Today I had my first American Thanksgiving meal, which unfortunately was 17 years late, as I gave up eating meat on the first of January, 1997, and therefore couldn’t have any of this delicious turkey.

In the morning, I went for a run. This was amusing as I started running downhill, then got to a field full of Canada geese, and about then realized that running around at an altitude 5,000 feet higher than what I’m used to is actually a bit more difficult. Ok, I didn’t have the humid embrace of Singapore to tax my circulatory system, but oxygen is a nice thing to have too. And then, of course, I had to run uphill back to where I started.

I made up for this "exercise" (all 2.25 km of it) by eating a large wedge of apple pie for breakfast, then strolling nonchalantly around Boulder. Today was Black Friday, that quasi-holiday in America where people celebrate by tooling off to Walmart to buy more crap they don’t need, or, in liberal Boulder, going to the pedestrian area to loon at buskers.

We saw one angry confrontation between a fire eater and a man (with a dog on a string) who was irate that the fire eater had asked him to move from a bench to make space for his act. "I was just enjoying my fucking day and you want me to move for your shitty act" isn’t a very eloquent way to express your displeasure with anyone, particularly not a man who can breathe fire, but it seemed quite heartfelt. Perhaps it would have been better to complain afterwards, when the shittiness level of the act would have been clear, but then neither the argument nor the fire eating could have been as entertaining.

Apart from that, quite uneventful. It was perhaps bad that in a place of such natural beauty, all we managed to do was go shopping, but then we did the same in San Francisco, and I quite like shops, and that afternoon while Felicity was tied to my chest another shopper mistook her for a boy, and then assumed her mother was Chinese because we were the two non-Coloradans standing next to one another in the supermarket, and I don’t know what that means but it seems kind of amusing, and this sentence is anyway rather too long.

So, Thanksgiving. I had quinoa and stuffing and a squash and wine from a bottle that is labeled with a picture of a bear vomitting fire. Either I really am a lightweight, or the wine is super strong, or the altitude is getting to me because after half a glass I turned bright red and wanted to go and fight passers-by. Perhaps that was the same stuff the angry guy with the dog had been drinking earlier in the day. Perhaps he’d mistaken the fire eater for a bear.

We’re on a quiet street, so instead I gave my daughter a bath and then set some Christmas puddings on fire. My mother had made the puddings and advised me on how long to steam them for, but sadly failed to tell me that two miniatures of brandy would be exactly two times too much. The fire blazed on for a quarter of an hour, until the outsides of the puddings began to char. Of course, wine and brandy cover any failings in my presentation of the food.

Everyone else ate turkey. Then ate the puddings. A success, although perhaps there’s something wrong about combining Thanksgiving with Christmas. Let’s try to think of another religious/secular pairing. Hanukah and Christopher Columbus Day?

3 responses to “Thanks”

  1. That Turkey looks delicious. I suppose the only advantage in you not partaking is that there is more for everyone else!

  2. Felicity does look quite Chinese in some photos.

    Isabel wants to set puddings on fire this year. I will bear in mind your advice on quantities of alcohol to use.

    • It’s odd, isn’t it? Nothing in Felicity’s heritage (apart from being born in Singapore) would suggest she’d look the slightest bit Chinese. You should see her passport photo…

      Brandy: a tablespoon of brandy, heated over a high heat, until it starts to smoke. Use a milk pan if you have one as it’s easier to pour, and light using a taper, not matches or anything where you get too close.

      We used two miniatures worth; half went on the puddings, and that was still about double what was necessary. (They were baked by the Foremanmamma, so about the size of a small-to-medium store bought pudding: five portions max)

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