Thursday, November 25, 2010

A British Thanksgiving

I admit it. Today, Thanksgiving Day, has been one of my most homesick since I arrived in Oxford. It's the first Thanksgiving I've ever spent away from my family - and I'm thousands of miles away from home in a country that doesn't even celebrate the holiday, at that. Today has made me remember all of the small things I miss about New Mexico, and it's been easy to keep wishing that I were back there, if only for one day.

That said, the Stanford-in-Oxford program has many amazing students, and our house Thanksgiving dinner (even if not quite the same as home) ended up being a great success, as well as one I think I'll always remember. Each person brought one dish, no small feat given the cramped nature of the house (bad for so much cooking going on at once!) and its many nook-and-cranny kitchens. I spent most of the late afternoon and evening racing around the house baking cookies and whipping up mashed potatoes, probably making up for the calories with all the stairs I climbed. The air outside was very chill, one of the coldest days in Oxford so far, but the house soon came to feel like a furnace, boiling and swirling with food smells and activity. Finally, once the turkey finished around 8pm and we'd crammed all our hot bodies and steamy dishes into the downstairs kitchen, it all snapped into place.

I was impressed by how good the food ended up being, and toss in a bit of wine and some interesting conversation... ahhhh. It wasn't my usual Thanksgiving, but did achieve the contentment and comforting air that I've always associated with the holiday. Oxford has given me so much to be thankful for, indeed.

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