Monday, October 10, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving, Canada!

Being married to a Canadian has its perks:
- An endless supply of maple syrup
- A yearly subscription to the NHL network
- A refrigerator full of Sleeman India Pale Ale (IPA)

And—an additional Thanksgiving.

Two years ago, Wifey asked me if we could visit her family in Canada for Thanksgiving. When Wifey marked the calendar for early October, I politely suggested that she was a month early. Wifey explained that Canada celebrates their own Thanksgiving on the 2nd Tuesday of October. I was shocked, and confused.

As I thought back to elementary school, I didn't recall the Pilgrims making their way to the great white north. I remember Plymouth Rock. I remember Indians. And, I even remember Squanto. But Canadians? Nope, I don't remember them coming into the picture.

Wifey told me that it was to give thanks at the close of the harvest season. Although I remained skeptical, it sounded good enough to me, and I immediately began envisioning what would be replacing turkey as the main course. It had to be something local, and had to be something big.
- Moose?
- Caribou?
- Grizzly Bear?

When we arrived at the parents-in-law, their house smelled delicious. To my dismay though, I didn't see any antlers laying around. I was hoping to hear her father tell a wild tale of trekking through the woods, shooting our dinner from 50 yards away, and lugging it back to the house in six feet of snow.

No such luck.

As I scanned the table, I was able to identify every single item: mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans, cranberry, yams, peas, carrots—and for the main course—turkey. My heart sank a little. This was exactly the same Thanksgiving dinner I'd had for the past 30 years.

But, just as I was thinking this was going to be just another Thanksgiving meal, regardless of the country I was in, my new Canadian family completely redeemed the moment, and got me excited for the many Canadian Thanksgiving that are sure to come.
- Wifey's mom brought out a jug of maple syrup
- Wifey's dad turned on the Toronto Maple Leaf game
- Wifey brought me a cold Sleeman IPA from the fridge

It was a good day.

Happy Thanksgiving Canada!

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