My classmate Nea (from Finland) wanted to host and experience an American-style Thanksgiving dinner. So with the help of Cat (my Canadian classmate) and Lynn she planned a feast for about 30 of our classmates, teachers and their families this weekend. To make things really fun it was hosted at her family’s estate Chateau Carsin near the town of Cadillac in the Entre-Duex-Mers region of the Bordeaux wine country. Chateau Carsin was built in 1800’s and bought by Nea’s family in the early 1990’s. They revitalized about 40 acres of vineyard and a winery operation that now produces some very nice Bordeaux red, white and rosé wine, sold mostly in Finland and Australia.
My classmate Bruno (from the Netherlands) drove us out Saturday morning where we met Nea and Cat at the farmer’s market in Cadillac. After picking up some produce we went to the chateau where dinner preparations began. This included a 29 lb. fresh turkey (whose legs we had to cut off to fit in the oven) that was later dubbed “the Beast.” The house is set in a wonderful surrounding of rolling hills and vineyards, and it had a wonderful French country style kitchen with a fireplace. A spectacular backdrop for a Thanksgiving feast. It was a wonderful afternoon of preparation, and the dinner was spectacular! Thanks to Nea for her hospitality!
It was bittersweet, on one hand not being at home for Thanksgiving, but on the other, it was great being able to have it with our new family of classmates in Bordeaux. And because of …or maybe in spite of… the recent attacks in Paris (and other equally terrible ones around the world recently), there is much to reflect upon and be thankful for. And we are certainly thankful for this wonderful opportunity to be over here!