Thanksgiving, French Style

French Word(s) of the Day: mal du pays (mal do pay-ee)- homesickness

To cure the major homesickness we have been experiencing this week, Jenna and I decided to have a proper Thanksgiving.

Théo’s parents have an oven (there are roughly 12 ovens throughout the entirety of Paris because apartments are the size of your standard oven) and so we cooked there.

Turkeys have to be booked in advance and cooked by the butchery (again, because no one has ovens).  This must be done before the end of October.  We decided that turkey wasn’t essential, because everyone knows that turkeys are really just over-sized chickens.

Besides, the mashed potatoes are the most important part of any Thanksgiving.  I hear my mom made way too much because she forgot that I wouldn’t be attending (my Thanksgiving plate is generally half mashed potatoes, half everything else).  Feel free to send the leftovers!

Back to France… Jenna and I decided on the menu and Arnaud, Théo, and Théo’s dad joined us.  We commenced with having everyone go around saying what they were thankful for this year.

Jenna and I had considered forcing everyone to wear either a Native American headdress or pilgrim hat (clearly what everyone wears for Thanksgiving in America…), but we couldn’t find construction paper.

Next time.

Everyone was extremely intrigued by the pumpkin pie filling and the stuffing we brought.  Both were brought over from the States by my parents.  They would stare at them curiously and then try a little as if it was a fine cheese before asking “What’s in this?”  At which point, I would have to hold out the stuffing box with its list of ingredients, because other than croutons, butter, and a ton of spices, I have no idea what goes into boxed stuffing.  Not a lot of things I can pronounce, it turns out.

The mashed potatoes, or “purée” as they were referred to, were a huge success as well.  There weren’t any left by the end of the meal.  This is possibly because Jenna and I let everyone serve themselves and then split the leftovers in half between the two of us.  So actually, no one even got a second helping.

Of course, it was a French Thanksgiving, so we had our chicken, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and green beans with wine, and then had a cheese course.

Neither Arnaud nor I participated in the cheese course.  Mainly because we both hate cheese (Arnaud is really American), and partially because I’m lactose intolerant.  Arnaud doesn’t really have an excuse.

French cheese is a thing of true pungency…  Théo’s father explained to Jenna that the best way to eat cheese is to buy it, and then let it sit for a week or so before you begin eating it.  This will make it stronger.

In other words, when you buy cheese, it doesn’t smell bad enough.  You must wait until it smells even worse to eat it.  This is why many French refrigerators smell like they are housing corpses instead of food.

Jenna is an avid lover of smelly cheese, and enjoyed her lesson on how to make it smellier.  We both declared French Thanksgiving a success, even without the pilgrim hats.

While we were eating dinner, one of the Frenchies (can’t remember which one… sorry guys) said, “In how many hours will your family be eating dinner?” and when we responded that they were already eating at that moment, he said, “Ah right, Americans eat really, really early.”

After Jenna and Arnaud left, I got to call my family in the States.  (Who were already done eating… oh those early-eating Americans.)  I talked to all 12 people at the house, which Théo found amusing.  He laughed everytime I would say, “Okay, bye [insert family member name].  Love you, too… Hi [insert another family member name].”  Apparently the French don’t pass around the phone when their family calls?  I don’t know how you talk to everyone.  Speakerphone?  I can’t hear 12 people at once.

I’m beginning to doubt the French call their families…

Jenna and I went to H&M on Friday because we wanted a proper Black Friday.  We got the shopping without the crazy lines, but also without the really awesome sales.

Close enough.

We then saw the 7th Harry Potter, which was AMAZING!  It came out later in France than it did in the US.  I was getting tired of seeing cryptic statuses like “OMG, Dobby” followed by 10 or 12 comments that all said things like, “I know… so sad” or “Feel your painnnnnn” or statuses of “RW+HG= giggles <3” that were then liked by 15 people.

Now I can be a person with cryptic Harry Potter statuses!!!!!

But seriously, this was best one yet.  Those kids have finally learned how to act, and Hermione has gotten cuter and Daniel Radcliffe has formed a uni-brow, which really isn’t the same thing at all.

Jenna and I both enjoyed that even though they were stuck in the woods for several months, they managed to have a change of clothes for every single day.  They even changed their winter coats.  I don’t think even Kim Kardashian has that many coats.

Being a witch sounds lucrative.  I must figure out how to become one.

Pain au chocolat count: 31

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About The Meghan

I'm a lupus survivor who spent a year and a half in France. Now, I'm trying to incorporate the best parts of French culture into an American lifestyle.
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3 Responses to Thanksgiving, French Style

  1. siobhan says:

    Glad your pumpkin pie was a hit. We missed you!

  2. CARLA says:

    I wish I had foreign friends to force childish and ridiculous American traditions on.

  3. Alyssa says:

    French Thanksgiving < American Thanksgiving. You should really be home next year!

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