Turkey is not extremely common in Australia. And Thanksgiving is entirely a North American invention. The interesting bit is that Canada may have started celebrating gratitude 43 years before the pilgrims hit Plymouth Rock in 1621. Martin Frobisher had been exploring the Northwest Passage, which had sent many an explorer to their death. After arriving safely back in Newfoundland, he had an official thanksgiving ceremony, in 1578. Isn't history great?
OK, shiny thing. I was distracted. I invited as many (and more) than our apartment would hold, and set into planning. My Aussie guests were genuinely intrigued, as most had heard of the holiday, but had never celebrated it. Do you dress up? Do you bring presents? Is this about pilgrims? It suddenly struck me that there is never an end to the growing season here. In Canada, everything that will be food for the year is off the fields by October, hence the Thanksgiving for the harvest. As a child of farmer's children, the farm cycle is familiar and has a comfortable rhythm. Here bananas and mangoes are local produce, and it never gets cold enough to signal the END of the growing season. It was a moment of culture shock for me. The second shock was the bird. In order to procure a turkey, I needed to make arrangements with the local butcher 2 weeks in advance, and it was flown in (not under its own power, I assume) frozen from who-knows-where. It also cost $75.00!!! Yikes! Nevertheless, we returned home with our bird and a large bore needle and syringe from the chemist. I injected him with butter all over, and into the oven he went. 5 1/2 hours later, 16 guests arrived, each contributing to the feast, including made-from-scratch pumpkin pie. It was spectacularly delicious. A good time was had by all, even though it got very cozy. There are pictures on the website, courtesy of Rob. Thanks, indeed! God is good.
I am now employed. I work for Chermside Medical Centre as a casual receptionist, and so far, so good. It's good to know I will have something to do over the Christmas break, and making some income won't hurt either.