Okay, yes, I know that Thanksgiving was a week ago. No one can ever accuse me of being overly prompt with my postings! But despite being a week late, I didn’t want to let the occasion go by without at least a brief noting.
Although Thanksgiving is not a Costa Rican holiday, you can see the presence of the gringos in the fact that even in our comparatively small town of San Ramon, American turkeys appeared at the supermarket in early November (for around $3 a pound), along with wildly expensive cranberry sauce, cream of mushroom soup and french friend onions (for the requisite green bean casserole), canned sweet potatoes, and the ingredients for stuffing. (Many of these were not, in fact, available locally and usually required at least one trip to AutoMercado and PriceSmart.)
Nonetheless, we enjoyed six wonderful Thanksgivings in Costa Rica, four with BIG parties at our house (the largest being 54 people for formal Thanksgiving dinner) and the last with a small dinner at our friends Tom and Susan’s house. They were all great and we loved them all.
This year, though, we were able to give thanks for being back with our family! We had a lovely Turkey Day dinner at our house here, with various elements contributed by all and it was a delight. Small by our Costa Rican standards, but wonderful by all accounts. We roasted up a 25 pound bird and made mashed potatoes plus a last minute inspiration for a spinach and artichoke heart souffle-ish casserole.
Jen and Larry made their famous all-homemade green been casserole, Grand Marnier sweet potatoes in orange cups, and mushroom/pancetta dressing. (Not to mention the spectacular shrimp cocktail!) Kate brought her famous stuffing and wine, and Megan brought pies, including a yummy homemade apple pie, plus gorgeous homemade rolls. (She’s apparently been working on the rolls for previous occasions, without the success she’d hoped for, but she hit a home run with these!) Chris and Louise brought lovely wine (as did Collin) and a good time was had by all!
It was a cool but sunny day, as most are here, and we enjoyed the sheer luxury of being back in the land where Thanksgiving is the order of the day, rather than an odd aberration of a tiny minority of residents.
Of course, also back in the “land of Thanksgiving” is the land of “Christmas Season starts the next day”… (not that Costa Rica skips this — since they don’t have Thanksgiving to officially mark the beginning of the Christmas Season, they basically start now in late September!) Thanksgiving was SO early this year, we just couldn’t bring ourselves to do it (although most everyone we know did) and we’ll probably buy a Christmas tree this weekend.
We enjoyed that 12′ artificial tree the past few years in Costa Rica, but by contrast we’re also really looking forward to buying a real tree this year. So stay tuned for those updates!