Spanish Thanksgiving

Spain does not celebrate thanksgiving at all nor do many people know what it is or why it’s celebrated. Therefore it became my personal responsibility to teach Torrijos all about Thanksgiving.

It started small scale last year and this year we went all out. Last year I bought a can of pumpkin from the special American store in Madrid to make pumpkin pie for the teachers at school. They loved it!! This year I prepped by packing a can of pumpkin in my suitcase when I left for Spain in September. We started planning early November to gather a group of teachers and friends for a thanksgiving feast.

Pumpkin pie: check
Green bean casserole: check
Mashed potatoes: check
Jamon and Spanish omelette: double check
Turkey: hmmm

The turkey was a point of concern since Spain isn’t too big on turkey. It’s more traditional for Christmas dinner. One friend told me that her uncle gave her a turkey and they grew it on their family farm until it was ready to dinner! HAHA I really didn’t want a live turkey and I was completely comfortable settling for another main meat but one brave teacher stepped up to the plate. (Pun not intended). She got a whole turkey, stuffed it, and roasted that little guy in the oven for 4 hours. FYI we didn’t have to kill any turkeys in the process.


Since it was their first thanksgiving, I had to rewind a bit to my early elementary school days where we dressed up as Indians and pilgrims. I divided the group into Indians and pilgrims and gave them appropriate headwear. It was the perfect photo!


There’s a reason I normally eat turkey for thanksgiving around 3:00pm because then I can take a nice nap. Eating turkey at 10:00pm basically put all of us in a food coma. We cured ourselves with a few cocktails and headed out to a bar in Torrijos to end the night. Successful first thanksgiving!


Nights like these really remind me how lucky I am to have such wonderful people around me near and far. Maybe this is how the pilgrims also felt at the first thanksgiving?!


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