Friday, December 3, 2010

The food baby and the wolf pack

Non-Americans envy the Americans for many reasons like for instance their fantastic Constitution and Bill of Rights, their massive retail stores, the freakish amounts of freedom and choice they take for granted and the fact that no one gets thrown in jail for publicly disagreeing with the government.  Now, I too have felt the pangs of envy regarding some of those marvelous things yet the one American thing I have envied most of all has always been the celebration of Thanksgiving.

Like all kids in 3rd world countries I grew up watching American TV and so had to look on with longing every time a Thanksgiving episode aired, wishing and dreaming about one day perhaps taking part in this glorious celebration of delicious food and gratitude.  Well this year I finally had my chance.  You know how the saying goes "great expectations lead to nothing"?  Well fuck that!  My greatest expectations didn't even come close!!  Thanksgiving turned out to be better than I could ever have imagined.

Here's the thing, I love food.  I love it in ways that border on mildly disturbing at times.  The only thing I love more than eating great food is eating large quantities of it.  Yet I write this blog a changed and humbled man.  In my life I had never feasted like this.  Both the quality and quantity of the food was mindblowing - and I don't use that word lightly when it comes to food.

I had the good fortune to be invited to the shared Thanksgiving meal of two families and therefore got to load my plate with both traditional and Puerto Rican Thanksgiving delights.  Brined turkey so soft and juicy it was falling off the bone, pork that I can only describe as magical, mash potatoes, gravy, spicy rice, empanadas, fried platanos, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, apple crisp and pumpkin pie.  I should probably mention that  this list is only the food I actually ate.  There was probably more but after a while I was just too full to move.  I hate to say it but my first Thanksgiving set the bar so high I don't know if any other feast could ever live up to it!

My first (but definitely not last) Thanksgiving plate
To complete my Thanksgiving weekend experience I got to go to an American Football game the next day.  Now I have always considered American Football to be inferior to Rugby and this game really confirmed it for me.  However, I have to admit that this was one of the best sporting events I've seen in a very long time.  See I got to see UNR play Boise state and it was the kind of game you usually only get to see in David vs Goliath sport movies from Disney.  UNR was ranked at around 14 (I think) while BSU was ranked 3rd and for most of the game thats exactly what it looked like.  UNR was getting kicked around and were way behind in no time.  Yet, to everyone's surprise they made an epic comeback to win the game in overtime.  I believe it was the Reno's first win against a top 10 team and I got to see it!  It was -5 degrees C, the porta-potties were disgusting and the noisemakers didn't make much noise but I had a great time.  Even though I had never even heard of the UNR Wolf Pack I'm a fan now!

Go Pack!


GumbyTheCat said...

Eugene, you used the "F" word, you raved about the joys of gluttony, and you waxed enthusiastic about American football?

I'm just sittin' here with a big ol' silly grin on my face. If you were Luke Skywalker, you would run as fast as you could to the Dark Side, wouldn't ya?


Plucky said...

No fears Gumby, he's just taking the Dark Side out for a test spin . . . LOL . . .

Actually, it is too bad you couldn't make it out to Reno. Enjoying Eugene's "first time" American experiences with him brings a smile to my face on a daily basis and I'm sure you would enjoy it too.

GumbyTheCat said...

Plucky, I would have loved to come out. Unfortunately, the economy hasn't been kind to me lately.

Just keep an eye on him, will ya? Sounds like his wild side is coming out... I don't want to read any CNN articles about a string of bank robberies, a bunch of dead hookers and a South African in custody. lol.

digapigmy said...

Oh, I'm pretty sure we don't tell the papers anything about South Africans in custody. If we did that, we would have to treat them like everyone else.