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Mon Nov 21, 2016, 01:56 PM

Collecting Strays at the Thanksgiving Table

X-post from Cooking & Baking, http://www.democraticunderground.com/115761737

'I was so homesick my freshman year of college that my cousins bought me a plane ticket to come home to Nashville for Halloween.

Halloween! It was a fantastic extravagance, the unintended consequence of which was that I really couldn’t come home three weeks later for Thanksgiving and then turn right back around and come home for Christmas. I would have to spend Thanksgiving at school.

Though I had some budding college friendships, none of them were close enough that first semester to rate an invitation to someone else’s house for the holidays. I went to Sarah Lawrence College, a half-hour north of Manhattan. I lived in a nice dorm that had once been someone’s house. There was a kitchen downstairs. I figured I could sit tight and wait out the long weekend.

Were I to put a pin in the map of my life and say, here, this is where adulthood began, I would place it on that Thanksgiving weekend in 1981. I was 17 years old. . .

On that freezing holiday weekend when my adult life began, I not only learned to cook, I learned to read. There was no improvisation. If the recipe said two teaspoons of chopped fresh sage, that’s what went into the pot. Beat the egg whites for seven minutes? I looked at my watch and went to work.

I did not glance at those instructions, I followed them, so that even now when someone claims they don’t know how to cook, I find myself snapping, “Do you know how to read?” Paying close attention to the text, and realizing that books can save you: Those were the lessons I learned my freshman year of college when school was closed. I then went on to use this newfound understanding to great advantage for the rest of my life.'>>>


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Reply Collecting Strays at the Thanksgiving Table (Original post)
elleng Nov 2016 OP
No Vested Interest Nov 2016 #1
elleng Nov 2016 #2

Response to elleng (Original post)

Mon Nov 21, 2016, 04:23 PM

1. I relate to the story, as I spent Thanksgiving away from home as well during college years.

I also went to college outside of NYC, in Tarrytown, NY, but in the 1950's.
Flying home to Ohio in November for several days was not an option, as I would be for Christmas in December for a much longer period.

I can't even remember who took me in, but roommates and friends must have come through, as I didn't spend Thanksgiving Day o campus.
I do remember one, though, one who invited me for her family home on the New Jersey shore.

All these many years later, I appreciate the outreach of strangers and their parents who opened their homes and hearts to a young person who would have been alone otherwise on a special holiday.

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Response to No Vested Interest (Reply #1)

Mon Nov 21, 2016, 04:45 PM

2. So do I appreciate the outreach of strangers.

I attended college in Ohio, and as home was in NY, home for Thanksgiving was not an option. I particularly recall the year of JFK's assasination, and visiting a friend's home, family, and synagogue that year.

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