Ah yes, hello again my favourite holiday! Lucky for me, as a Canadian living in the U.S., I get to celebrate Thanksgiving twice: first in early-mid October according to our calendar up in the Great White North, and then again in late-November as this country’s President symbolically frees one turkey each year (a pointless gesture, in my opinion, but anyway).
My most vivid memories of Canadian Thanksgivings are filled with times spent with friends: some in our often tiny but cozy apartments, and some in the mountains on climbing trips. This year, however, I had to spend my first round of Thanksgiving although with the same friends but differently: instead of getting together and indulging ourselves with laughters and wine, we exchanged words and well-wishes via the great world-wide-web… I suppose this is part of the game, isn’t it? Learning to cope with this inevitable new sense of loneliness that comes with stepping into complete independence: moving out for college was just becoming independent from the parents, because having friends around was very much like having family; but now, many of those that I care about, I only have the means to care for from a distance… That initial rush of despair and frustration I felt a couple of months ago have now transformed into something although not entirely positive yet, but at least more rational, calm, and sustainable. Amongst my friends, some are better than others at dealing with this, some of us have learnt to conceal our emotions, some learnt to accept and adapt to the new social environment — a somewhat sad reality, really; but alas, necessary (much like finding richness in solitude). We all know, as the holidays come nearer, it only gets harder…
So that was over a month ago; and all seemed too quickly, we’ve arrived at the end of November, and the entire country of the U.S. of A. seems to have sprung into full holiday-mode. With no conflicting school- or work- schedule, for the first time in years, I finally got to cook up a storm with mom all day Thursday: it felt like as if I were in a holiday family movie, where the daughter and mother hum jazzy tunes whilst making everything from scratch… As cliché as this may sound, I’ll have to admit that there really is something special about it, and I quite enjoyed it.
I was entrusted with making the white-chocolate cheesecake filling for the tri-layered pumpkin cream cake mom and I had put our minds to. I can proudly announce that it was quite successful :) On top of the glass of wine that accompanied the cooking process, there sure was plenty of chocolate too: since mom’s dark and white chocolate chips were mixed in one container, as I picked them apart, I ended up tossing a few into my mouth every few seconds… and along with tasting the side-dish here and the mixing there, I was feeling rather full by mid-afternoon, without having had any proper lunch. Such is the joy and agony of holiday-cooking, isn’t it: while it’s plenty of fun, one can also all too easily get unreasonably stuffed at unnecessary hours, haha. To remedy this, I convinced the whole family to go for a jog after the bird has been put into the oven, and the timing was just perfect: we caught the afternoon sun in thick fog, which was lingering just above the lake and the ground, and the rays of sunlight were piercing through it. What a bliss.
Ah yes, I really do love the spirit of this holiday: I am grateful for having these friends and family in my life, and I shall always continue to gather with them however I can — in the kitchen, over the dinner table, or the internet. After all — it always feels better to be together, even if apart; than not being together at all.