Thanksgiving In Valencia

Friday, November 25, 2011

It is 6:45 AM and we are getting ready to head our to the Comisaría de Policía de Patraix where we hope to get our tarjeta de identidad and finish the visa process.  Our visa will be good for a year and will need to be renewed next November in Spain.  The renewed visa we get in 2012 will be good for two years.  Here’s hoping we meet with success.

Yesterday’s Thanksgiving celebration was as good as it gets.  Thanks to Susan’s excellent organization the only things that needed to be cooked from scratch were the turkey and the mashed potatoes.  When we took the turkey out of the white plastic bag we discovered the Mr. Turkey still had his head on and they made sure to include his feet in the package.  The giblets were not neatly wrapped in a plastic bag.  Susan needed to engage in a bit of a tug-of-war to remove them.  That task was preceded by the beheading.  We then placed the turkey in the oven and went about our respective business.

I ran out to do an errand and when I returned Susan had already set the table using a tablecloth and napkins that Brian had lent us.  She had pulled the table to the center of the room so that all five of us could fit at the table.  Given how small the table was, we decided that we would put everything on the sideboard and let everyone serve himself or herself.  We had invited our guests for 2:30 and they all arrived on time.

Pepe brought a bottle of wine and a bottle of champagne; Vilma also brought a bottle of wine.  Brian did yeoman’s duty bringing a pumpkin pie, a mango and passion fruit pie and an asparagus and mushroom casserole.  We gathered around the coffee table with either a beer or a glass of wine in hand and we nibbled on a mixture of olives, gherkins and cocktail onions, as well as some pate.  We chatted animatedly until our conversation was interrupted by the timer announcing that everything was ready.

What a feast it was!  The turkey was the centerpiece and it was surrounded by stuffing, cranberry relish, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes and the asparagus and mushroom casserole.  There were warm rolls and butter for those who wanted them.  Before we dug in we joined in and each of us spoke briefly about what we gave thanks for.  Family was a clear top choice with good friends occupying second place.  Wine glasses were filled and we began our frontal attack.  Some of us had seconds, as well as thirds.  We took a much-needed pause and Vilma graciously volunteered to wash the dishes.  That certainly made me happy.

Brian then set out his pies and I made coffee and we made quick work of two of the best pies I have ever tasted.  I made a round of gin and tonics for Pepe, Brian and Susan, while I opted for a glass of Chinchón. Vilma passed on the after-dinner drink and instead washed the dessert plates.  We chatted a bit more and a little before 6:00 PM everyone took their leave and we put the few leftovers that remained in the fridge.

The rest of our evening was uneventful.  Susan was able to speak with her dad and her brother, Bob, to wish them a Happy Thanksgiving and both of us spoke to Rachel via FaceTime for a good fifteen minutes.  Since we knew we would be getting up early this morning, we were in bed by 10:00 PM.  Needless to say, we slept fitfully hoping not to oversleep.

A Spanish turkey!

The finished product

Gobble, gobble me up!

The groaning board!

The groaning board 2

Pepe enjoys his first Thanksgiving.

Vivacious Vilma!

Thanks to Brian for all his contributions!

Our five star chef!

We gather together...

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