When I was a child and lived in Manchester, we used to go to an American family’s house down the road for Thanksgiving. The meal exuded warmth and comfort on a cold November day and we stuffed ourselves with turkey and pumpkin pie and all the trimmings.
This year, I relived that Thanksgiving experience courtesy of friends and colleagues, Sarah (who’s American) and Adam (who wants to be American), and a whole group of friends.
The wonderful hosts laid on a feast of succulent turkey, tasty stuffing, vegetables including mashed sweet potato, homemade cornbread, and then finished us off with a delectable pumpkin pie.
Thanksgiving might well have to slip on to our calendar after this. Adam had also set it up so we could watch the Thanksgiving parade in Manhattan, but it didn’t do it for us – saccharine performances, fake smiles, it oozed a mountain of cheese – who goes to these things? Give me Mardi Gras or Notting Hill Carnival and then show me a party!
The idea behind Thanksgiving did remind me and my British friends of Harvest Festival, when we would bring foodstuff into school to then be given to “poor families”. Most of it seemed to consist of tins of unappetising vegetables that had been left untouched in the cupboard for many years – did anyone actually enjoy these contributions or did it just make the providers feel good about themselves?
I wonder if there’s a charitable side to the whole Thanksgiving tradition or is it all just pomp and stuffing? All thoughts welcome, even if I have to eat humble pie.