Thursday, December 8, 2016

A Malagasy Thanksgiving

Our Thanksgiving dinner table. Photo credit: Terra Ojeda

Thanksgiving brings to mind images of giving thanks to what we have, a family reunion, eating entirely too much food, and football.  It is an American holiday steeped in family traditions and recipes that have been passed down from generation to generation.  Away from home and family, volunteers try to piece these traditions together with other volunteers in their regions.  This year I celebrated Thanksgiving with volunteers in my new home in the north.

Checking out the spread. Photo credit: Bethany Old
It was not only volunteers that attended, but Malagasy as well.  Most of the volunteers invited a Malagasy friend from their community to attend the celebration and we all invited my coworker and the guards of our transit house to attend as well.  In doing so we were able to share a little bit of American culture with our Malagasy friends and introduce them to some American dishes (with a Madagascar twist).  We had a nice spread on our table.  It included a turkey, turkey gravy, mashed potatoes, green beans, pesto pasta, salad, sweet potato pie, mango cobbler, and homemade sangria.  
Some of the food that we prepared. Photo credit: Bethany Old
Thanksgiving turkey fresh out of the pit (I know it was a little over done on one side).  It was stuffed with onions, garlic, and herbs, the outside seasoned, then wrapped in banana leaves and buried in the ground with hot charcoal.