Thursday, March 27, 2008

24 November: The Biggest Thanksgiving Ever

The subject of Shannon’s email was “The biggest Thanksgiving you've ever been to and it's not even in the U.S.A” and she was right. More than thirty people and countless children representing multiple nationalities (American, German, British, Australian, French, Indian, Malaysian, Swedish, Filipino) turned out at Shannon and Todd’s house in Feuerbach for a marvelous IWC Thanksgiving celebration this evening. We broke with tradition by holding the feast on Saturday, but personally I’ve always wondered why Thanksgiving has to be on Thursday. My family and John’s are relatively small, so Thanksgiving is usually a quiet affair of 4-6 people. Thus it seemed rather odd that the largest Thanksgiving we’ve ever attended turned out to be this one, celebrated in Germany of all places!

My contribution to dinner consisted of an enormous bowl of cranberry sauce (my secret recipe calls for cooking down the cranberries in a large quantity of red wine infused with orange peel, cinnamon and cloves) and a platter of sweet cornbread. Both were hits, but there was so much cranberry sauce left over that I gave it to Jane, who was going to have to cook a whole ‘nother Thanksgiving dinner for her husband’s colleagues next weekend!

We had an enormous spread with all of the traditional favorites – turkey and stuffing provided by Shannon and Todd, plus an immense array of side dishes and condiments: gravy, mashed potatoes, greenbean casserole, Waldorf and green salads, pasta; and for dessert, pumpkin and pecan pies, cheesecake, brownies, and Apfelkuchen and Schnecke (similar to cinnamon rolls) for a German twist.

Shannon decided to forgo the traditional long Thanksgiving table in order to squeeze more people into her sprawling, multi-level house. She rented stand-up tables instead and set them up around her living room, so we could eat in an upright position and thereby fit more food into our stomachs! John and I ate with Beth, Axel, Jane, and Johannes, filling our plates until there was no more room, and then attempting to cram all of that delicious food into our bellies. Finally the women retired to the couch to digest while the men stood around discussing business.

Suffice it to say that a great time was had by all. In the end, a small group of us clustered around Shannon’s kitchen table, sipping tea and pondering what to do with several whole pies and cakes that had gone untouched. We all got to take home some leftovers, and John and I had Schnecke for breakfast the next morning!

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