Two Thanksgivings in One

In The Art of Travel Fall 2016, Prague, Thanksgiving by Jake

Thanksgiving. It really is one of the best holidays in the world. You eat and drink copious amounts surrounded by the people you love, pass out somewhere from your food coma and wake up to eat leftovers. I really don’t understand why Australians have not adopted this celebration as we love to eat, we love to drink, and “cheers mate” (meaning thank you) is probably our most used phrase. This year was only my second Thanksgiving celebration and like the first, it was one without any family but lots of friends. We were all away from home which was new to everyone so we decided to compensate with not one, but TWO nights of Thanksgiving.

The first night it was just the boys. The girls had gone with one of their families to have dinner out so we had what I called “brosgiving”. Yes, judge all you want but I didn’t want to call it boysgiving or mensgiving because that sounds very obnoxious and strange. We didn’t really want to cook as we were all cooking the day after for friendsgiving (so many givings in the post already) so we decided to order a batch of KFC chicken and be done with it. I also made a load of mashed potatoes and gravy. To complete the meal, another friend made vegetable soup and everyone was incredibly happy, satisfied and of course, thankful.

Night two was insane. We had to feed 17 mouths and only had one kitchen so as you’d expect, cooking was intense and somewhat sweaty (for some reason we had the heater set to 30 degrees celsius the entire night). We ended up with an incredible variety of food — there was sushi, Korean pancakes, udon noodles, spaghetti bolognese, roast chicken, gravy, mashed potatoes, mashed butternut squash and assorted vegetables with feta. Dessert comprised of apple pies and these chocolate biscuit balls that just melted in your mouth. The variety we had reminded me of one of the main reasons I love food — how culturally rich it is. Each dish is developed through years and years of refinement and passed down from countless generations. Anyway, as you’d expect, all 17 of us were incredibly satisfied by not only the diverse range of food, but also the amount of food we had.

best way to eat thanksgiving food is to mix it all together in a bowl

best way to eat thanksgiving food is to mix it all together in a bowl

Now, if you asked me which night I preferred, I would say night two. With Thanksgiving, I feel like the more people you have the better. While cooking was utterly chaotic, plenty of laughs were still shared and it was great to see everyone showcasing their “skills” in the kitchen. Oh, and a group of the boys decided to shave their beards leaving their moustaches and sideburns. We’ve all been participating in no-shave November so as you can imagine, they all looked ridiculous, but incredibly funny at the same time.

While you might be frowning at how unconventional my Thanksgiving was, I think we were successful at capturing the essence of the holiday through our Friendsgiving. Everyone was thankful and that’s all that matters with Thanksgiving right? Based on the two Thanksgivings I’ve had, I’ll definitely be celebrating it each year, regardless of where I am and whomever I am with. A holiday where you are thankful for everything is a holiday that should exist everywhere. While we shouldn’t need a holiday to make us tell people we’re thankful, Thanksgiving is great at helping people remember what we are thankful for in life.

Until next year turkey day…

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  • Slezska Friendsgiving: Jake