Five Frogs and A Turkey

The American was only half listening as her husband talked with his three relatives. She suddenly realized that he was talking about Thanksgiving in America and how unique the meal was. Then he suddenly said, “Why don’t we invite them for Thanksgiving?” And so, it was arranged.
She didn’t think the turkey would be strange to them having had them before in France. In fact, she bought one already prepared and stuffed from Picard, the frozen food geniuses of France, which she had had before. The bones are removed from the carcass so it makes easy carving when the time comes. She had never had chestnut stuffing before but liked it.
Now, what for the side dishes? She decided she had to make stuffing southern style with corn bread. There was a slight glitch when her husband asked for a piece after she had baked the corn bread and told her that is tasted like soap. She had made it from a box of Jiffy mix that she had brought from the States. It did have a strange taste but with the addition of white bread, onion, celery, lots of butter, sage and chicken broth it tasted fine. She also made creamed spinach which, in reality, she had never made for Thanksgiving before but had eaten at someone else’s Thanksgiving meal. She thought about making sweet potatoes and even adding marshmellows on top but knew the French guests wouldn’t like it. Mashed potatoes were a given, as well as some gravy. She even made a cranberry chutney, so lovely and red. And, since there were French, there had to be a salad. She made a pumpkin pie even though she had seen some sceptical faces when it was mentioned.

She had hoped to have the meal on Thanksgiving but it turned out to be a bad day so it had to be moved to Saturday. Being American, this didn’t seemed to be right but, really, why should it matter? Why did Thanksgiving have such emotional ties to it? Her first few Thanksgivings in France had been especially hard as it is such an American holiday and involves family. She had several meals with other Americans but slowly it stopped being such a necessity. She used to get a little cloud of depression as the holiday approached but finally decided to get over it and to count her blessings and the happiness she had in France with her French husband.
So the three relatives plus the French husband’s son arrived and they liked everything, even the stuffing. The only dish that got a so-so reaction was the pumpkin pie, being to sweet for French tastes and, to tell the truth, the American found it too sweet as well. Maybe her tastes had changed in her time in France.

Lunch was finished with a digestif, a liquor that the French say helps digestion. The American had never found this to be true but that didn’t stop her from having some. One of the French had brought a gift of a bottle of liquor called Mandrian Napoleon, a really great drink made of madrians along with some sugar. Maybe she should try some it in the next pumpkin pie that she made.

8 thoughts to “Five Frogs and A Turkey”

  1. Made from madrians? What is a madrian? That sounds like a lovely Thanksgiving. I think I would feel kind of defensive, like, don’t criticize my American meal, which might ruin the day for me anyway. Ha. I just got the title of your blog.

  2. I wonder if there’s another brand of cornbread mix other than Jiffy because my mom has made cornbread with a box mix, and it never tasted like soap (although it did come out a tad dry).

    It’s fun hearing about other ex-pat Thanksgiving celebrations. I realized this week that it’s my 4th Thanksgiving NOT being in the U.S.; because it’s so close to Christmas I have been going back for that instead of Thanksgiving, and this year I’m not going back at all. So it made it even more special that I was invited to share a Thanksgiving pot-luck with some American friends (and their French or American spouses). Georges still finds the meal a bit odd for his French tastes… but that didn’t stop him from having seconds, except for the pumpkin pie!

  3. This is a wonderful, wonderful short story.Isn’t there some sort of American in France publication you could submit it to?

  4. What a lovely story and especially as I know who the American lady was/is.

    Interesting Sans story too.

    You certainly found some vivid yellows for your yellow post Linda.

    We recently had some French people stay with us and they brought a jar of ‘boiled chestnuts’ a local delicacy but they said we could not roast them. We are not sure what we are meant to do with them.

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