As a Canadian, I am bit envious of the USA Thanksgiving celebration

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slaveforpizzaandsushi
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As a Canadian, I am bit envious of the USA Thanksgiving celebration - Tue, 11/13/12 11:33 AM
I am not sure if this is just my own prespective, and probably not that of other Canadians, but I wish we had American Thanksgiving instead. It seems like a huger deal in the USA than it does in Canada. The idea of going shopping the next day holds no appeal to me. And believe me, i do love to shop, aren't all women born with that gene, but the idea of facing crowds and mass chaos holds little, if any appeal to me.
 
What I do enjoy is the importance of the holiday in the American psyche that seems to me be missing from us Canadians. Once again, that could just be me, and not shared by my fellow Canucks. 
 
I look through the posts and feel envious..all the food and conviviality shared with friends and family..sighs...makes me almost want to move the USA. 
 
I love visiting the USA, and yes, of course for the shopping, but overall, its always been a positive experience, and negative situations..well, you will find those everywhere. 
 
So, Happy Thanksgiving to all my fellow Roadfooders! My spirit in these situations moves me to be thankful the bounty, not speaking of money, but the gift of love with those dear to us, and as well the richness of a meal. My mom has a tradition of donating a turkey and a bag of potatoes to the local charity for their annual thanksgiving and Christmas dinners.  I think that is one I will have to do as well when she longer can. 

chewingthefat
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Re:As a Canadian, I am bit envious of the USA Thanksgiving celebration - Tue, 11/13/12 12:22 PM
Nice post, thank you from me!

Ice Cream Man
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Re:As a Canadian, I am bit envious of the USA Thanksgiving celebration - Tue, 11/13/12 12:33 PM
You should come to my house next year.
Every year we do a family Thanksgiving, this year we had 60 people our record is 66, the norm is 50 plus.
Erin fall fair is that weekend, we eat at 1:00 some go to the fair then we eat again and again. Thanksgiving is a big deal here or where ever you make it a big deal. Two twenty pound Turkeys, two big assed hams, twenty pounds of potatoes, pies and more. 

felix4067
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Re:As a Canadian, I am bit envious of the USA Thanksgiving celebration - Tue, 11/13/12 2:15 PM
I have to disagree on the shopping gene thing...I can think of few things I hate more than shopping, although I am female.
 
I remember huge Thanksgiving dinners with the family, but for the last 20 years I've usually had to work, so I've missed them. The last couple of years I've been off, but it's just me and mom. We still do a huge dinner, but it's just not the same. When I lived downtown, I used to take turns hosting an "orphan's Thanksgiving" for those who either couldn't be with their families or didn't have any family left with a friend. Those were fabulous gatherings.

Davydd
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Re:As a Canadian, I am bit envious of the USA Thanksgiving celebration - Tue, 11/13/12 2:15 PM
We thought we were going to get a reprieve this year and be guests at our son's house for Thanksgiving - a total of 6 of us. We were supplying the turkey. Change of plans. They are now coming to our house so others in the Twin Cities can come like daughter, sisters-in-law, cousins, nephews and nieces. Last count we were up to about 17 people and climbing from Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and Alaska, and maybe even New York.

mayor al
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Re:As a Canadian, I am bit envious of the USA Thanksgiving celebration - Tue, 11/13/12 4:39 PM
 
I really miss the "formal" Thanksgiving family dinner from times past. We do have large (30-40 person) family dinners on or near the holiday now ,  to get the spirit of family renewed. They tend to have all the traditional foods, but served buffet style, on disposable dinnerware and utensils, and plastic cups. Kids running everywhere after 3 minutes of eating..people take their food to wherever they can find a chair...TV and Video-games  going-- you get the idea.
  What I miss was dressing up in our Sunday best. Going to Grandmothers...or later going to my Mom's. Sitting at a formal table (multiple forks and glasses) . The matriarch said Grace, then food passed to the left working it's way around the table. No thank you helpings (sample-size) of things you didn't care for (mashed turnips and radishes for me, Rutabaga and cooked carrots for my sister). Gravy in "boats" at various locations on the table.  Kids at a seperate table until aged 12, then they sat with the adults. 
At least a 2 hour break after dinner before the pies turned up for dessert.  Always sharp Cheddar freshly sliced for the Apple Pie. Squirt cans of whipped creme for the Pumpkin. And at least three other varieties including REAL Mince-meat, Lemon Merirenge, and cream--chocolate or coconut. No nut pies...for no reason that I ever learned.
I don't know if it was the 'Spirit' or the 'Style' or the 'fading memories' that I long for,  but it was a wonderful experience thats for sure.
TGhanks to our friend from the "Great White North" for bringing back those memories
<message edited by mayor al on Tue, 11/13/12 4:42 PM>

joerogo
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Re:As a Canadian, I am bit envious of the USA Thanksgiving celebration - Tue, 11/13/12 5:19 PM
mayor al, What you said.......plus Lasagna!

harleytexas
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Re:As a Canadian, I am bit envious of the USA Thanksgiving celebration - Tue, 11/13/12 9:34 PM
I moved to America from Canada and still don't understand why they go nuts for thanksgiving. My wife, who is American and I have no big interest in it and we both work most years on that day, and we don't go shopping the day after either. I also don't understand the attraction of the horrible green bean casserole....gross!

Ice Cream Man
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Re:As a Canadian, I am bit envious of the USA Thanksgiving celebration - Tue, 11/13/12 10:12 PM
Our Thanksgiving is the second Sunday of October so not many work.
The first Thanksgiving dinner at my in-laws was in 1967 I was dating the youngest of 7 all the rest were married, they stuck me in the middle at the back so I couldn't get away.
In 1975 when my Mother in-law passed we took over and have never missed a year since. I would guess if they all showed up it would be 80 or so but there are always some missing. Some of the kids we only see every third year but they always know where dinner will be if they are around. We can seat 50 at tables the rest find a chair where ever they can. Same at Christmas only the average is 25.

ann peeples
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Re:As a Canadian, I am bit envious of the USA Thanksgiving celebration - Wed, 11/14/12 5:48 AM
I grew up in a small family, with virtually no extended family around me. Mom set a beautiful table, we dressed up a bit, and enjoyed fantastic food. So I was used to a somewhat small, semi formal Thanksgiving.Then, in 1979, I met Bob, and went to his family celebration...oh boy...ten Aunts and Uncles, their kids, extended family all around, big kids, little kids underfoot-total organized chaos!!And I loved it! But, we are now back to our quiet celebration as I love to cook the whole kit and kaboodle.( and being in retail at Target I actually have to work Thanksgiving morning to prep for our "Black Friday" opeing at 9pm Thanksgiving night)Bob loves the leftovers, and I guess as we get older, we just like the peacefulness with the 2 of us.

SeamusD
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Re:As a Canadian, I am bit envious of the USA Thanksgiving celebration - Wed, 11/14/12 3:37 PM
We're up to around 20 now, packed into my mom's little house every year since 1995, it used to be just 10 of us at my grandparent's house before that. That was a formal sit-down meal. Now we have everybody crowd in, grab a plate and load it up, and find a place to sit. Very informal, loud, and boisterous. I do miss the formal meals sometimes, but I think it's just that I miss my grandparents. Thanksgivings now are more fun. And I get to do most of the cooking, so I know the food will be good.

felix4067
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Re:As a Canadian, I am bit envious of the USA Thanksgiving celebration - Wed, 11/14/12 3:48 PM
SeamusD


And I get to do most of the cooking, so I know the food will be good.

That's the selling point for me! No more dry turkey (if we even have turkey). No more yams with a whole pound of brown sugar in them. No more pickled beets, spiced apple rings, or pickled pears in the relish tray. This year I'm doing a roast leg of lamb, my version of green bean casserole (sorry, harleytexas), baked sweet potatoes with just butter and S&P, smashed redskin potatoes with garlic and cream cheese, southern-style buttermilk biscuits, sweet & sour red cabbage, tossed salad (how my grandma made it), relish tray (dill & sweet pickles, black & green olives, cheddar and Swiss cheese), and pumpkin pie. There may only be two of us, but we do love leftovers.

ScreamingChicken
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Re:As a Canadian, I am bit envious of the USA Thanksgiving celebration - Thu, 11/15/12 9:04 AM
SeamusD


We're up to around 20 now, packed into my mom's little house every year since 1995, it used to be just 10 of us at my grandparent's house before that. That was a formal sit-down meal. Now we have everybody crowd in, grab a plate and load it up, and find a place to sit. Very informal, loud, and boisterous.
That's a pretty good description of how things used to be with my mom's side of the family (smaller group, more formal) and my dad's side (bigger group, definitely more of a party).  Nowadays only my mom's side gets together for Thanksgiving and things are pretty much the same, whereas on my dad's side his generation is getting too old to be putting dinners together and my cousins and their families have become scattered across the country.  But when I was a kid Christmas Eve and the alternating Thanksgiving were 2 of the best days of the year.

Davydd
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Re:As a Canadian, I am bit envious of the USA Thanksgiving celebration - Thu, 11/15/12 1:14 PM
A tradition in my family going back to my parents was if you knew someone alone or someone with no plans for Thanksgiving you made it a point to invite them and make them welcome at your Thanksgiving dinner.

ann peeples
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Re:As a Canadian, I am bit envious of the USA Thanksgiving celebration - Thu, 11/15/12 1:25 PM
Nice, Davydd.......

mayor al
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Re:As a Canadian, I am bit envious of the USA Thanksgiving celebration - Thu, 11/15/12 7:27 PM
Davy D   I was the invited guest a couple of times during my post-divorce wanderings...before returnng to SoCal and finding Janet. Those holidays were 'different' for me. The people inviting me were very nice, but i really felt like the 'odd-man' at the table both times.
Funny how looking back at a low point in our lives, we can see more clearly how things really were (hindsight is wonderful.

Davydd
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Re:As a Canadian, I am bit envious of the USA Thanksgiving celebration - Thu, 11/15/12 8:33 PM
mayor al


Davy D   I was the invited guest a couple of times during my post-divorce wanderings...before returnng to SoCal and finding Janet. Those holidays were 'different' for me. The people inviting me were very nice, but i really felt like the 'odd-man' at the table both times.
Funny how looking back at a low point in our lives, we can see more clearly how things really were (hindsight is wonderful.

You can't overcome your circumstances but was it not better than sitting at the counter of a Waffle House?
 
Our Thanksgivings tend to get carried away. We were going to our son's house this year but changed plans and will be holding it at our house. Last count we now have a potential of 17 people. A few years we had anticipated 13 people and the morning of Thanksgiving we discovered our oven wasn't working. We took our turkey 15 miles away to a nieces apartment to bake it. We got back two turkeys because our niece brought along her neighbors. We ended up with 21 people that day.

Michael Hoffman
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Re:As a Canadian, I am bit envious of the USA Thanksgiving celebration - Thu, 11/15/12 8:58 PM
I've always loved Thanksgiving, and for 14 years I never celebrated this wonderful holiday. Last year l had Thanksgiving with lleechef and the turkey's been ordered for this year. You would be very welcome at our home this year.

Poverty Pete
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Re:As a Canadian, I am bit envious of the USA Thanksgiving celebration - Thu, 11/15/12 9:21 PM
There will be around 35 at my sister's house, I think. Her husband is a CIA graduate certified chef, who doesn't let his standards slip.  He'll even carve an ice sculpture if he has time for it.  Our family is spoiled.  Except this year I'll be in New York for the parade. I haven't worked out that part just yet. Somebody will take pity on me and cadge some victuals to hide for me.

pnwchef
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Re:As a Canadian, I am bit envious of the USA Thanksgiving celebration - Thu, 11/15/12 9:23 PM
lleechef, enough is enough, the training is over, I can't take it any more. This person that sat around eating sardines and canned whatever, is just to dam nice. I want the old grouchy Michael back, I miss the old fart..........pnwc

CCinNJ
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Re:As a Canadian, I am bit envious of the USA Thanksgiving celebration - Thu, 11/15/12 9:40 PM
Poverty Pete


There will be around 35 at my sister's house, I think. Her husband is a CIA graduate certified chef, who doesn't let his standards slip.  He'll even carve an ice sculpture if he has time for it.  Our family is spoiled.  Except this year I'll be in New York for the parade. I haven't worked out that part just yet. Somebody will take pity on me and cadge some victuals to hide for me.


Keep the victuals out of your back pockets...during the parade.

BelleReve
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Re:As a Canadian, I am bit envious of the USA Thanksgiving celebration - Sun, 11/18/12 5:18 PM
harleytexas - you didn't mention another baby boomer  classic - sweet potato casserole with marshmallow topping.  I'm so glad that by the time I was in high school, my mom switched to a candied sweet potato using fresh sweet potatoes, and surprisingly not overly sweet.
 
We had a small group of relatives - a maternal aunt and uncle, grandmother, two cousins, but dressed up like others mentioned.  My brother's been cooking Thanksgiving at his house for the last 20 years, and it's amazing how he's duplicated all my mother's dishes, with a few added in when my niece wants to try a new side.  I get off easy by bringing dessert, but host Christmas.
  

joliehamer
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Re:As a Canadian, I am bit envious of the USA Thanksgiving celebration - Mon, 11/19/12 1:31 PM
I'm a proud Canadian (from Thunder Bay, Ontario) living in New York.  My American husband loves the fact that he now gets two Thanksgivings!  I strongly prefer nice low-key Thanksgiving celebrations and thankfully, my American in-laws are like-minded, so both Thanksgivings are "just wear sweatpants" sort of events, but filled with mouthwatering food.  No Black Friday shopping for us.  Just a nice relaxing weekend.
 
When we were first married, I would make a full turkey dinner for the Canadian Thanksgiving, but my husband got so sick of leftovers that by the time American Thanksgiving rolled around, he was not at all anticipating more turkey!  So for the past several years on Canadian Thanksgiving, I make a nice (Julia Child recipe) Beef Bourguignon with mashed potatoes and green beans.  For dessert we will usually have homemade cherry pie.  Then for American Thanksgiving, we can enjoy the traditional feast.  Works out great!