Thanksgiving Across the Pond

Do these English lads and ladies look like trouble or what? (That’s Simon in the very, very back in the blue shirt.)
Do these English lads and ladies look like trouble or what? (That’s Simon in the very, very back in the blue shirt.)

Last Thursday marked several Thanksgiving firsts for yours truly. It was my first time celebrating the holiday overseas, the first time that I've spent turkey day without my parents (aw) and the first time during any major holiday that I've been asked to make a speech (which I accomplished with a unique blend of awkwardness and grace). All in all, Thanksgiving in England was everything I could have hoped it would be (although it did leave me with a longing for home-cooked stuffing).

The idea to hold a celebration for a holiday that's specific to the United States and Canada on the isle was sadly not my own. Word of the largely food- and wine-based holiday has spread throughout the country and several of my roommates immediately jumped at the chance to experience their first Thanksgiving. As for my part in the festivities, aside from writing out a short list of must-have food items and washing some of the dishes after the dinner, I can take very little credit for the event being pulled off.

Still, with the hard work and perseverance of my roommates and my very limited and often misguided assistance, this year's thanksgiving was one that I will not soon forget (although the late evening is a little fuzzy).

The food served kept to the very basic Thanksgiving necessities such as turkey (we used several turkey breasts instead of a whole turkey due to time and space constraints), cranberry sauce, mashed and roasted potatoes, and from-the-box stuffing (which, as has previously been discussed, left something to be desired).

Dessert required further adjustment as we were unable to find either pumpkin or pecan pie and thus had to settle for apple. Fortunately, we also stumbled upon some gourmet Scottish ice cream that livened up the fairly bland, straight-from-the-freezer apple pie.

Throughout the event, I was continually reminded of how lucky I am to be here in this country with people who, despite their obsession with the letter “u,” which causes them to produce ridiculous spellings such as "colour" and flavour," are some of the kindest most genuinely worthwhile individuals I've   ever met.

I will conclude this blog with a brief plug for the University of New Mexico's Study Abroad Program which, like so many other programs at UNM, is a terrific opportunity that is under-used. Any UNM student interested in a semester or a full year abroad should contact Ken Carpenter at 277-4032 or via email at carpenk@unm.edu.