This week I had the honor of celebrating my first American holiday in a place where that holiday does not exist. Thanksgiving in Barcelona was an awesome experience and I'm grateful that it included friends, family, board games, and way too much delicious food (way to go, America). Let's back up. When initially planning Thanksgiving, my cousin and I decided we should probably have her sister pack a frozen turkey in her checked luggage since she was going to be visiting us that week. As awesome as flying a turkey halfway around the world would have been, we actually found out that stores at the Boqueria can order turkeys for you. We went there one week in advance and pre-ordered our bird from Avinova.
No, that wasn't our turkey, but wouldn't you have been disgusted and yet impressed if it was? This was our turkey and it was the freshest one I've ever had. This turkey was never frozen, was wrapped up right in front of me, and still had some feathers attached for authenticity.
Now, bear in mind that I was one of those kids who heard mom needed help in the kitchen and hid in my room. When it came time to set the table, I would drag my feet and finally help out only after a bit of a guilt trip. I'll admit it, I just wanted to eat the delicious food (c'mon, you can't totally blame me?!). So, when it came time to create Thanksgiving all by myself, I never had any training wheels.
There was a moment or two after my trip to Taste of America where I wondered why on earth I hadn't opted for the “Thanksgiving in a Box.” But honestly, with turkey that's promised to be ready in 30 minutes, and stuffing that looks like dog food pellets, I figured we might as well try to make a real dinner.
Things started like this:
And quickly progressed to this:
Good thing I had a crew of helpers, even if one is a pescatarian... oh, and Google. Google played a very important role in this Thanksgiving.
That said, Thanksgiving this year felt like everything it is supposed to be. It was a potluck with a combination of friends, family, and new introductions. We ate when dinner was ready with no pressure to have it done at a specific time. We shared what we are thankful for, and took the time to just be grateful for life, each other, and a delicious meal. Alright, that got a little hippy, but it was seriously great.
Because it's a good habit and I want to share, here are a few of the things I'm thankful for right now:
- My family and friends who have always cooked a turkey for me (Diane, Dean, Mom, Dad, The Bowens - thanks!)
- Getting to be a part of the crazy Bowen clan
- The opportunity to live abroad
- The internet, without which the food part of Thanksgiving would have been a bust
- Friends back in the states
- The ability to write and connect with all of you
- My knack for winning Settlers of Catan
(For the record, when asked what he was thankful for, Tony replied “drumsticks.”)
On a more serious note, throughout each day there's a ton to be grateful for, so even though it's early for New Year's resolutions, make it your resolution to be grateful each day. It'll make you happier.
What are you grateful for this year?