Monday, November 20, 2006

...And Hold The Goat Meat, Please

Our weather here has been nothing short of spectacular the past few days. Highs in the low 70s F, 23 C, and sunny with warm breezes.

Our church has a Thanksgiving dinner every year, and this year's was this past Saturday, the 18th.

Lovely Wife cooked all day Friday, making cornbread dressing, collard greens, cornbread muffins, corn, mashed potatos, and gravy, and sweet potato delight.

So when I got home from work Friday, the cool weather, the windows open in the house, and all the smells of holiday cooking, conspired to make me realize just how much the smells of certain foods trigger a holiday mood in me.

The sad part is, that I had to work Saturday and miss the church event. Some years the work calendar falls in such a way that we have to work the Saturday before Thanksgiving to be able to have the Friday after Thanksgiving off.

I'm pretty low on vacation time, so I worked.

I hated to miss the gathering at church this year. (Lovely Wife made me a plate of all the good stuff she knows I like and brought it home to me. Yummy.)

What makes the whole thing fun to go to, is that our church is really, shall we say, multi-cultural. I will be guessing here, but I would estimate that our church is about 40% white, 40% black, and 20% latino.

And to mix things up a little more, many of the black people at our church are from island nations like Jamaica, Trinidad, and Dominican Republic, and Haiti.

So what ends up happening is, when Pastor Mark tells everyone to bring some of their favorite traditional foods to the church's Thanksgiving dinner, he says that with full knowledge that many of the dishes brought will be things that average white Americans don't even know exist. Turkey and dressing isn't traditional in the above mentioned places.

As a consequence, the church's Thanksgiving dinner, is a really casual, low-key affair, with turkey, dressing, goat, plantains, curry dishes, pigeon peas and rice, and stuff I usually am too scared to even ask what it is.

It's always a good time of fellowship across so many cultural and social boundaries that it's really hard to explain.

But the bottom line is, it's a bunch of Christians getting together to thank God for his many blessings, to fellowship, and to eat lots of food. Christian people are an eating people.

It's actually pretty much like any event at our church with regards to the food selection, but the Thanksgiving dinner is a little more special because it tips everyone over into the holiday mood. And you can feel that.

I hate that I missed it, but Lovely Wife said that a good time was had by all.

And I got a plate of good stuff too.

No goat meat for me though, thanks.


JaMica said...

I heard some call it the "Soul Food", the no-meat diet but I think goats doesn't have much side effects as the other meats do. In Jamaica, some locals accepts it.

JAM said...

jamica, I wasn't trying to belittle goat meat. I know that people all over the world eat what they grew up eating.

Goat just isn't something that common in my life, but the church we go to has many people from the Carribean islands, Jamaica, Dominican Republic, etc., who do eat goat. Americans won't eat horse meat, but some in Europe love horse like we eat beef here in the States.

My wife loves goat now, and always eats it when someone brings it to our church gatherings.