Thanksgiving in Japan, 2008:
The equipment: Two gas burners, one toaster oven, one microwave, no kitchen counter.
The menu: Pan-roasted chicken, Maggie’s World Famous stuffing, mashed potatoes, canned corn, green bean casserole, gravy, dried cranberries, Mon Frere red wine. The Veuve Cliquot Champagne was a congratulatory gift from Nakata-san after Obama was elected.
Thanksgiving in Ireland:
The equipment: Four gas burners, an oven, and a microwave.
The menu: A roast chicken, green bean casserole with homemade French-fried onions, Maggie’s World Famous stuffing, gravy, homemade Irish cheddar-and-parmesan macaroni and cheese, red wine, After Eights. Not pictured: mashed potatoes and homemade apple crumble.
Two countries, two dinners. The constants: stuffing, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes and chicken. No turkey in Japan. No turkey in Ireland before Christmas. No Thanksgiving, of course, in either Japan or Ireland. The gloating Turkey-filled facebook status updates come fast and furious and I feel lonely, left out. But the bright side? I have my pick of anything I want in the supermarket at 4 pm on the day of. And the T-day food? The food is delicious anywhere you eat it.
Besides – when you’re young, healthy, loved, and a Master’s student in the course of your dreams, every day is Thanksgiving.