Thanksgiving Day with family of U.S. Embassy staff in Azerbaijan (PHOTO)

US Materials 24 November 2022 11:18 (UTC +04:00)
Thanksgiving Day with family of U.S. Embassy staff in Azerbaijan (PHOTO)

BAKU, Azerbaijan, November 24. One of Americans' most popular and favorite holidays is Thanksgiving Day, Trend reports.

Traditionally, Thanksgiving day is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November. This year, the holiday fell on November 24.

The holiday has its roots deep in American history, dating back to the very first settlers who arrived on the shores of America in 1620. Establishing a colony, they managed to see and crop an abundant harvest with the help of Indigenous peoples. Then, the first governor of the colony, William Bradford, proposed to spend a day thanking God. The first holiday was celebrated in 1621 with the tribe of Indigenous peoples, who helped them survive in the unfamiliar environment.

As time went by, Thanksgiving Day became a national holiday. In the USA, it is traditionally celebrated in the circle of relatives when several generations of one family gather around the holiday table.

The representatives of the Azerbaijani Media had an opportunity to get more familiar with the traditions, customs, and rituals of this holiday. For them, Public Affairs Officer, Alys Spensley, and her spouse, Economic Section Chief, Andrew Lebkuecher, kindly opened the doors of their house.

Meeting the journalists on her doorstep, Alys Spensley cordially greeted them in Azerbaijani language: "Salam, xoş gəlmisiniz!" (Hello, welcome!). As it turned out during the conversation, Alys Spensley knows not only the usual social phrases but also understands and speaks Azerbaijani very well.

"It has been a year since we were in Baku. My spouse and I work at the US Embassy, and our children study at the local school. We like Azerbaijan very much. We have also visited the regions. In terms of Azerbaijan's national cuisine, it is very delicious - we are delighted. My son is fond of small Baku tomatoes, and my daughters love Tandir bread. And my favorite dish is the "Mangal" salad, which is made of grilled eggplant, tomatoes, and peppers. I have already learned how to cook it," noted Spensley.

The public affairs officer of the US Embassy in Azerbaijan also talked about what Thanksgiving meant to her family.

"I believe if we ask every American what Thanksgiving Day means to him, we will hear various opinions. In my opinion, Thanksgiving Day is one of the best holidays since it brings together family members of different generations. Thanksgiving is a day to reflect on our lives and the world around us and be thankful for what we have. If we look deeper into the history of the holiday - it is about giving thanks to Indigenous people who once shared their food with our ancestors and helped them settle in. The diversity of American culture is also reflected in the dishes on the festive table on Thanksgiving Day. The cultural diversity makes this holiday even more beautiful," she added.

Then Alys Spensley explained the process of cooking one of the main dishes on the festive table - roast turkey. She cooked the roasted turkey stuffed with apples, carrots, and onions.

According to Spensley, the process of cooking a turkey is long. The turkey should be baked over low heat, and periodically watered from above with the juices released during cooking.

Since Thanksgiving Day is a family holiday, the dishes for the festive table are prepared by the whole family. Alys Spensley's husband and children actively helped her in the kitchen, and representatives of the Azerbaijani media invited to the celebration also did not stay away.

Together with Alys Spensley and Andrew Lebkuecher, Azerbaijani journalists baked vegetables, and seasoning dishes with aromatic spices, including cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and others.

After all the dishes were ready, the guests, together with the hospitable hosts, sat at the table. The festive table was set beautifully and surprised guests with the diversity of delicious food that is traditionally served by Americans on Thanksgiving day. Alys Spensley and Andrew Lebkuecher, besides turkey, also prepared green string beans, mashed potatoes, sauce, cranberry jelly sauce, baked sweet potatoes, stuffing, - a side dish of apples and rusks, seasoned with broth and spices, coleslaw, - cabbage salad, and other dishes. For dessert, there was pumpkin pie and cheesecake, which were prepared by the daughters of Alys Spensley and Andrew Lebkuecher.

The evening spent at the home of Alys Spensley and Andrew Lebkuecher was a great opportunity to learn about the traditions of celebrating Thanksgiving, meet a wonderful family, taste traditional dishes of the festive table, but most importantly, thank God, fate, and loved ones for the good that is in our lives.