Janelle's first Thanksgiving feast
This post is something along the lines of two weeks late; I apologise [. . . I mean apologize] to all our faithful readers for the long hiatus from updating you about what matters most in my family, and specifically it seems about Janelle Helena. But, as you may have guessed from the 'apologise/apologize' confusion, my family and I have just recently emigrated back to Ohio from Sheffield, and that, as you may well appreciate, has been rather chaotic. At any rate, that's enough of the apologizing; here's the story of my baby girl's first Thanksgiving.
Obviously, Thanksgiving as a celebration of some nearly specific events in Colonial American history is not as rigorously observed in the United Kingdom as they are in the good ol' US of A. Nevertheless, like missionaries venturing to far-flung heathen lands, Andrea and I have made it a point to celebrate this tradition with our British friends, and this year we focused on friends from our church, Christ Church Fulwood. At this point special thanks ought to be given to Janet and John (pictured here). They hosted our holiday feast, and everything was perfect. In addition, Janet prepared the turkey (kind of the centerpiece of any Thanksgiving meal, eh?), which was wonderful.
Here you can see what an enjoyable spread was put before us. In somewhat less-than-traditional (but much-more-affordable) style, everybody contributed something to the meal. Not that I can speak authoritatively on the subject, but I suppose this is probably just a bit more faithful to the original Thanksgiving meal (if such a mythical event actually happened). Personally, I think my favorite items were the sweet potatoes (brought by John and Valerie) and the pumpkin pie (which Andrea made), but that's probably because I have a bit of a sweet tooth. Everything was very good, though; even the cranberry sauce, which I normally give a miss, was homemade by Rich and Helen and was fabulous. We even took the leftovers home with us.
In the end the entire celebration was somewhat bitter-sweet. Everyone was lovely, and, as I've already said, Janet and John provided an amazing setting for a holiday tradition that was admittedly more important to me and Andrea than to them. The work they put into the day as a whole made it fantastic, a Thanksgiving truly worthy to be my lovely daughter's first. But in the back of my mind I could not (and still can not) get away from the thought that this was the last Thanksgiving I would celebrate with these, the best of friends for which two (or three) American sojourners could ask. I will miss everyone from Sheffield next Thanksgiving, and I like to imagine that perhaps some of these people will continue to observe this un-British festivity in honor (or, better, honour) of three Americans they once knew a long, long time ago.
[update: I just downloaded some pictures taken by Rich and Helen of our Thanksgiving feast, so I post them online for your perusal. I will, for once, spare you the running commentary.]