For some unknown reasons, I’ve dropped out of everyone’s must-invite-over-for-thanksgiving radar, so I planned a cook-something-nice-and-eat-alone thanksgiving meal. But that was not to be. Geraldine, my Cameroonian pal, gave me a call the day before Thanksgiving and I invited her over to share my Thanksgiving meal with me.
My original menu was Jabchae (Korean stirfried noodle with loads of vegetables) and baked belacan chicken. But cooking for people from different cultures can be rather tricky. I learned my lesson the first time I invited some African friends over for a meal. For that special meal, I made clear chicken soup with carrots, potatoes and onions, stirfried broccoli and carrots, and curry chicken. They spurned my chicken soup but liked my curry chicken and found the broccoli “interesting”. After some thought, I decided to stick with the Jabchae and belacan chicken (if she was white, I would steer clear of the belacan). I added the stir-fried collard greens, crossing my fingers that Geraldine would be ok with it. The meal turned out great, we had a good time chatting over ridiculous roommate issues, haunting past issues, and American cultural issues.
1. For the past many years, the residential office had held a Thanksgiving turkey lottery and gave out 5 frozen turkeys each year. No turkey lottery this year.
2. For the past many years, a local church had held a big thanksgiving dinner for the international students. No big thanksgiving dinner this year.
3. For the past few years, my church had held a donate-a-frozen-turkey-to-a-local-family event. No free frozen turkeys to local families this year.
Are these signs of what’s to come?
I guess I won’t be out doing any Black Friday shopping this year then.