No ‘big meals’ at the Thanksgivings Day dinner
Today is Thanksgivings Day, a day on which Americans normally gather with family and friends over a good meal and say what they are thankful for. Due to corona restrictions, everything is different this year. Gatherings are forbidden, so sharing a meal is not possible. Americans in Nijmegen are still trying to make the best out of it.
The annual evening for students and teachers to have dinner together, held by USA Nijmegen, is out of discussion this year. ‘Sadly, we aren’t doing any activities this year’, says chairman Rense Steijns. The student association nevertheless did something to recreate that positive Thanksgiving feeling: ‘We made a video where some of us are saying what we are thankful for, which we will post on Facebook today. In that way we still hope to create a special moment this year.’
Several American students and researchers in Nijmegen cancelled their plans. The ones that stick with their plans are trying to make the best out of it. One of them is James Trujillo, researcher at the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, who makes a ‘more scaled-down meal’ this year instead of the usual ‘big dinner’ he has with his Dutch family.
‘Normally we cook all the classics I grew up with. Green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, pink fluff, deviled eggs, buttermilk biscuits, stuffing, cranberry sauce, several pies and of course the turkey’, Trujillo recites. ‘Usually, we have my wife’s family over for dinner and stack all the leftovers in Tupperware containers afterwards. Eating leftovers for days afterwards is also part of it.’
Even though this year will be different, Trujillo is still going to spend some time in the kitchen. ‘We are still going to cook, but a more scaled-down meal. The turkey, however, will be the same, as we can always eat that over the entirety of the following week. For my Dutch in-laws, who have gotten very used to this tradition over the year, I’ve shared my recipes so they can still enjoy all the yummy food, from their own homes this year.’