Friday, October 15, 2010

Canadian Thanksgiving

Our dear friend Ritchie had the unique opportunity of being born in Canada. He spent the majority of his life in the states, but grew up to do something very Canadian: move to the land of the midnight sun in Northern Alberta to mine oil.  We haven't seen him stateside in almost a year, luckily he recently got some time off for Canadian Thanksgiving and rather than giving thanks with the Mounties and Eskimos in his native land he decided to come to New York to celebrate with his friends. So, a group of a dozen or so of us spent a Sunday afternoon in an apartment in Chelsea preparing a feast fit for the Prime Minister while learning what Canadian Thanksgiving is all aboot.

While us Americans are busy celebrating the accomplishments of a man who accidentally stumbled upon the new world, shipped its riches across the Atlantic, and introduced disease to its indigenous people (Columbus Day), Canadians are giving thanks. Since 1959, on the second Monday in October Canadians take a holiday to celebrate the end of the harvest season. Thanksgiving has been celebrated annually in Canada since 1879, but the date and theme changed from year to year. Americans may accuse Canadians of once again riding our coattails by stealing our holiday, as supported by the first Thanksgiving hosted by those Plymouth Pilgrims way back in 1621. However, Canadians claim their history of Thanksgiving dates to 1578, citing some explorer who held a formal dinner in Newfoundland to give thanks didn't die during his journey. But by this logic, anyone can claim the first Thanksgiving by citing cavemen who were thankful the woolly mammoth they were were about to eat didn't step on them, but I digress.

Canadian Thanksgiving is just like the one celebrated south of the border, but on a different day in a different month. Canadians wake up to watch the big Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest Parade, then the Canadian Football League's doubleheader called the "Thanksgiving Day Classic" keeps Canucks busy until dinner time which for the most part is same as the one served in Middle America. 

This was my second consecutive year celebrating Canadian Turkey Day, Ritchie and I prepared a meal last year in Arlington. I will admit that this time around my contribution was limited to peeling a few yams, watching football and snapping some bad cell phone pictures. I credit the chefs, this was a complex gourmet meal made from scratch that turned out very delicious. They did a great job, eh.

To make things even more Canadian, our friend Matt's roommate Potatoes is from Toronto and had a playlist of Canadian musicians going. Is Michael Bubule the voice of our generation?

Tis the season for pumpkin beer

Cheese Plate

The kids sitting at the 'adult' table

Potatoes' squash soup 

Red Cabbage and bleu cheese salad

Regular Salad

Green Beans and Stuffing

Cranberry sauce, gravy and turkey, good call on going with breasts instead of the whole bird
Roast brussel sprouts

Josh, like everyone else, enjoying his dinner

Pies, blueberry and pumpkin
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.


  1. Great Post Chuck. Potatoes wants you to know that this is the real way to spell his nickname. TWSF you guys rock! Keep it up!


  2. Thanks Matt. I had a great time in NYC. Tell Potatoes that the spelling error is corrected and our copy editor has been fired.