Thursday, November 23, 2006

Giving Thanks

Today has been a good day. I was a little upset that I would be spending Thanksgiving away from home for the first time ever, but it wasn't so bad. I did miss my family gathering and all of that, but talking to some of them on the phone was nice.

I truly do have lots to be thankful for - family, friends, nice US-2 placement, etc...

One thing that has been awesome is that everywhere I have gone, people have been very nice to me. Here in Salt Lake, I have found people more than welcoming. I met with many of these new friends today for Thanksgiving Dinner. It was great.

I wanted to take something to the dinner, but was unable to make the pumpkin-cheesecake bars (from scratch, yeah I'm braggin...wait, can I brag event though I didn't make them?) I bought the supplies for because I was too tired after the giveaway yesterday. So, I walked to the store this morning to get sweet potatoes and made Southern Fried Sweet Potatoes. This reads Southern (Pause) fried sweet potatoes. Not southern fried (pause) sweet potatoes. There is a difference. They are southern, and they are fried sweet potatoes. The frying method was not purposely southern, though, it probably is.

I call them southern because I basically used so much butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg that the flavor of the sweet potato was really nil. I have discovered since I have been away from the south that much of the key to southern cooking is hiding the flavor of the food you are eating. Away from the south people actually want to taste their green beans, squash, etc so they don't put so much butter and salt/other spices when they cook - they also don't get them very soft.

Another oddity about eating out here in Salt Lake is that locals here don't realize how good southern food is. Today the main host made sweet tea in honor of me, but very few people drank it. There were gallons left - some of which is sitting in my fridge. I don't get why they wouldn't drink it. Said they didn't have the taste for it. Also, the same host made homemade banana was foreign to most people there. Wow...they are missing out.

One last thing that wowed me. There is a group of grad students at the University of Utah that get together to watch Grey's Anatomy every week. One of my good friends here in Salt Lake is in that group of students so I have a standing invitation. One week I went, and as it's custom for everyone to bring snacks, I made sausage balls. No one there had ever had sausage balls except one girl from Alabama. Utahns are so deprived.

Anyways, the food today was great, including my sweet potatoes. Afterwards I came home and took my annual post-dinner Thanksgiving nap. Woke shortly after. Now I'm typing this.

One funny, well kind of funny - kind of gross story before I go. One year, I was awakened from my annual post-dinner Thanksgiving nap by a burp. I ate so much, I burped myself awake. I love Thanksgiving.


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