Friday, November 28, 2008
Turkey with all the Trimmings
Rachel Renz is a junior Fulbrighter here in Cluj. I had met her only at Orientation in Bucharest, back in September, and did not realize that she is a great hostess and fine cook.
For the American holiday known as Thanksgiving, celebrated annually on the fourth Thursday in November, Rachel invited not only Fulbrighters, but also the UBB class in Romanian for Foreign Students (in which she is a student, not an instructor) to come to her apartment to celebrate with us Americans. The result was a special event, if ever there were one.
Those of us who live locally brought side dishes or desserts, while Rachel and fellow Clujian- Fulbrighter Laura Nugent each cooked a turkey. Others contributed many bottles of Champagne, wine and beer.
The party began with Rachel's telling the group of the origins of the American Thanksgiving Day, replete with tales of Chief Massasoit, Pilgims' blunderbusses, and popcorn (perhaps I exaggerate a trifle), followed by a long and traditional dinner of roast turkey, stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, macaroni and cheese, pea soup, and more. After dinner, but before cutting the pies, Rachel asked all present to honor her family's tradition of going around the room to give personal thanks, one by one. So we did. There were present Americans, Romanians, Germans, Chinese, Poles, Hungarians, Bulgarians, and probably others. Some twenty of us all perceived how blessed we were for having such an opportunity to get to know one another, and to express our personal feelings to newly-met colleagues about the Romanian adventure that we all are sharing. Some thanked parents, others their families at home. One man thanked God for the gift of Music. The party was still going strong when Charles and I left, some time after 1:00 AM.
Charles put it well as he was leaving this morning to return by train to Sibiu: "Last night was something special." Thank you, Rachel. You are someone special.