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Let’s Talk Turkey…err, Chicken? Giving Thanks in Europe

December 1, 2008

Tonight was the Maastricht Thanksgiving feast I have been promising my friends since the first day of November. It’s interesting to me how the entire month of November is really the month of Thanksgiving. November 1st rolls along and suddenly we all crave turkey and good times. Get past Halloween, and all I could think about was throwing a huge dinner.
Meanwhile, the amount of work I had over Thanksgiving week just wrecked any possibility of celebrating a true Thanksgiving: I spent it in the library with my German group partner trying to explain to her why it was imperative that she allow me to edit our paper before handing it in, and fighting over why I think it is unacceptable to plagiarize from Wikipedia in an academic setting. Not my idea of the holiday spirit, or academic honesty. And I mean, come on, Wikipedia? agh! Germany! (Because clearly, this chic’s nationality is why she plagiarizes. No. But I don’t have any other descriptors for her.)
Back to the task at hand. THANKSGIVING. In America, I love this holiday. In Maastricht, or anywhere else for that matter, I love this holiday. The way the Molloy family celebrates it is perhaps the smartest way to do it: Thanksgiving dinner with only the really good dishes (come on, WHO eats yams? So why cook them?) eaten in pajamas, with copious amounts of wine, and no pressure to visit family in far-away states. I think this practice should be adopted by the entire country, it makes for a perfect holiday. Love the extended family, I really really do. But come on, I’ll see you at Christmas. No stresses.
This holiday tradition stemmed from Andrew and Owen’s football days. Fitting in a football game and traveling on the same day: no dice. Getting dressed up for dinner in your own house and going around the table announcing what you’re thankful for: leave that for the cast of Full House. I exalt my family for creating a holiday tradition truly respective to our attitudes: happy, loving, and impressively lazy.
In Maastricht, it was very much the same affair. Though, my suzy-homemaker attitude has truly blossomed here (I make ten cups of coffee a day… 4 are for me) so I cannot claim to have eaten Thanksgiving dinner in my pajamas- I cooked this meal in heels.  Nonetheless, with deference to the Great Mary Lou, I summoned up the courage to invite twelve friends to a Thanksgiving feast in the lovely ghetto of Malberg. We ate and were merry, and it was the best Thanksgiving a euro-tripper could have asked for. And, it reminded me of how much I love this holiday- it truly is a time to be with people you love. If I couldn’t be with my family, I couldn’t have asked for a better Euro family to spend the night with.
My UK neighbors, Italian neighbors, Australian friends, Belgian neighbor, and the Italian Stallion (poor Eduardo…I don’t think he supports this nickname but it is by this that most readers of this silly little blog know him…if you look like John Stamos you just have to deal) all had their first Thanksgiving with me- it was an honor to induct them!
The problem, however, is that the Dutch ( food RUINERS) don’t eat turkey. They don’t sell turkeys. I don’t know if they know what Turkey really is. In fact, Chicken is called “Kip” and turkey is called “Kipfilet”.  Clearly turkey is not chicken filet. Come on guys, get with the program, amend your language, and give me my poultry of choice! Doesn’t even matter, I don’t have an oven to roast the thing. It’s tough to be me. But, resourceful as we are here in Holland, rotisserie chickens from the market did the trick. Come on, a bird is a bird.
Much Love Maastricht! I’ll miss you kids when I leave.

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