I’d like to use this opportunity to challenge my coauthors to share their favorite Thanksgiving memory or memories. One of my favorite was in Moscow. We invited our Russian nanny Tonya, her son Dima, and his wife Tanya (who was pregnant). We also had a couple of OSIA TDYers at the house so Kelly and I wouldn’t have to do all the talking (none of our Russian guests spoke English).
Here’s the menu.
Menu: Turkey marinated in RedHot sauce, salt & pepper, and stuffed with garlic cloves and chopped onions and cooked on the Weber grill. I nearly froze cooking the turkey in the Moscow snow (yes snow in November).
Gravy, of course
Green bean casserole (green beans, cream of mushroom soup, & sour cream – baked)
Corn (not on the cob)
and Pumpkin pie with Tea (the Tea is a Russian thing)
…a decent spread, but nothing unexpected for Thanksgiving dinner, right? You should’ve seen their eyes bug out. Dima, who’s a Presidential bodyguard, travels quite a bit, so he isn’t afraid to try new food. Tanya, on the other hand, is not very daring. She had a chunk of white meat (no skin), a small scoop of corn, and two pumpkin rolls. The pumpkin rolls and the pumpkin pie were the things Dima’s wife, Tanya liked best of all. I sent some of both home with her, and she wouldn’t share it with ANYONE according to Tonya. The other thing she and Dima remarked on was that, you know, “…we [Russians] just don’t eat turkey. I wonder why that is.” We [Americans] sitting at the table could answer that easily. Russians don’t eat turkey because they don’t HAVE turkey. They can’t feed their own soldiers; how on earth can they expect to feed turkeys?
We have traveled quite extensively through Russia, have been through quite a few backwoods villages in our time, and none of us could remember seeing a CHICKEN farm, or even more than a couple of skimpy chickens running around in a yard, much less a turkey farm. The only chicken we’ve seen sold is imported. In the report we got from Tonya the next day, Tanya was very surprised that such a small young girl like my wife could cook all that by herself. It was a great time and we still look back at that as one of our more memorable Thanksgivings.
It was great to share our holiday with foreigners. If you haven’t done it, I can highly recommend it. We have so much to be thankful for as Americans. Happy Thanksgiving to all!