Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving in G√łttingen

Many years ago, a relative visited us in Chicago on Thanksgiving.  The turkey was very impressive, and he said whole turkeys were  expensive in Germany.  The day after (this was before black Friday), we bought a  large frozen turkey at half price.  We scoured suburban Chicago for a stryrofoam cooler, and finally found one at the local hardware store, high on a shelf waiting for spring.

Said relative packed the turkey into the cooler and took it as hand luggage aboard the flight to Frankfurt.  Going thru customs, he was asked for his Meat Importer's License, because obviously so much turkey must be to carve up and sell.  After a long explanation, the customs agent, in very unGerman fashion, threw up his arms and waved him and the turkey through the line.

When we flew over (via London) at Christmastime, we brought  sweet potatoes, pumpkin, cranberries, stuffing mix and the rest of the fixins.  Saw a turkey for $100 at Harrods fool hall.  Yikes.

 It was hard to find ground veal and shallots in Germany in those days (the veal was minced, not ground) but we perservered, and I cooked up a big holiday feast for the whole familyin my mother-in-laws post-war kitchen.  The stove was primitive, but she did have a new fridge that held more than a watermelon and a six-pack.  It was a wonderful time.

Cross-cultural exchanges, even among families can be illuminating, and we should all  try to understand different cultures.  I have been reading Washington Irving's "Tales from the Alhambra" and it is very illuminating apropos the Moors in Spain.  Did you know that in the early Middle Ages, the Jew, Moors and Catholics were able to co-exist in Southern Spain?  How is it that they can't now?  Makes you wonder.  

Happy Thanksgiving to all.  In The Shadow Warriors, Emma, the narrator, makes a Caesar Salad to take to a party with many international students. Someone dances the Lambada.  I always think of that when Lambada comes up on the tape in my aerobics class.  What a crazy world.