It just so happened that this year the American Thanksgiving fell on a Japanese national holiday. Of course, I went all out and made a turkey, stuffing, pumpkin pie, the works, right? Well, I bought
everything I needed to make a pumpkin pie, including a new pie dish. Still, my oven did not get a workout. Thanksgiving was always one of my favorite holidays growing up. We would usually be out in the desert camping and my mom would go to the ends of the earth to prepare a complete Thanksgiving feast in our camper. I swear that woman has a magic wand hidden somewhere. Amazing. Then there were the left over turkey sandwiches on squishy white bread, with Miracle Whip, lots of salt and pepper and if you did not eat them quickly enough, the dry desert air would make your bread crusty. Sorry, what was I writing about again? Oh, yes! Thanksgiving in Japan. One year I went to dinner at a missionary’s home in Kobe. The food was fabulous, but the best part was playing games after the meal. Another year all the local foreign English teachers held a pot luck and that was good fun, too. Then came the year I went all out trying to keep my American traditions alive and they were met with such a lukewarm response that I was still too deflated the next year to go to all the effort again. Every year, I think about Thanksgiving a lot, but I have not been able to pull it together. As Sam and Mina get older, I want them to have what I had growing up, but, well, there are no deserts in Japan and I am nowhere near as skillful as my mother in the kitchen. When I was thinking about writing this, I planned to write about how we had a nice family day and that maybe our Thanksgiving will just take on a different shape. Now that I am
writing it though, I want Thanksgiving. I really do. I don’t want a substitute tradition or just the pumpkin pie. So, I resolve now to get my act together next year. I will buy a turkey baster in The States this summer. I will order the turkey from The Foreign Buyers Club and make sure it is small enough to fit into my Japanese oven. I will ask my mother for her stuffing recipe and I will shell out five dollars for the can of cranberry even though I may be the only one who eats any. After all, I already have the pie dish.