One major difference this year is the fact that we actually had friends to invite and to celebrate with. This was also our first house party in Argentina so it was definitely more interesting compared to last year. We had two friends, who are also expats from the United States, and two Argentinean friends.
After this year's experience, my spouse and I have a deeper appreciation for the hard work it takes to make a Thanksgiving dinner party a success.
In lieu of turkey, we made chicken. We also made mash potatoes, gravy, corn, stuffing, and two different types of salad. Well, actually, I should say that Zach did most of the work. He's the chef in the family and he's super talented. I concentrated on the house cleaning. When I was done, I helped Zach out with as much of the prep work as I could. Our friends were kind enough to bring cornbread and provide the drinks for us.
The first thing we did was set up the appetizers which consisted of olives, cheese cubes, salami, Doritos, and sliced bread with pesto dip.
Zach and I wanted to have dinner done by 4pm, but nothing ever goes as planned on the holidays. Fortunately, our friends were willing to pitch in and help us finish with the preparations, like peeling potatoes, cutting tomatoes, and icing the cake.
We ate around 5:30pm. Fortunately, everyone liked the taste of the food. We were really nervous about that. I tried making sure that everyone had enough to drink and had enough ice in their cups. We all spent a couple of hours getting to know each other better while we ate. We learned a few things about Argentinean culture in comparison to U.S. culture.
Afterwards we served dessert which consisted of a chocolate cake, sweet potato pie, apple pie, and an assortment of roasted nuts, chocolate covered raisins, and chocolate covered nuts.
Before everyone arrived, our biggest fear was that we wouldn't have enough food. I never expected there to be leftovers, but that was a relief. It's always better to have extra than not enough. At least we know that everyone went home happy and on a full stomach.
Being so far from home has been tougher on me than on my spouse, but this dinner, this precious moment in time, was beautiful and priceless to me. We had a fantastic meal and an amazing group of people to share it with. Our friends became our family that night. I don't think I could have asked for a better Thanksgiving in my life.
So what am I most grateful for? I'm thankful:
- for the amazing new friends we've made here in Argentina, Sarita, Martin, Peque, Rosalia, Brian, Victoria, Kristen, Bill, Wendy, Ben, Andres, Belen
- for my parents, who provided us with so much in order to survive here
- for our friends back home, Amber, Joey, Stephanie, Eileen, Joann, Tom, Cathy, Steve, Mohamed, Will, Rose, Drew
- for our family in New York, Zacsi, Roy, Sam, Robert, Chewy
- for the opportunity to work as a freelance writer and get paid (until I can land a more permanent and stable job)
- to Argentina for providing us with free healthcare and a chance for a free higher education
- for our health
- for Zach, my life partner/spouse, best friend, companion, and the love of my life