By Nancy Todd and Regina Winkle Bryan
Yes, we celebrate Thanksgiving in Spain. We are celebrating on the Saturday after Thanksgiving and can celebrate any day we choose.
We think about our friends and family and miss them. Most of them. Clinging to our tradition, we want to be with dear friends we have met in Spain. Here is Thanksgiving Scoop from your Scoopettes.
1. No one in Spain has heard of Thanksgiving. When we tell them the bunk about the pilgrims giving thanks to the indians who the pilgrims also slaughtered, then stole their land, Spanish people look at us like we are nuts. We picture the long wooden trestle table outside, all gathered around with pilgrims in stupid hats and big white collars.
2. Because everyone works on Thursday, one gets to choose whatever day is convenient.
3. Dinner starts at 9.30 at night. That is early for dinner in Spain. If we said, “Come for dinner at 4,” people would look at us like we had lost all our pesetas. Dinner at 9.30 means people will arrive at 10.00. And some later. We will sit down for dinner at 10.30.
4. Grocery stores (as we know them) were not in existence in Spain until about 7 years ago. There are no turkeys in the grocery stores. So off to the Mercado Concepcion (which sounds Catholic, something to do with immaculate but we don’t know what) where there are individual stalls of cheese, ham, eggs, etc., and The Chicken Lady. A pavo, or turkey is ordered a week in advance to be picked from up from The Chicken Lady. It is important to ask that the head and feet be removed or we would get it home with all it’s acoutrements. Regina is already a vegetarian. The turkey with the head idea is convincing Nancy to become one.
5. Eleven Guests are invited. Several countries will toast and eat turkey at Nancy’s apartment: Egypt, France, Norway, Spain, Germany, Poland, and Wisconsin. Wisconsin is a country isn’t it?
6. Regina and Nancy bumble through the Thanksgiving story, with guffaws all around. We discuss what we are thankful for. Friends and family rank at the top for everyone. We miss them and find solace with one another.
7. This dinner is a family of choice. We do not have to put up with the drunk, a relative’s uninvited yapping dog, the histrionic aunt, and the cousin who tells really bad ethnic jokes. Nor the uncle who snores on the sofa mid party. Or the latest gall bladder story.
8. There is no football game. Whew.
9. We make sure that All Men and All Women help with the clean up.
10. Dinner is over and everyone leaves around 2 a.m
A Happy Thanksgiving to the people we love and treasure. You are in our thoughts.