3 December 2008
Sap and I were very excited about the prospect of celebrating our first Thanksgiving with the McKee family. Being Englishers we had no idea what the holiday was all about — a quick visit to Wikipedia solved that issue! The entire McKee family were incredibly excited about Thanksgiving, citing it as a better holiday than Christmas!
Thanksgiving always falls on the fourth Thursday in November and is a public holiday. Even nicer was the fact that I also had the Friday off which turned out to be just as well seeing as we rose very early to go shopping! More on that in a bit.
Meeting the McKees
The McKees arrived on Wednesday evening and we jumped straight into the celebrations by going out for dinner. We were looking for a BYOB (Bring Your Own Booze, a fantastic concept that isn’t widespread in the UK) restaurant. After some walking (those types of restaurant are very popular!) we found a pizza place and ordered two pizzas between the 7 of us. Well, that was plenty — everything you’ve ever heard about American portion sizes (steady now!) is absolutely correct! We had to take some home in a box! Chicago does this fantastic deep pan pizza which has the cheese on the bottom and the tomato sauce on top — kind of an ‘upside-down’ pizza. Fantastic.
Thursday was the big day: Thanksgiving proper. The day started early with egg strada which is basically an oven baked omelette with bread in the bottom. It sounds strange but was absolutely fantastic, something of a tradition and we can see why! Then it was onto the cooking which took most of the day!
I decided to stay out of the way (apart from nosing around with my camera!) and enjoyed the hustle and bustle coming from the kitchen. All sorts of dishes were being prepared, from the traditional turkey through to Ben’s date and prune delights! When it all arrived at the table it was quite a sight. Needless to say it was demolished within minutes!
All Hail the Cheeselord
Even better to come was the selection of cheeses that Ben had bought. He’s found a great cheese shop near to where we work — he spent 45 minutes choosing his selection in there prior to Thanksgiving! I must say the choices were fab — it was true cheese overload! He bought so much that we were still eating it three days later…
The day ended with card games (we’re really getting into those!) and with Ben and I demolishing some Mount Gay. The measures in the McKee/Allen household certainly are generous! We also met Mandy & Ben’s neighbours Keith and Kim and their two children Audrey & Lucas who were great — Sap has since had a lunch date with Kim and is becoming quite the socialite!
Sap and I woke at stupid o’clock (5am) on Friday to hit the shops. Black Friday is the retail day in the States — you can bag some bargains…if you have sharp elbows, no sense of humanity or courtesy and are prepared to wait in line at 5am.
We hit the local Target (no pun intended!) just as it opened at 6am. We had a few bargains we wanted to get (a vacuum cleaner with 50% off — rock and roll!) We also picked up some really nice cookware from Macy’s (including a cast iron skillet which I’m very excited about!)
Saturday was the day we were moving into our new home — that’s a different (and long!) story. More soon.
All in all we had a fantastic few days — Mandy’s family were lovely and very welcoming. We’re hooking up with Alison at New Year — something else we’re really looking forward to!