An American Thanksgiving in Madrid

I’ve spent 29 Thanksgivings in Boise, Idaho with my family and Kyle has spent every Thanksgiving of his life with his family too.  Even when we lived in Seattle, we’d join the hordes of travellers to make our way home for turkey and mashed potatoes.  There was only one year we almost didn’t make it – it was Thanksgiving 2001 following September 11th and  Kyle had recently had a cyst removed from his wrist and had to wear a pretty bulky cast while it healed.  On the way to the airport, Kyle realized that he didn’t have his wallet.  We raced home to look for it, then retraced our steps around Seattle, but couldn’t find it anywhere.  It was gone.  We went to the airport hoping for the best and expecting the worst as a college kid in a hooded sweatshirt with a cast on his arm tried to get on a plane without any form of ID beyond his check book.  My mom will never forgive herself for telling me to get on the plane without him and we laugh about it to this day, but amazingly enough he batted his baby blues and submitted to any search necessary (no, he didn’t actually have to be strip searched – thank goodness!) and managed to get on the plane right as it was ready to take off.  Our track record of being ‘home’ for Thanksgiving was impressive.

We knew that this Thanksgiving would be different.  We were halfway around the world in a wonderful country where canned pumpkin and brown sugar are hard to come by and not a single relative was in sight.  We quickly realized that in this case, different wasn’t a bad thing. 

Just like at home where we bounce from one dinner with Kyle’s family to a second dinner with my family, we maintained the tradition of having two Thanksgiving dinners in Madrid.  We started with an event hosted by the ‘Net Impact Club’ on IE’s campus. The Americans cooked traditional Thanksgiving foods and enjoyed dinner with students from all over the world.  For many international students, it was the first time they’d ever eaten turkey, stuffing, or pumpkin pie and we loved sharing our American Thanksgiving traditions with them.   

Next up was Thanksgiving at Erick and Mandy Bauman’s – a couple from New York who invited a crew of Americans to celebrate with them.  They roasted a beautiful turkey and everyone brought a traditional food item that they eat with their families at home on Thanksgiving.  It was AMAZING!  We devoured roasted veggies, green bean salad, deviled eggs, stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, and all the pumpkin pie (and whoopies) you could imagine.  We couldn’t have asked to spend our first Thanksgiving in Madrid with better food or better people.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: