Thursday, November 22, 2012

A Ukrainian Thanksgiving

We may not have had a turkey, but it was one heck of a wonderful Thanksgiving here in Kharkov, Ukraine! My Thanksgiving started from Wednesday, teaching my 5th, 6th, and 7th grade students about the Thanksgiving holiday, about which many of them had never heard.  We read a short text about the history, made thankful hand turkeys, played thanksgiving bingo, and sang a little song.  It grabbed their interest and was a nice break from the usual grammar and vocab lessons. While making the thankful hands, one of my little munchkins didn't hesitate to write down that he is thankful for the toilet! What a goofball! Too bad he didn't leave his turkey for me, I would have liked to keep that one for funny memories.

 Wednesday evening the baking started after a big grocery shopping trip.  The house smelled like sweet deliciousness all evening.
Thursday we woke up to the most beautiful sunshine and it definitely felt like a holiday!  I spent the morning cleaning the apartment a bit, rearranging my room, and adding the extension to the table.  After class and a few errands it was home to finish up the cooking.  Between the cooking and guests showing up I made a call to the good old US of A and had a little Thanksgiving chat with my family.
Our guests showed up around 19:30 and we could all hardly wait to start in on the eating.  None of us had eaten much of anything all day in anticipation of the feast.  And feast we did! Chicken, stuffing, deviled eggs, stuffed tomatoes, cutlets, russian potato salad, crab salad, vareniki (dumplings), and mashed potatoes. We had apple pie, pumpkin pie (made out of squash because there is no real pumpkin in the store here), and cinnamon rolls for dessert. Everything was amazing!!! We talked and laughed and joked and all went around the table and said what we are thankful for.  Many props go to Vera for being the best cook in the whole wide world!
After the others had gone home to slip into their post-Thanksgiving comas, Vera, Megan, and I cleaned up the kitchen to the tune of Christmas music on Megan's computer.  Dishes aren't so bad when you're dancing and singing to "Jingle Bell Rock" and "Let it Snow".  Thanksgiving dinner was barely off the table and we were already bringing on the Christmas!
So what can I say? Today was absolutely splendid! Great weather, dear friends, delicious food, fun times, and SO much to be thankful for. We may be in a country where no one else understands Thanksgiving and cooking in our tiny kitchen with strange ingredients, but my heart couldn't be happier! 

Kvas! A little Ukrainian touch to our Thanksgiving

Getting the first things on the table

Our feast!

Everyone taking pictures of the table

A better view of the table



1 comment:

  1. It looks like you had an absolutely amazing Thanksgiving! I'm glad you were able to teach your students about Thanksgiving, and then able to enjoy such a wonderful Thanksgiving meal with your friends in Ukraine! (I'm also REALLY glad that we were able to chat on the phone on Thursday). :-)