Thanksgiving, Pt. 2: Food

23Nov06

A few photos from the past day, in commemoration of Thanksgiving at Cambridge.The usual ‘dark, but pretty’ alley photo… (apologies, all of the following photos were taken on my mobile phone since I didn’t have a proper camera handy).

Holiday decorations in Cambridge include Christmas lights that have been set up across the city center. Their effect is magnified, I think, by the reflection from the lightly-rained-upon stone tiles.

Last night I had an ‘American Thanksgiving’ dinner at Jesus college with my friend Claire:

On the menu: Pumpkin soup served with corn bread. Roast turkey with orange-cranberry sauce. Garlic mashed potatoes, candied roasted sweet potato and parsnips, brussel sprouts with chestnuts. Pecan pie served with vanilla pod ice cream. Cheese and biscuits. Coffee and mints. College port.

I do have to concede that Jesus’ grad formal hall is nicer than that at Trinity due to its cozier environment. Claire also requires that I note that yes, the Jesus plates and cutlery is nicer than that at Trinity. Further, Jesus has cloth (rather than disposable) napkins and real (rather than electric) candles. What can I say?

Today I went to the University Centre to take part in the Cambridge Thanksgiving Lunch organized by the Cambridge University Development Office and Cambridge in America. Below is a photo of the skylight in the main room.

The decorations were a bit more like the 4th of July.

The menu was quite delicious: Wine (Fortant Sauvingnon Blanc or Fortant Merlot… what, no California wines?). Roast turkey with cranberry stuffing and pan gravy served with cramed potatoes and roasted winter vegetables. Vegetarian option: spinach and blue cheese strudel with pan fried fennel and green beans. Pumpkin pie, pecan pie, cherry pie with cream. Coffee or tea.

I was touched by the brief talk by the speaker that included reflections on American Thanksgiving. She noted that the holiday is one that celebrates togetherness with loved ones and that it’s very special to be able to share this with new friends at Cambridge. She also noted that today is also a bit of a sad day, for despite the celebration with new friends, it is also a Thanksgiving spent away from family and old friends in the US… and for this she noted that the Cambridge family around us was another kind of ‘old friends and family’ to take part in. I must say I was rather touched by the sentiments and was very happy to have been able to bring two of my hallmates to share in the event.

A photo of Adam celebrating his dessert.

Prior to dessert there was some debate about which of the three pies we should choose. I tried valiantly to convince my German and Irish guests to try the pumpkin pie, though they were skeptical. In the end, however, in true American Thanksgiving fashion, we discovered that dessert consisted of one slice each of cherry, pecan, and pumpkin pie. At this point Adam and I were celebrating and I slipped in a brief chant of “USA! USA!” (Unfortunately the pumpkin pie wasn’t quite what one would expect… it was more of a custard pie. Still good, but not pumpkin.)

For dinner tonight I had noodles, of all things, with a few of the Marshall scholars. We were celebrating the visit of another scholar from Belfast, and so went for a quick-and-fast dinner because one of us had a 6 pm class. (Yuck!) It was a special treat to have a guest this evening… we’re always very excited to have other Marshalls visit.

As a final photograph, I offer the following:

I’ve forgotten what competition is being advertised, but I snapped the photo at Churchill College. The Oxford Marshalls are hosting a big Thanksgiving event this weekend, though I will not be attending. The photograph, however, is still rather priceless.



One Response to “Thanksgiving, Pt. 2: Food”

  1. 1 Marat

    Man,

    It’s like this post was custom-built to get me nostalgic. You’ve got my college bar in the first shot, and the street I lived on 3 of my years there in the second. And the whole thing is about the Thanksgiving lunch, which over the years has probably been responsible for more of my poorly-thought-out amusement than anything else in Cambridge (one of which culminated in my stealing the dinner of a member of the royal family).

    P.S. I resisted the temptation to comment on your earlier Caius-centric post, however I am starting to lean towards the opinion that maybe there is something in the water there, as it is unfortunately not the first scatalogical story I’ve been privy set there.



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