Growing up, Thanksgiving was always one of my favorite holidays. We’d drive you Philadelphia, usually early in the morning and celebrate the day by cooking, eating, most of my male relatives watching football and my brother and I probably spending most of the day pestering my mother. It’s a holiday I, like most Americans, associate with warmth and comfort. Lots of family, thankfulness, laughter and always an abundance of food.
This year I celebrated Thanksgiving in conjunction with another of my favorite holidays – Hannukah. Yes, that’s right, this year for the first time since 1888 and possibly for the last time for the next 70,000 years, Hannukah and Thanksgiving occurred on the same day.
Not only was this the only Thanks-Hannukah-Giving I will celebrate in my lifetime, but also I celebrated it in Moldova with my four wonderful site mates (other PCVs who live in Balti with me) and another PCV friend who was in town helping to find and kill turkeys for our larger Thanksgiving dinner this Saturday.
Saturday we will have a huge, traditional Thanksgiving dinner with almost 30 PCVs and lots of traditional Thanksgiving foods, including pumpkin, apple and walnut pies and even fried turkeys; freshly killed by our own PCVs – yes that’s right, my site mate and another PCV found, bought, killed, gutted, de-feathered and designed a way to fry a turkey here.
Thanks-Hannukah-Giving’s only traditional Thanksgiving dish was sweetpotato casserole. This is a special treat since sweet potatoes are near impossible to find, even canned, in this entire region (not just Moldova) and marshmallows are really hard to find too (my site mates had canned sweet potatoes and marshmallows shipped to them).
For Thanks-Hannukah-Giving, I made humus, tabbouleh and potato latkes. We also had ranch and carrots, challah, homemade applesauce and sour cream for the latkes, honey cake and carrot salad (made by another of my lovely sites mates).
It was a nice evening and while I can’t wait to see what the ‘real’ Thanksgiving dinner looks like Saturday, I enjoyed getting to have a small one with my site mates.