By Helen Sheldon (Stony Brook University, New York, USA).
Many times during my time studying abroad, people have invited me to their homes and have treated me like a close friend of years. My time in the USA has opened my eyes to the kindness of people who are not necessarily close to you, and the ease at which they accept you into their homes and do everything they can to help you feel comfortable and settled whilst living away from home in a different country.
One family in particular accepted me into their home this Thanksgiving. I was fortunate enough to spend the 5 day holiday at one of my lovely American friend Kate’s house in Wantagh, NY. Everybody talked about the Thanksgiving break as a time to relax and spend time with family and friends, much similar to Christmas time however without the presents and decorations! It turned out to be the most relaxing and enjoyable time spending the days eating, drinking, chatting and relaxing the time away.
I think it is important I provide a low down on thanksgiving day itself, for it was the day when I ate so much that I had to physically lie down because my body couldn’t handle the amount of food I had eaten..
Here are a few pictures of Kate’s house, the Thanksgiving table setting, and a snippet of the food that was simply amazing..
Kate’s gorgeous house in Wantagh on a cold and crisp sunny day.
The fall/autumn table decorations on the thanksgiving dinner table.
Raising a glass to the thanksgiving holiday and the start of a fabulous day. On the left is my friend Kate, whose house we were invited to, and to my right are my two friends who are also students studying abroad at Stony Brook University from Australia and Japan.
Kate’s parents catered for 18 people on Thanksgiving, the turkey was huge! I didn’t manage to get a picture before it was carved though.. Each person there was absolutely lovely and made me feel welcome from the moment I met them all.
And now for the food.. This is the main dish, served after lots of appetisers which were so tasty I ate far too many and so the main meal was a struggle. But, of course, I managed to eat it all because it was so yummy.. You can see on the photo carved turkey, mashed potato, vegetable casserole, cranberry sauce, corn, stuffing, and finally my two favourite things – the bread roll was sweet and called a biscuit (a bizzare concept to those who consider a biscuit to be a rich-tea or a hobnob) and mashed sweet potato with marshmallows melted on top. Now, that sounds bizarre but it was delicious, I suggest you try it!! For dessert there was apple pie, cheesecake and pumpkin pie.. I had never eaten pumpkin pie before, however I can now confidently say I have eaten enough slices of it to account for two whole pies. So, that’s a success in my eyes!
During dinner Kate’s younger cousin had an idea that we were all to take turns in saying what we were grateful for this Thanksgiving. This was a lovely touch to the day where people thanked their friends and family, I thanked the kindness and generosity of Kate’s family for inviting me to experience my first Thanksgiving, and then there were the ones who made a joke and said they were thankful for Game of Thrones..
All in all the day was amazing and one I will never forget! I hope to return to the US in the future over the Thanksgiving holiday, however next time I will try not to eat as much to the point where I can no longer function..