Our First Thanksgiving

We have never fully celebrated the big American holiday here in Holland. In the past our oldest thought it would make everyone lonely and even more homesick. It was hard enough getting a Skype call from family seeing them all happy and full from turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, fresh rolls, and pies. Not to mention Sinterklaas is in full swing here this time of year where the little ones easily forget about turkey. This year was different. Royce and I were asked to help prepare a Thanksgiving feast with some eager English learners at the Elde College. Royce willingly fried two Holland turkeys southern American state style and I cooked in the kitchen with 50 plus kids practicing their English and converting from metric to U.S. units. Helping them cook and answering their questions was more fun and simply made my day. “Miss, what does diced mean? Or what does cubed mean? What does 1 stick of butter mean? What is a skillet? What is a teaspoon? Is this about 1 cup?”  They have different names in Dutch for different things and well, it is a completely different language. They learned. I learned. Did you know that a spatula is called a pannenlikker in Dutch? Why not? It licks the pan. What a fun word…much better than spatula. I admit that I was a bit frazzled at times flying around that kitchen, but when you make time to sit and have coffee or tea during the middle of the hustle and bustle, life is grand. I love that the teachers and the students stopped to take a break from the cooking and piles of dirty dishes. After sipping a cup of hot coffee, we got right back to work. I found myself helping boys the most. They were hilarious, but had the zeal to get the job done. The girls seemed to be more confident in the kitchen and simply giggled a lot. All the students were incredibly polite and kind and patiently waited until the last turkey came out of the fryer. Everything turned out de-lish and we ate until our hearts’ content! At the the end of our Thanksgiving feast and after all the cleaning, the kids came up to us with a beautiful bouquet of flowers and 2 bottles of wine. They shook our hands and told both Royce and I thank you. It was a special and most memorable day that I will forever hold in my heart with the Dutch kids learning about our American holiday.

Speak Your Mind