Le Thanksgiving

This year I am in Provence for Thanksgiving. It is by far my favourite holiday of the year, no stress about gifts or excessive decorations. This is about the harvest, about great food and wine, friends and family.

 Thanksgiving here? Pretty sweet.

Thanksgiving here? Pretty sweet.

 Le menu.

Le menu.

So I thought it might be nice to share this holiday with my friends here, given this holiday doesn’t exist in France. Once I brought the idea up, everyone was keen, so out came the calendars et voilà. We found a date that worked, even though it was a week early.

At first it seemed like it was to be a lovely intimate affair of six or so people. By the time the day arrived it continued to blossom into 12 adults and one child. Nuts. OK, so two chickens then (you can’t find whole turkey), load up on the mashed potatoes and divvy up the veg dish responsibilities to friends…phew. The weather even cooperated—we had the first serious rain of the last two months, so it was perfect to stay inside and cook with little motivation to sneak out for a ride. 

There was the added complication of this being France, so some of the ingredients weren’t the same or available, and we had a vegan and a few vegetarians in the bunch. Undaunted, I made both vegan and non-vegan versions of several dishes, plus we all love veg so much there was no shortage of sides and salads to suit the group. The only part that didn’t work out for everyone was the pumpkin pie. First, it was made with cream and eggs, a no-go for vegans. Secondly it was made with potimarron instead of pumpkin and a little petit épeautre flour. It was a frenchified version, but unanimously delicious. 

The whole thing went over like gang-busters. The sun came out, it was a raucous evening, everyone squished in tight like sardines, the wine flowed and the conversation was full of joy and laughter. Just like Thanksgiving should be. I think we created yet another tradition everyone here would like to see continue each year. I’d say that is the ultimate compliment, a total success. I’m all for it, here’s to Le Thanksgiving!