Pavel the Pavo

Thanksgiving is the most important holiday in the United States. It is more important than Christmas because it is for everybody irrespective of religion. It is family time and there must be a turkey. In New York there is Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade as another major attraction.

The parade starts at 9 am. Not really my time, especially as it is not possible to just go and see. Getting a good view means to be out about two hours before it starts. Everybody told me it is much better to watch it on TV. So that’s what I did and what most New Yorkers do. I tried to use the TV in my room but did not get NBC there. So I used my laptop.
NBC was broadcasting from Herald Square, right in front of Macy’s. They showed Musical performances given there before the parade arrived – It started up on the Upper West Side, where the balloons were – and then views of the parade itself. It had not been cancelled, the balloons were flying. There were marching bands and popular singers in the parade as well, not just the balloons. The whole thing took three hours and the best viewing spots were not available to the public at all. Special guests only. So it was not a bad idea to watch it in a warm apartment on a laptop – even if the balloons might have been more impressive live outside. But I had seen them the night before, just not flying.

The turkey I was invited to share, Pavel the Pavo, was roasted in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. Priya had asked her friend Toya if she could bring me over and Toya agreed. So I was supposed to celebrate Thanksgiving with Toya, her daughters Amira and Laila, Priya and Melanie, a friend. When I arrived late afternoon I found Priya and Toya working in the kitchen and drinking wine. The kids were happy about my gifts. They are very smart kids. I saw a world map hanging at the wall and offered to show them where I am from. Amira immediately showed me where Germany is. Of course she knew and wanted to know which other countries I had visited. Laila was writing Thanksgiving wishes on her huge blackboard wall in a very clear and precise handwriting. She is five and in Kindergarten. I was truly impressed.
Pavel the Pavo was a small turkey and he had been roasted with sage under his skin.
As he was not that big he was not stuffed but the stuffing – made with bread and artichokes – was baked separately in the oven. There was Mac and Cheese – southern tradition -, cauliflower in béchamel and roasted brussels sprouts. Cranberry sauce and gravy from the turkey. As a starter we had squash soup with horseradish and honey with little potato buns. Horseradish made it a bit unusual but it was an interesting contrast to the sweetness of the honey.
The dinner took an unexpected course when it was just set out on the table. Poor Priya, who had prepared most of the food, especially Pavel the Pavo, suffered a bad attack of sickness and headache, had to lie down upstairs and was not able to eat with us. Melanie arrived much later because she had to care for her mother first. So we were a small group eating, just Toya, the kids and me. There was much more food than we were able to eat, so Toya and the kids will have to eat turkey for about a week.
For dessert we had two pies, one apple an one sweet potato. We had them much later after Melanie had arrived and Priya was back. Amira had made the sweet potato pie and it was yummy. Laila fell asleep in her mother’s arms and it was not long before midnight when we all left. Priya and I both needed the A train and Melanie gave us a lift in her car. On the platform a rat was running around. I admit it scared me a bit. I don’t really appreciate the company of rats. It was the first time I saw a rat in a subway station. Priya said they are there all the time.
No train was coming for quite a while. Priya observed that most people were standing close to the stairs leading to the local platform. When finally a train approached downstairs everybody was going down. So did we – and it was an A train. The A runs local late night – they just don’t show that on the express platform. So without Priya I maybe would have waited forever and spent the night on the platform. However I would probably have fled the rat after all other people were gone.

What I learned today:
How to celebrate Thanksgiving

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