I am accustomed to wading through crowds, airports and screaming children to make it home for the family – oriented holiday of the year.
This year was no different. I was home for thanksgiving. However, having moved to Chicago (from NYC) a few weeks ago – my heart sang when the typical airplane ride home was replaced with a friend picking me up and delivering me to my hometown in Michigan a few hours later.
The rest of the weekend was business as usual.
Of course I say weekend because a Russian family’s thanksgiving couldn’t possibly consist of one evening or of one household.
Instead, we prefer to see how many times we can prepare an entire feast and how many other homes can provide the feast for us.
My arrival on Wednesday prompted the setting of a celebratory feast. A visit to the grandparents called for a banquet. A check in with family friends was the perfect opportunity for a ceremonial spread.
By the time today rolled around, I had eaten more than I had in the past month and was really starting to crave bare vegetables.
For those of you from the Ukrainian/Russian/Jewish/Immigrant variety, you’ll probably relate to the following:
- Roasted chicken instead of the traditional turkey
- Spanakopita (the always beloved Greek addition to thanksgiving)
- Herring, sardines, lox, cheese, salami and prosciutto (favorites the pilgrims overlooked)
- One too many toasts about being thankful (for a reason to toast)
- Turkey (or chicken) for breakfast
- Family members discussing your figure while simultaneously scoffing at how “little” you’re eating
- And of course (my favorite)… using what’s left of Vodka as gravy (see picture above)
We watched our family’s favorite movie (Other People’s Money) for the 187th time (and recited lines together). Sis and I told stories under the covers with flashlight (modern times: flashlight app) and engaged in cartwheel competitions that dad judged (I still got it!). Days were culminated with family swim hour after our hearty meals (not advisable).
Aside from the fact that comments such as “you should eat more” started to have negative effects on my aggression meter (I can’t fit anymore!), I’d say it was a perfect thanksgiving.