the better part of Thanksgiving morning plucking the turkey. I've never done that before and...I hope to never do it again.
Also, please note that in Israel, it is not Thanksgiving Day, and they don't care about Thanksgiving- so we were also working all day. Luckily I worked across the street from where I lived so I was able to run home every hour to baste the turkey.
By the time dinner rolled around, we were about 2.5 hours late serving, but a good time was had by all. Dilerium set in and I found my friend Atash in the kitchen picking every morsal of turkey off of the bone with a fork, and at one point Gaz was laying face down on the floor unable to move because of the amount of food she had consumed. All of us standing around laughing at her was not helping and I am thankful to this day that none of it came out.
Thanks for the memories you guys! I am most thankful for you!