I know, I know, Thanksgiving was one week ago, but unfortunately I was very busy and I had to wait for the photos otherwise I wouldn’t have anything to show you.
I’ll start by telling you a little bit of history about this tradition:
The Pilgrim Fathers, persecuted at home for their religious ideas which were very fundamentalist, decided at the beginning of the seventeenth century to leave England and move to North America.
When they arrived, with winter approaching, they found a wild and inhospitable territory. The Pilgrims had brought from England seeds of various products that were cultivated at home and planted them in the ground of the new territories. By the nature of the terrain and climate, sowing did not produce the fruits needed to sustain the population, so almost half of them did not survive the winter. Luckily Native Americans, taught the Pilgrims what products to grow and what animals to raise, in particular maize and turkeys.
After the hard work of the beginning, the Pilgrims celebrated a day to thank God for the abundance received and to celebrate the success of the first harvest. The settlers invited to the party even the natives, which they had to thank so much if their population was able to survive and adapt in the new territories.
In the first American Thanksgiving’s menu, there were dishes that became traditional for the holiday – especially turkey and pumpkin.
In later centuries the tradition of Thanksgiving was extended to the entire country. It was George Washington, the first president that declared the feast for all the states. In 1789 he proclaimed a national day of thanksgiving.
Here how i spent my first Thanksgiving:
Thanksgiving in my host family is different from others American families. We do not spend it with the whole family, but with the families of some college friends of my host mom’s parents. Everyone cooks something so in the end there is a lot of food!
Also, every year Thanksgiving is hosted by a different family and this year the host couple was in DC.
Wednesday night we left for Washington and at 21.30 we arrived in a beautiful hotel. There was a small kitchen, and two huge rooms with a bathroom each.
Thursday we spent the morning at the pool and then at 1.30 we all got ready for the big lunch/dinner. The house was furnished with some typical decorations: warm colors and turkeys papers here and there.
For the first few hours we drank wine and ate appetizers, while in the late afternoon we went to the basement where there was a long table and beside a big buffet. All the food was new to me and it was all very good.
Because during my experience I never stop learning I’ll tell you some curiosity:
- The stuffed turkey is not stuffed! Ahw !! Yeah, my host mom told me that the turkey takes already a lot of time to cook and if it is stuffed, for cooking the interior the rest would be burned. So all the sauces are aside!
- The turkey is not entirely put in the middle of the table. Actually this only happens when the family is very small. If there are many guests is cut before is being served, like in my case.
- Long day with so much food, buuuuut … The dinner lasted less than half an hour!! A dinner like that in Italy lasts at least three hours. In half an hour we finished everything and we also cleared the paltes. Everyone said to be full, but I did’t have the feeling to be “full as an egg,” like I feel during Christmas in Italy
- Also we don’t have to forget the big macy’s parade held in New York on the 5th Ave. There are big and colorful ballons, wagons with artists, people who dance and sing, etc. I watched some minutes of the parade in the morning on the tv and was very emotional.
That’s it !!
Your Au Pair