|A new Thanksgiving tradition - riding on the Grand Roue at the place de la Concorde|
I call myself an expat. An American in Paris. But that's a lie. I realized just how much of a misnomer that designation is when I had to dredge up long forgotten memories during a recent interview with a French Ph.D. student who wanted to know about the challenges faced by expats living in France. When she asked which American comfort foods I carry home in my suitcase, my answer proved unsatisfactory. A strange amalgam of cultures, I'm as likely to miss Indonesia's spicy nasi goreng as America's tangy barbecue.
When I received the following message from Rachel on Out and About's Facebook page, I knew I had to come clean.
Hello! Last year I was so appreciative of your post on where to do Thanksgiving in Paris. Are you planning on doing another for this year? I would be ever so grateful!
Your local homesick American
Rather than write a post with suggestions for where to have an American Thanksgiving with all the traditional trimmings, I'm going to propose that you do something special ... yet completely different this year. Be creative! Think outside the traditional Thanksgiving box. Combine something uniquely Parisian with something from your past. Only you know which of your familial traditions are negotiable and which ones aren't. I can skip the turkey but there's no way that I can forego my mother's Picayune Pecan Pie. It's a must-have holiday staple.
|Christmas lights on the Champs-Élysées|
In 2012, we stuffed ourselves on (get ready for the twist!) ... spicy fish soup, giant sea bass a la plancha and the best rice pudding that I've ever tasted. There wasn't a cranberry or pumpkin pie in sight, but we still have fond memories of our Carte Blanche Thanksgiving dinner at Chez L'Ami Jean.
In 2013, we gave thanks for France's pivotal role in the American Revolutionary War by dining at 1728. The elegant restaurant is located in the beautifully restored salons of the mansion formerly owned by my hero, the Marquis de Lafayette. Afterwards, we went for a spin on the Grand Roue and admired the twinkling Christmas lights on the Champs-Élysées. In keeping with tradition, the finale of the evening was a big slice of pecan pie.
I'm not yet sure what we'll do this year ... but whatever it is, 2014 will be remembered for its uniquely Parisian Thanksgiving.
If you prefer to have a more traditional dinner, there's a good chance that the ideas listed in my post, Some ideas for where to eat Thanksgiving dinner in Paris - 2013, are still valid.
Thanks to Bridget Wall for forwarding Emily Monaco's entertaining article, Tiny Ovens, Hidden Cranberries: How to Survive Thanksgiving in Paris. It reminded me of my early attempts at recreating Thanksgiving in foreign lands.
And here's a Washington Post article with an excellent suggestion via Anne: Thanksgiving Aha! moment: To relieve the holiday stress, just leave the U.S.
|Our Thanksgiving staple - my mother's pecan pie|