Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, well not here in Japan, just in my tiny corner of it.
I loved Thanksgiving growing up. True, I loved the turkey and Stovetop stuffing. Who doesn’t love The Great Pie Triumvirate of pumpkin, pecan, and sweet potato? Even though Thanksgiving didn’t involve presents or candy, it was still my favorite holiday.
But it’s hard to maintain in Japan.
My first year here, a dear friend hosted a taco party. We had no hope of acquiring a turkey, and no idea what to do with one, anyway. And when you’re 23, far from home, and homesick then minor details like the main dish don’t matter much. We had beer; we were good.
But at some point, the friends I’d been newbies together with all went home. I wasn’t celebrating with people who knew what it was supposed to be like and were doing what we could for a short time before going home. I was on my own, and I had children I wanted to share this holiday with.
And as one of so many Americans of crazy mixed heritage, including a Native American side we know almost nothing about, I love that Thanksgiving has that aspect, where the natives are the heroes instead of the victims.
Tomorrow, we are skipping school and going to a Thanksgiving potluck hosted by a lovely lady from AFWJ. I’m bringing corn muffins, just because my kids love them.
But baking in my tiny oven is a pain in the turkey. I can only cook 6 at a time, and I need to make 24.
I can’t get buttermilk, but I’ve discovered that using yogurt in place of oil gives it a buttermilkish tang that is nice.
In a far away land, doing the best I can. Of course there’s no harrowing voyage or Winter of Death (I hope!) but in some small way, I feel like I understand those Separatist women better now than I ever did when I lived in America. I think we could have got along well.
And of course, I would bring the corn bread.
(For some reason, I can’t get these pics to be un-sideways. Just imagine it as an extension from the scene in Dead Poets Society.