Giving Thanks

We had a lovely Thanksgiving dinner with our Berlin Volleys family, and our hosts at the Village Feinkost Cafe.  It was a welcome change to let somebody else worry about the turkey and fixins.

I was tickled that so many foreign friends were eager to celebrate this American holiday with us.  Other US holidays like Halloween and Valentine’s Day are oft maligned for their shiny, commercialized image,  but Thanksgiving offers something simple and virtuous at its heart: gratitude.  Dubious and awkward historical origins aside, pausing for gratitude is a worthy cause for feasting.  Plus, expressing gratitude makes you happier!

Very thankful for these people

As delicious as this meal was (and it was!) I still missed having family Thanksgiving. Although Thanksgiving was my mother’s least favorite meal to cook, she always made beautiful food.  There were all the usual suspects: turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, green beans…she refused to make green bean casserole on principal.  Too much nasty fake crap in that dish.  Plus, that casserole feels very midwestern, and my parents are Californian’s through and through.

This might explain why it was that I became obsessed with this map.  It displays the most distinctive dishes googled by each state.  Go read the original article here.

Screen Shot 2014-11-30 at 12.39.40 PMFirst of all, I didn’t know half of the items listed.  Frog Eye Salad?

So, that led to an investigation of the various travesties mislabeled as ‘salads’ on the map.  Nearly every single ‘salad’ contains an inordinate amount of Cool Whip.  In fact, many of these seem to be some sort of riff on Cool Whip + pudding or canned fruit + more Cool Whip.  They sound like the most white trash desserts I could dream up.

Take for example:

Frog Eye Salad Ingredients:


canned fruits


Cool Whip


Now, I will let frog eye salad slide, because it is a salad in the same way as egg, tuna or potato is.  It’s a bunch of stuff bound up with some sort of creamy “dressing” be it mayo or cool whip based.  But pretzel salad?

pretzelsalad  No excuses.

Amurica.  What even what?

I just want to thank my mother for feeding us real food.  Cool Whip was never in our house.  However…I’d be lying if I didn’t admit I want to try a lil bit of Snicker Salad.

And I know, just as I’m making fun of the Cool Whip devoted states, some of them are looking at that map and having a good snark about hoity toity California with its Persimmon Bread.

Also, I offer my apologies to Germany.  For years now, I have assumed that Fleischsalat is the grossest of all salads in the world.  I think there’s a few candidates in the US which might be tied with you for most revolting.



In other news…

Last week the Christmas Markets officially opened, so I made sure to stop by with Nina before she traveled back to Bremen.


Naturally, PC and I had to go check it out together a few days later.

While I opted for the traditional glühwein with Nina, I chose glühbier the second time around.  IMG_2552

Heißes Kirschbier or Hot Cherry Beer is surprisingly yummy.  IMG_2553

Post-Thanksgiving, the mercury dropped down below freezing, the Christmas tree lots opened, and even dour Berliner cashiers have been wishing me  “eine frohe Adventzeit”.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

Now, I’ll be digging into ALL OF the Spotify Christmas playlists.

8 thoughts on “Giving Thanks

  1. Oy for Flieschsalat – disturbing. But your Thanksgiving Feast and Fete looks warm and wonderful! Gotta have some of that Hot Cherry Beer. And yes, nothing like Mom’s delicious and “real deal” homemade gloriousness 🙂

  2. I have Never heard of frog eye salad, and I lived in Idaho for over 23 years! Thanks for telling me what’s in it. (I don’t know it by any other name either!)

  3. How wonderful to share Thanksgiving with so many friends. I still remember that wonderful cafe ! Thank You for the food shout out. We missed the Turkey feast this year! Booo.i have a new Holiday Music CD. It’s a must download in its entirety: “Seth MacFarlane Holiday For Swing” fantastic!!

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