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Notes From a Nester: The Texas Embassy


A blogumn by Debra Barlow

I love Thanksgiving.  Unlike a lot of families, this holiday was always fairly stress free in our house.  It existed more as a trial run for the Christmas feast that loomed large on the horizon.  It was always the same exact meal for both holidays, so I think it suffered in comparison. We gave thanks, as you do, but Thanksgiving in our house always focused on eating too much without guilt, taking a nap and then watching the Dallas Cowboys.   Not necessarily in that order.

That said, the Thanksgivings of years gone by all blend together into a generalized family holiday tradition.  Only a few stand out in my memory as different or special. Every few years the holiday coincided with my little brother’s birthday.  On those occasions, we had a choice of apple pie or birthday cake on the dessert cart. There was the year I had my wisdom teeth pulled on Thanksgiving Eve and then spent the holiday popping Vicodin and eating mashed potatoes.  Then there was my now husband’s first trip to Texas for Thanksgiving.  At the time he was just the live-in boyfriend my parents had only met once before. It was a little more stressful than previous Thanksgivings, but it turned out all right in the end.  When my father shared the last of a bottle of long-cherished Scotch with my boy, I knew he was for keeps.

But of all the Thanksgivings gone by the one I will never forget is the one I spent in London.   I had just graduated from college and set out to conquer the world.  I’d been living in London for about two months at that point, in a house with a lot of other ex-pats from around the world. My roommate was a fellow Texan that I’d met by chance my first day in the city. As Thanksgiving approached, we strategized what to do with our other American friends. It didn’t seem like we could ignore the holiday.  But no one had a real kitchen to cook a full-blown dinner in, either.  Then we found it.  The Texas Embassy, the Mexican restaurant in the heart of the city, was offering a full, traditional Thanksgiving meal for American ex-pats and curious Brits.  We were in!

The day of, excited and full of turkey anticipation, we bundled up and headed out in the frigid weather (not sure if it was really that frigid, but why not, right?).  At the restaurant, surrounded by the smiling faces of our surrogate family, we all picked up our menus and looked over the traditional turkey feast. And then something magical happened. Every last one of us ordered burritos.


Photo Credit: Curious_Zed/