RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – It would not be right not to write about Thanksgiving, even if it feels like half a world away. Sure it’s getting too hot to turn the oven on in Rio, but when glimpses of massive turkey legs and pumpkin pie permeate through the international ambivalence for American heritage, it’s hard not to miss our day of “obrigado”.
Thanksgiving is a holiday made for foodies, there is no other pretense but good eatin’. Sure maybe some football, maybe some estranged kin folk, maybe even a trip back home to mull over what life could have been.
For those blessed with a family taste for culinary scintillation, the days leading up to Thursday involve ordering the massive (organic) 25 lbs turkey, enough for a table of ten plus a week of left overs.
A bag of the good Idaho potatoes, fresh asparagus (and the fixin’s for Hollandaise sauce), cranberries (for homemade sauce), apples, raspberries and pumpkins (for pies), and lots and lots of butter – to put on everything.
I’m getting hungry just writing this, and I ate dinner 20 minutes ago. That’s the beauty of Thanksgiving, no presents, no religious obligations, ornaments or pandering to over-attended children. Just good ol’ fashioned American chow down.
Of course not everyone in the States feels this way, about food, or the holiday. But I was lucky in the way that whatever else was wrong in my world as a child and young adult, Thanksgiving was time to put worries aside and indulge in what was most important… eating.
The American Society is having a big Thanksgiving Dinner event at the Marriott which I went to last year, and this year there is also the new Gringo Cafe putting on a bit of a menu. I’m not sure what I’ll do but it’s nice to have some options.
Rarely do I regret living in Rio, I love the marvelous city and I love editing and publishing The Rio Times. But as Thursday approaches there is no denying the pang of saudades.