For those who are not US origin or based – the fourth Thursday of November is the US celebration of Thanksgiving. There are all sorts of traditions and legends surrounding the holiday. What is fact? It became a US national holiday during the Civil War, instated by Abraham Lincoln. It is a family oriented holiday rather than a religious one.
In honor of the holiday, there was a parade…
There are traditional foods: turkey, dressing, potatoes, sweet potatoes (with/without marshmallows on the top), and cranberry sauce. Then there are the regional favorites which likely include green beans, pumpkin pie, and pecan pie.
The meal can be challenging for vegetarians.
The usual tradition is that families get together, eat themselves sick and either
1) All the women get together and clean up the mess while the guys watch US Football on TV or
2) Everyone watches TV, the kids run around screaming and yelling, people eat some more and eventually the mess gets cleaned up with the smart cook sending the maximum amount of leftovers home with anyone who will take them.
This is not the first year that I have had a Thanksgiving deployed.
The Balkans comes to mind, as does Kuwait. Other years we have celebrated on the weekend as the kids have been on a German school schedule and not home on Thursday.
This year at Bagram I stood in line for 45 minutes with two others from the task force. There no sweet potatoes, there was not decent salad. There was plenty of turkey for the carnivores.
Overall – I think I might just do better at dinner this evening at the Korean hospital. I like Kimchi.
*With thanks to Ann for the new word!
Loved the pictures
Loved the photos, particularly the first which looked like a pilgrim was run over by a giant turkey: is it Pilgrim road-kill???
“There is one day that is ours. There is one day when all we Americans who are not self-made go back to the old home to eat saleratus biscuits and marvel how much nearer to the porch the old pump looks than it used to. … Thanksgiving Day … is the one day that is purely American.”
American writer, quoted for Thanksgiving in the U.S., Nov. 25, 2010
I set an empty place and the table in honor of all of our troops who weren’t with their families today (and sent a good bit of the leftovers home with the one young bachelor who was at dinner!) 🙂 Actually, all of the women piling into the kitchen to wash the dishes is part of the fun-you can get a serious amount of visiting (okay, call it what it is-gossip) done while you are getting that turkey roaster clean!
PS: Great pictures!
Tofurkey! Oh the images that conjured up when I first read it. I thought you were going to tell me that the vegetarians at Bagram molded a turkey out of tofu! Then again, after seeing the photos nothing would surprie me. Looks as if a good time was had by all even when so far from home. I had to laugh at your remark about your spending Thanksgiving at the Korean hospital where the food was much more to your liking. Reminds me of my first Thanksgiving away from home when I had tikka masala! Hey, this is how traditions are started!
Happy Thanksgiving. I hope you have had a good day at Bagrahm and that the armed forces turkey dinner brought some joy to the day for you and everyone you work with
Thanks for the photos – You had your own Macy’s parade! I can’t believe the elf costumes. I bet there were some football games, too.
I believe Thanksgiving was originally supposed to promote unity – and being non-religious and non-regional, it seems to.
More than anything, it seems to be a holiday that prompts charity and almsgiving. Lots of feeding the homeless and lonely. And in families, gathering everyone together, especially the lonely ones and the ones that are hard to tolerate
It always both amazed me and made me proud regarding how creative our folks got when deployed during holidays
Woops…you missed one, and one that you probably would eat that I love…and had regularly down in Texas (and haunt Debbie to make it for me)…
corn bread and cornbread stuffing.
Reminds is that the simple joys of friendship and camaraderie are what holidays should be about…