Happy Thanksgiving Everybody!
Instead, we were together with good friends for the third year in a row (which makes it a chazakah)--from now on as long as we're here, unless there are special circumstances, we will have Thanksgiving dinner with them. Even if, say, our kids come back here for a visit at this time next year, we will all be together--family, and our friends.
Our daughters in the States (Toodles and Baby K'tan and family) were together with the entire mishpocheh at Tia D.'s house, with all the Aunts and Uncles and cousins and Grandma, too. They get together every year--there's a lot of family down there, in sunny hurricane land.
But what about our children living in Israel? What did they, like a lot of ex-pats, do for Thanksgiving? Our youngest, Rambo, searched high and low for a whole turkey, which couldn't be found anywhere. So she looked for turkey pieces, but she started looking too late--all the stores were out.
Thanksgiving morning she ran out to one more store and they, too, had sold out all their turkey pieces. She didn't even ask for a whole turkey, thinking they wouldn't have one (in Israel there aren't too many requests for whole turkey, as you can imagine), when the meat counter man mentioned that wait, they have one whole turkey in the back, which is approximately the size of a large chicken. He was wrong. It was the size of three chickens, and my daughter bought it, thrilled that she finally found a turkey and a whole one at that!
One problem though. When she got back to her brother's apt. in Efrat where he--Nathaniel Bloomenstein and his lovely wife Noodles--were going to help her cook, they found it wouldn't fit in the oven. Yes, they do have smaller ovens in Israel than in the States, but turkeys can fit in them. Here, the reason was different. The Bloomensteins have a two-compartment oven, and they designated the small one for meat because they mainly eat dairy, so the big compartment was dairy; hence yon turkey not fitting in the small one. So my son proceeds to carve up the turkey into its sundry parts, despite not having a clue as to how to cut up a turkey (I am not making this up. He told me this himself.).
All's well that ends well, and the turkey, the sweet potato casserole, the cranberry sauce (okay, that was maybe a little too watery, Rambo's oldest brother, Mister Arnold Mayergi--who made it--said; but it was still delicious ), and the salad made by the latter's lovely wife, Hardally Mayergi, and the pumpkin pie, and the French silk (chocolate) pie came out great. I don't think they made pecan pie (do you know how hard it is to find dark Karo syrup in Israel? Neither do I.).
My kids all went to their baby sister's (Rambo's) apartment in Jerusalem with the cooked food in hand, or rather, in cars (her oven doesn't work, which is why she cooked it all at her brother's), and they were all three siblings there, two with their families (Rambo is the youngest, not yet married) for Thanksgiving dinner. They had a wonderful time!
It's interesting, because in the States when the kids were growing up, we made home-made pizzas on Thanksgiving day so as not to de-emphasize Shabbat. Normally here in the U. S., Thursday night is milchig (dairy) night. In Israel, they miss Thanksgiving (after all, they are Americans) and the family being together, so they made the fleishig (meat) dinner on the actual day.
Absence makes the heart grow fonder, as the saying goes. Here is my Thanksgiving 2007 post, to explain our family tradition from way back. It's interesting to think, that when we return to live in Israel and spend the day with our kids--which we will some day--will we be making a traditional Thanksgiving dinner on the day, or...pizza?!
The most ecumenical thing would be to take a family vote. Good idea.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
(Hat tip to my Rambo for reminding me about this video)