To say we’d been starving all day for Thanksgiving would be a lie. We’d been starving all day from the previous day of Thanksgiving. That’s how famous Thanksgiving dinners at the Alexanders are.
Firstly, let me tell you that there’s not much American about the Alexanders, even though they had been in America for decades. Ian is from Melbourne and Gwen, from Midlands in the UK. Even their son Frank, born and brought up in the heartland of America is not very American. He chose to up and leave America the moment he could, choosing to live in countries he has no roots from, and only returned for vacations and such. So it’s a tremendous stroke of luck (for the rest of us), that the Alexanders threw a Thanksgiving dinner at all.
Because I have never tasted a Bourbon-pecan pie so heady or a cranberry sauce that tingled all the way to my starved brain. Now this is the thing. I am the only vegetarian at a large Thanksgiving dinner table serving good ol’ Orange glazed turkey that looked delicious enough to change my culinary preferences. And the finesse with which Ian carved the turkey made me want to consume it wholeheartedly. Luckily (or not), I didn’t have to. Because the kind Alexanders had painstakingly prepared many dishes that were completely vegetarian and even vegan. There was a yummy Roasted Butternut Squash Risotto that I took seconds of, and didn’t take thirds only because I was reserving space for the Spinach Artichoke Lasagne and the Arugula and Cremini Quiche with Almond meal-crust. And yes, it was as delicious as it sounds. And at a petite 5 ft 2”, I did more than enough justice to the spread including a dessert menu of Cranberry-Maple skillet cornbread and said Pecan pie, to everyone’s surprise.
This particular Thanksgiving was no different from the other years’ at the Alexanders, thankfully. With just one small difference. Usually after the large dinner, we helped clear and clean the dishes and then settle down on the couch to vegetate with the TV on in front of us. Most of didn’t notice what was on TV because our brains were busy digesting the mind-boggling dinner to concentrate on who was playing which sport on TV. And then when evening came around, we opened some beers to celebrate some more.
But this year, we decided to find a different way to spend our afternoon. Gwen decided to brew a large pot of Oolong tea on the grill, no less, and serve it as an after-dessert drink. Now, we all know that Oolong has the right amount of caffeine to keep you awake and yet not bouncing off the walls. But this particular Oolong, a delightful tea all the way in Nilgiris in India, woke our brains up the right amount to able to put words together to form coherent sentences.
So for the first-time in history, mildly intelligent conversation was had after a Thanksgiving dinner! And for the first time in history, Thanksgiving was directed from all of us at the Alexanders’ to real Indians in India! Amen.