Our coordinator, Kelly, shares a memory of a particularly festive Thanksgiving celebrated abroad in Seville, Spain.
This time two years ago, I had a naked turkey between my feet on the ride home from school. It was in a plastic bag, but that was all that was shielding Turkey Tom from the elements and my sneakers.
It was so heavy. I had wheeled and dealed with the secretary at our school in Bollullos, who promised he could secure a turkey for me in time for our Thanksgiving feast (difficult to do in Spain). Our conversation was like something from Abbott & Costello.
– You want it cleaned?
– Yes, please clean it.
– Everything out?
– Yes, yes .. everything out.
– But you want the whole bird?
– Yes, the whole thing … empty.
– You want to kill it yourself?
– … WHAT?
I didn’t take him up on the offer, but surely did deliver a turkey to my apartment just a few days before Thanksgiving. Plucked? Yes.. except for those horrible little downy feathers that stuck to our fingers. Cleaned out? Yes.. except for the lungs that I discovered while skyping with my mom. My roommate Alex towering over my shoulder, angling my laptop just so. “Mom, there’s squishy stuff near the ribs.” “Take everything out.” “What the hell is it?” “I don’t know, but you have to take it out.”
There was a package from home, bearing the perfect late November gifts my roommates & I had been craving: McCormick gravy mix, cranberry sauce, Stove Top stuffing. We struck a deal with our group of teachers, and agreed to potluck the side dishes that make the meal. Some comedy ensued when we found ourselves without specific ingredients. Namely, pastel-colored marshmallows instead of basic white, on top of the sweet potatoes.
In the end our table seats fifteen, mostly Americans, with a Spanish couple in the mix. The end result was beautiful. A heavily laden table, a room full of happy, hungry friends and Spanish wine from our guests. We said our own form of grace, introducing our Spanish friends to the simple tradition of saying what you’re thankful for. Me? I was just glad I didn’t have to kill that turkey myself!