The real list of why I’m thankful this year

Wow. I truly did not expect so many of you readers–both regular commenters and lurkers– to reach out to me when they read my last post. Thank you. I’m really touched.

I thought I’d post an update. I am feeling better. I’ve talked to my family and I’m planning my own Thanksgiving lunch here, which I’m starting as I type this. Someone suggested a “pumpkin” pie made with carrot because our style of pumpkin is difficult to find here. On top of that, I’m going to try my hand at roasted chicken, stuffing, and mashed potatoes. I told my husband that since we will have so much food, we should invite someone, but, on second thought, it might be better not to in case I burn the chicken and make lumpy potatoes. Plus, this way we get all the leftovers. thanks-giving-turkey-hd-pic

Sorry about that tangent into food. I just live to eat all the food. Anyway, I am feeling better. I was going through a few situations that would have been difficult on their own, let alone all at once. I’ve tried to take a step back and gain some new perspective. It’s never easy to feel under appreciated–in any capacity. I would never imply, ever, that being a mother and a wife are not worthy roles and that if that is what you aspire to be that you should somehow want more. I absolutely love being Squeaker’s mother and seeing how she changes before my eyes every single day and how I’m still her preferred person (shhhh!). However, I’m not one of those people that feels particularly fulfilled by domesticity, thus the yearning for a job and an office and a paycheck.

I also probably came down pretty hard on Chile. Let me just say this, life outside your own country is always a challenge, it doesn’t matter how comfortable that country is. Latin America, as a whole,  is  mired in religious dogma, patriarchy and classism, but Chile is still pretty agreeable on most days.

So, without further ado, here is the list of the things I am thankful for this year in no particular order:

  1. A crazy, fun, happy, heathy one-year-old.
  2. Our health. With a few exceptions, we’ve been doing pretty well lately and, knowing me, that’s saying a lot.
  3. Our families’ health and well-being.
  4. The gift of time with Squeaker.
  5. A solid network of supportive friends–even if they aren’t all here in Santiago with me.
  6. A husband who is infinitely more domestic than I am and makes a mean pie crust.
  7. The fact that we got out of our cramped, one-bedroom apartment and can finally breathe.
  8. That I survived the first year of motherhood.
  9. That Squeaker still wants, no demands, to breastfeed, despite all of our obstacles, roadblocks and naysayers.
  10. Never lacking inspiration as the mother of a hyperactive toddler, living in a foreign country and navigating the waters of culture shock to this day.

Please, enjoy your Thanksgivings, hug your families extra tight, AND (most importantly) have a bite of some real pumpkin pie for me for the love of GOD!

4 responses to “The real list of why I’m thankful this year

  1. Two things: 1. Smitten Kitchen just posted a sweet potato cake which she says tastes amazing and might be a good substitute for pumpkin-y things this time of years. I don’t know what the sweet potato situation is in Chile. 2. I made a pumpkin cinnamon gooey butter cake on my blog and oh my it’s good and it doesn’t use the pumpkin pie variety pumpkin so it would probably work with whatever variety is in Chile as well! xx

  2. Hi Sara,

    Glad to hear you’re feeling better – being a mom in a foreign country ain’t easy!

    Please try making your pumpkin pie with zapallo camote – you will not regret it. I got some at TOTTUS and it tasted really good in the pie. I froze the puree and made pumpkin cookies another day. Zapallo camote looks kinda like the usual zapallo, but it’s a lot smaller (about the size of a melon) and much sweeter. I steamed the pumpkin over the stove using this method: and made the pie with this recipe:

    I couldn’t find powdered ginger anywhere so I just used fresh grated ginger. I skipped the cardamom, though I did find some cardamom pods at Lider the other day which I will now use to make chai. :)

    The New York Times recommends using butternut squash instead of pumpkin for pumpkin pie. I had planned to do that but the supermarket here is no longer selling butternut squash. I also agree that sweet potato pie is a good substitute. My aunt is from the South so I always had that at Thanksgiving in the US. And walnut pie is similar enough to pecan pie. I have used chancaca to make that instead of corn syrup, which is genetically modified and nasty. Here’s a recipe for that in case you’re interested (just replace the pecans with walnuts – I also replaced the brown sugar with chancaca):

    I made Thanksgiving dinner with turkey, three types of pies, and all the fixins a couple years ago in Guatemala but it’s a TON of work. I just made pumpkin pie to eat this time, heh. I’ll probably make a turkey next year.

  3. So glad things are looking up! My sister had a REALLY hard time the first time she spent the holidays in Chile too. I don’t think Thanksgiving was bad but she called crying on Christmas.

  4. You don’t need to apologise for having felt down, hun. As you said, it’s always hard living in a foreign country and you should never feel bad for wanting more than domesticity. No-one would ever think that you didn’t love Squeaker or your husband enough for wanting more than being a stay-at-home.

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