Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays, and it was a wonderful experience to be able to share the traditional American traditions as well as my own family traditions with my new family here!
We celebrated thanksgiving two days after the actual occurrance, but that just meant I had two wonderful days of thanks. (The day of Thanksgiving I had a small german lunch with my guest grandpa and make little hand turkeys to make the meal more festive :)) I decided to cook for my host family, so first things first I had to gather the ingredients. Seemed simple enough, right? Well, as it turned out 1. having a different selection and 2. not having the exact translation and 3. not being a fantastic cook, made the sitiation a bit difficult (and also hilarious). My guest mother and I went to the store together and spent a long time searching up and down the isles for things she had never even heard of (ie. hawaiin bread rolls, and cream of chicken soup), and settled with similar iteams that ended up working just the same. The most difficult thing to explain was the ham (I don't know how to bake a turkey lol) because that doesn't translate well meaning I was basically just asking for pig meat. We ended up going to a meat market and buying, what I though was, exactly what we were looking for. Spoiler Alert: it ended up being roast beef meat, which you can't cook the way I had been planning. My host mother couldn't understand the way I had described I would cook the meat, and after several google picture searches, we were finally on the same page. We then cooked it in the German way they were used to and it was nice to have both American and German all together in the best way we could fashion it. My host sister Kirsten and I even baked an American pie using a German recipie we had found and made a few alterations that I had learned back home. It's tradition in my family to play an annual game of spoons on this special holiday, and the winner is that years champion (who everyone tries to beat out the next year). Even though my host family was hesitant at learning this odd game where people fought over spoons, they enjoyed that I brought them a subtle piece of my home.
I think my favorite part about this experience aren't the days that are truly captured in pictures, or hearing about the same things we could google online about cultures. No, my favorite part is playing the games, listening to the music, and talking with the people; things that can go seemily unnoticed or normal in everyday life. I am very thankful that things didn't go exactly as planned because not everything can be exactly the same. It's about doing the best you can to show how love to those around you, by bringing small cultural "spoons" to the table.... Now just wait until I teach them my family game of peanuts!!!