Thursday, November 28, 2013

What Are You Thankful For?

Hey all,

Since it's Thanksgiving for all us Americans, I thought I'd do a blog about this very special holiday.  It's kind of odd being away from the US on this holiday.  It's not like Easter or Christmas.  No one but us Americans celebrate Thanksgiving, so it goes by without any fanfare.

Luckily, this year the kitchen at Cirque is having their special Curitiba city dinner on Thanksgiving day, so they are doing it up right.  Turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing.  Everything!  I'm so excited.  Haven't had a good meal for that holiday in FOREVER.  I'm so hoping we have pumpkin pie!!!

But we've always celebrated the holiday--no matter what country we were in.  In Asia, it wasn't so easy.  Finding a turkey that cost less than the national debt was almost impossible.  But we found a way to have our Thanksgiving dinner.  One year, we went to a casino in Macau--the MGM--and had an awesome meal.  Everything you can imagine--even cranberry sauce.  LOVED it.

Another year, we actually found a small turkey.  But while we had the main dish, some of the sides weren't so easy.  Have you ever tried to find cranberry sauce in Singapore?  How about green bean casserole in Germany?  And since brown sugar is almost impossible to find in many countries, don't even think about candied yams!!!!

But we managed.  I didn't get cranberry sauce, but we substituted a Malaysian sweet sauce instead.  For a green bean casserole, I found a pinkish-blue bean, paid an ungodly amount for cream of mushroom soup, grabbed a few onions and voil√†!!!!  For candied yams...well, we couldn't go the brown sugar route, so we did the marshmallow recipe instead. CAN make it happen!!!

And I'm very thankful for each and every one of those adventures!

Here in Brazil, they obviously don't have Thanksgiving, yet this year we are winding up celebrating three times.  While we were on the coast this last weekend (check the blog next week for that fun) some Cirque friends had a special dinner--Thanksgiving a little early--with all the trimmings.  And it was delicious!  Then today, we'll have the one in the Cirque kitchen.  AND next Monday, some other friends of ours are having a get together potluck.  They'll do the turkey, the guests will bring everything else.

So, as you can see, while we've had famine in the past with our Thanksgiving meals, this year we are going to FEAST!!!!  Yum, yum, yum!!!

And I'm very thankful for every one!!!

So what are you thankful for?  What is it about this holiday that makes you smile?  Do you go into raptures over the food?  Seeing your family?  Watching football?

And let's not leave out the rest of you who live somewhere other than the US of A.  You have to be thankful for something.  Tell us what it is!!!

And to make it even more fun--everyone who comments will get a postcard from beautiful Brazil AND be entered in a drawing to win one of my ebooks!  Your choice!!!!

So make your comment...and don't forget to send an email to with your snail mail so I can get your postcard out to you!  You have until next Wednesday to make your comment.  I'll announce the winner on next Thursday's blog.

I look forward to hearing what you are all thankful for.  And have a wonderful, blessed holiday filled with good food, loving family and of course (if you like it) FOOTBALL!!!  WooHoo!!!!

And one last thing...don't forget to send your thoughts, prayers and good wishes to all our troops overseas who can't come home for Thanksgiving.  They are the ones we all should be thankful for!!!!

Hugs to all of you!

CJ England
Follow Your Dreams


Phylis said...

First of all, I'm thankful to be alive and able to celebrate with some of my family and my children are home from college! For the first time in 8 years I have Black Friday off! So I am thankful there as well. I love getting postcards from's cool to see different places and the different stamps. Enjoy all your meals and Happy Thanksgiving to you and your hubby!

Ray said...

I recognize the view first hand. I am thankful for family, friends and at my age my memories such as our honeymoon in Rio after 17 years of marriage. All the music from 1983 on the oldies station takes me right back. When I was ready to photograph the Christ of the Andes it was covered by a cloud that felt like dense fog. I snapped anyway and it came out showing the statue as though it were a miracle.

This year I am thankful that I am still around about to celebrate my seventieth birthday in about five weeks. I am actually looking forward to be that old and still feeling like I am still young.
Most of all I am thankful that Millie and I have been together since we met in 1966.

The struggle to find a traditional meal reminds me of a radio show I listened to yesterday. A man who has a morning show on Univision, a woman originally from Iran and one originally from China were sharing their additions to Thanksgiving dinner from their old countries. The Iranian told of her parents visiting on Thanksgiving and not knowing what to make of the feast.

It was a call in show with people originatinng or children of immigrants from all over the world.

I recall some of the things we had when I was growing up with turkey, ham and German sausage along with all our favorite Russian-German foods.