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wmhwilson


Nov 13, 2005, 8:17 AM

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Thanksgiving in SMA and Mexico

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Realizing that San Miguel as well as other cities in Mexico celebrate many different occasions -- do Mexicans celebrate a Thanksgiving?
I spent some time in Canada and know their Thanksgiving is on a different date.
So what happens in SMA and in general in Mexico?
And having spent a Thanksgiving in Bermuda and Greece with expats --does the expats community in SMA hold Thanksgiving dinner or celebrations or since one is on “Mexican Time” has this tradition been forgotten?
Also say if one wanted a turkey are they found in larger markets?
Thanks
Bill and Jackie Wilson
Wallingford,PA



jennifer rose

Nov 13, 2005, 9:02 AM

Post #2 of 24 (3301 views)

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Re: [wmhwilson] Thanksgiving in SMA and Mexico

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Thanksgiving is not a Mexican holiday. For some, more so in Estadounidense-dense areas such as San Miguel de Allende, Thanksgiving celebrations appear in private gatherings and restaurant specials. For the rest of us, it's just another day. I've been to Thanksgiving dinners here, and I've spent years completely forgetting about Thanksgiving. For me, it's not a big deal.

Turkey is available at Costco, Walmart, Comercial Mega, Gigante and other supermarkets. Fresh turkey is also available. What you won't find in Morelia and areas outside of San Miguel de Allende is Pepperidge farm or other prepared dressing. If you want dressing or stuffing in these parts of the country, you'll have to play like a pilgrim and make your own from scratch.


esperanza

Nov 13, 2005, 9:03 AM

Post #3 of 24 (3301 views)

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Re: [wmhwilson] Thanksgiving in SMA and Mexico

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There is no day in Mexico analogous to Thanksgiving as it is celebrated in October (Canada) or November (USA).

My experience is that there are usually private Thanksgiving parties within the expatriate communities. Some restaurants that cater to foreigners also offer special Thanksgiving Day dinner menus, either in October or November or both.

Turkeys are readily available here in Guadalajara, but not at the bargain-basement prices I used to see near holiday time in the USA.

If you live at Lake Chapala, you can buy everything you need for your Thanksgiving feast at the SuperLake grocery store, from Pepperidge Farm stuffing mix to jellied cranberry sauce to pumpkin pie filling in cans. Go shopping with your wallet full, though.


http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









(This post was edited by esperanza on Nov 13, 2005, 10:24 AM)


Miguel Palomares


Nov 13, 2005, 3:59 PM

Post #4 of 24 (3259 views)

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Re: [wmhwilson] Thanksgiving in SMA and Mexico

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Thanksgiving is the very best Gringo holiday. You do not have to buy anybody anything. You do not have to mess with decorations, trees, lights, nada. You just eat till you fall on your face. That is it. I love it. I will be doing it in Atlanta.

In Patzcuaro, Gringos get together at a restaurant (usually), and pig out together. I have heard nothing about it this year, however. I think the folks who once spearheaded it have up and moved to Chapala!

P.S. They are regretting the move. Yessir.
From Tzurumutaro, Michoacan, "The Village of the Darned."
_______________________________________

The nuts and bolts of moving to Mexico:
http://michaeldickson.blogspot.com/
The dark side of living in Mexico:
http://mexicopeeks.blogspot.com/
Scintillating life in a Mexican pueblo:
http://tzurumutaro.blogspot.com/
http://tzurumutaro2.blogspot.com/


Papirex


Nov 13, 2005, 5:24 PM

Post #5 of 24 (3241 views)

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Re: [wmhwilson] Thanksgiving in SMA and Mexico

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We do celebrate Thanksgiving in our family here in Cuernavaca. My Mexican wife insists on it. Her late father was an American, and he and her mother lived in Texas for the first few years of their marriage. My Suegra and her family like American food, and customs.

I met and married my wife in Alaska, and she likes American food and holiday customs too. She comes from an international family. Many of her relatives live in The US, and Canada. Some of them are citizens of those countries; all of them are at least legal residents up there.

Many of her family members here in Mexico have also come to adopt the Thanksgiving holiday too. They tell me they like the idea that it is not a religious holiday, but a time to give thanks to God for his blessings during the year past.

We usually like to invite many guests to our home here in Cuernavaca for all holidays. Last year our chef prepared and baked the turkey. Everyone loved the meal. Several family members have already called to ask if we were going to have a thanksgiving dinner this year again. This year my wife decided that she would rather go out to a restaurant for our Thanksgiving dinner.

There are some restaurants that serve Thanksgiving dinners here. They are always upscale restaurants, and as usual here, they don’t advertise much. We will need to start calling some of them to find out which ones are serving Thanksgiving dinners this year.

Our chef is actually a friend of ours who, like many Mexican entrepreneurs, runs several little business ventures. One of them is a small scale catering business that he operates only during the holiday season. At one time he was the household chef for Kitty Callan, the American singer that had retired in Cuernavaca. He also bakes out of this world fruitcakes during the Christmas season. When we invited him to share our Thanksgiving feast with us last year, he insisted that he would only come if we allowed him to cook the meal.

So, he is not really “our” chef, but I just love to mention that our chef cooked a meal for us when I send an Email to a friend up north :-)

Rex


"The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved" - Victor Hugo

(This post was edited by RexC on Nov 13, 2005, 5:25 PM)


Chumley

Nov 14, 2005, 4:57 AM

Post #6 of 24 (3204 views)

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Re: [wmhwilson] Thanksgiving in SMA and Mexico

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In a new twist to the old traditional Thanksgiving, last year we began to spend the holiday at the beach for two reasons; we love the beach, any beach, and now that the weather has turned colder, we enjoy the warmer temperatures. So we pack up a frozen Butterball turkey breast, a box of stuffing mix, a can of cranberry sauce, some yams and fresh lettuce among other things and drive to the coast. This year it will be in a friends beach house above the ocean in Sayulita. The only thing we're not bringing is a pumpkin pie, but ni modo, there is a bakery in the town that makes and sells them this time of year to the other Americans who will also be celebrating, however most likely with shrimp tacos and a cold beer. So, in fact, we still celebrate the holiday, but give thanks that we're doing it in Mexico, on a beach, in the sun.


Anonimo

Nov 14, 2005, 6:24 AM

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Re: [Miguel Palomares] Thanksgiving in SMA and Mexico

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Miguel, which restaurant was that in Pátzcuaro that did Thanksgiving dinners?

(I enjoyed your humorous post)

"En Boca Cerrada No Entran Moscas."

Saludos,
Anonimo


Papirex


Nov 14, 2005, 6:49 AM

Post #8 of 24 (3188 views)

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Re: [wmhwilson] Thanksgiving in SMA and Mexico

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A little update to yesterdays post. Last night I asked my wife if she had called any restaurants to find out which ones will be serving a Thanksgiving dinner. She said she hadn’t called any of them yet. I said that we should do it soon so that we could be sure to get a reservation.

She told me that we could always go to Sanborns for our Thanksgiving dinner. I asked her if she had called them to verify that they will be serving a Thanksgiving dinner. She said that they have been serving Thanksgiving dinners for many, many years in Mexico City, and they probably do here too.

I had said that any restaurants serving Thanksgiving dinner would probably be upscale. Sanborns is a nice place, but not exactly upscale, it is a notch or three above a coffee shop though.

I had forgotten that four years ago my wife’s grandmother, who is in her 90s, had become very ill during the Christmas holidays. It blew our Christmas plans all to hell. We went to Mexico City on Christmas day to visit her at the hospital. Afterwards, my wife and I, her brother, and a friend had Christmas dinner at a Sanborns there. So Sanborns might be a mid-priced alternative to cooking at home for holiday dinners in other areas of Mexico.

Doris also said that a Mexican family that are friends of ours here in Cuernavaca called last week to ask if we were going to have a Thanksgiving dinner this year. The family next door also asked, and “our” chef called yesterday morning and asked to speak to her. She wasn’t home and he said he would call back later, he hasn’t called back yet. We are both pretty sure he wants to come to enjoy dinner with us, and prepare it.

It seems that Thanksgiving is beginning to catch on with some of the Mexican people. Maybe it is just with our friends, but I wouldn’t be surprised if in twenty years it morphs into something like Halloween has here.

Doris is starting to waver on whether we should go out to dinner on Thanksgiving when so many of our friends and family want to come to be here with us. I have told her not to let anyone lay a guilt trip on her. We will do whatever she wants to do on Thanksgiving Day. (I did learn a long time ago, never argue with the cook.)

Rex


"The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved" - Victor Hugo


gpk

Nov 14, 2005, 8:34 AM

Post #9 of 24 (3168 views)

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Re: [RexC] Thanksgiving in SMA and Mexico

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While all the Sanborns I have eaten at are certainly of mid-range, barely-coffee-shop quality, their prices are as high as all but the most expensive restaurants. Mediocre food at high prices--why the crowds?


Miguel Palomares


Nov 14, 2005, 8:43 AM

Post #10 of 24 (3166 views)

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Re: [gpk] Thanksgiving in SMA and Mexico

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Quote
Mediocre food at high prices--why the crowds (at Sanborns)?


I think it is due to the Gringo atmosphere. People like it, especially la-dee-dah Mexicans.
From Tzurumutaro, Michoacan, "The Village of the Darned."
_______________________________________

The nuts and bolts of moving to Mexico:
http://michaeldickson.blogspot.com/
The dark side of living in Mexico:
http://mexicopeeks.blogspot.com/
Scintillating life in a Mexican pueblo:
http://tzurumutaro.blogspot.com/
http://tzurumutaro2.blogspot.com/


Anonimo

Nov 14, 2005, 8:54 AM

Post #11 of 24 (3164 views)

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Re: [Miguel Palomares] Thanksgiving in SMA and Mexico

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I was craving an open-faced, hot roast beef sandwich, with puré de papas y gravy. So last time we went to Morelia, we lunched at Sanborn's on Madero.
No roast beef, but they did have turkey, and that sounded good.
However, the food was unsatisfactory. The torn bits of turkey were dry and stringy. The mashed potatoes were good, and the wine-enhanced gravy was very good.
My wife had a nice salad.
All in all, not worth the money.

I shoulda known better.

"En Boca Cerrada No Entran Moscas."

Saludos,
Anonimo


Papirex


Nov 14, 2005, 4:08 PM

Post #12 of 24 (3119 views)

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Re: [gpk] Thanksgiving in SMA and Mexico

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While each persons experience is different and may depend on which locality you are at, we have found Sanborns pricing to be low to moderate, service excellent, and the food good. That is relative to your lifestyle and pocketbook of course.

The gringo atmosphere is because the original Sanborns restaurant in Mexico City was started by an American. His family managed the company for many years as it expanded. It was eventually sold to Mexican owners. They probably see no need to change a successful format.

Their dry Martinis are iffy though. No matter what instructions you may give the cocktail waitress, when you get your drink 3 times out of 4 it could best be described as a glass of Vermouth with an olive in it. I have found that in areas with a high percentage of ex-pat residents or visitors, they usually know how to make a dry martini correctly without any instructions from you. Not here.

In over 20 years I have only been served one bad meal at any Sanborns, three times. I had ordered spaghetti at one of the restaurants in Mexico City. It was fantastic. Perfectly cooked al dente, with a delicious pesto sauce. A few months later I ordered spaghetti again. When it was served to me it could best be described as overcooked pasta mush, with a red sauce that I believe had its origins in a ketchup bottle.

In the next year I ordered spaghetti two more times at the same place, I got the same pasta glop each time. Then, remembering that one of the definitions of futility is repeating the same action over and over again, each time expecting a different result, I stopped trying and have never ordered spaghetti at any Sanborns since. So, spaghetti is out, but we have found that all their other menu items to be consistently of good quality, especially their Carne Asada.

As to barely coffee shop quality, I have never been in a coffee shop in The US that had cloth tablecloths, cloth place mats and napkins, or a garden dining area which most of them outside of Mexico city have. I’ve never been able to order a before or after dinner drink in a coffee shop Nob either.

Managers are constantly walking among the tables to assure you good service is provided. The smallest complaint about the food, and unless you stop her, your plate will be removed and your meal replaced to your satisfaction. Mexican restaurants are not like those in The US, where if you complain about the food, the chef may take his vengeance by preparing you a platter of flies wings. They do try to please you here.

More than once, I have complained that my café Americano was old, and bitter. My cup is immediately replaced and fresh coffee is brewed no questions asked, you don’t like it, you get what you want. If you are not happy with the food served to you in a Sanborns, learn to speak up. Remain silent and suffer. Remember the squeaky wheel gets the grease.

Sanborns is not our favorite place to eat. But like VIPs or Bisquets, etc. it is a clean, convenient restaurant with lower pricing, and consistently good food and excellent service. Not for gourmets.

Rex






"The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved" - Victor Hugo


Esteban

Nov 14, 2005, 7:14 PM

Post #13 of 24 (3079 views)

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Re: [wmhwilson] Thanksgiving in SMA and Mexico

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Isn't Thanksgiving sort of a black humor amerikan holiday? I mean the white boys from Europe come to the new world, the native amerikans share their food and then the white boys kill em all off! What a celebration that must have been.


MazDee

Nov 14, 2005, 10:02 PM

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Re: [Esteban] Thanksgiving in SMA and Mexico

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You're SO out of line. Esteban! Those folks were very thankful to be alive and learn to love turkey and squash and berries, and didn't Kill their Native American hosts until later. I think.


Bear

Nov 15, 2005, 3:15 AM

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Re: [MazDee] Thanksgiving in SMA and Mexico

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The tribe that had occupied the land that the Plymouth settlers, about 102 people,
(only about 30% were Puritan) settled on had already been wiped out by a european disease the year or two before.(1633, small pox, Massachusetts Tribe, some 20,000) They found fields already planted in corn and squash. Other tribes further inland showed them what to do with the flora and fauna. Bear


(This post was edited by Bear on Nov 15, 2005, 3:34 AM)


jennifer rose

Nov 15, 2005, 8:09 AM

Post #16 of 24 (3021 views)

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Re: [Bear] Thanksgiving in SMA and Mexico

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Let's get back to the subject line, folks, or risk having this thread locked.


Gringal

Nov 15, 2005, 8:37 AM

Post #17 of 24 (3011 views)

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Re: [jennifer rose] Thanksgiving in SMA and Mexico

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Back on thread: There are a number of hotels in SMA offering Gringo style Thanksgiving dinners, most of them ridiculously overpriced for the menus offered. Lah de dah, in spades. Does anyone have a recommendation for a nice, reasonably priced place to dine with a few friends in SMA on that most American of holidays? If not, we'll have prawns and pasta in mi casa. Hmmm. Sounds good, but I hate the cleanup.


(This post was edited by Gringal on Nov 15, 2005, 8:38 AM)


toddmc


Nov 15, 2005, 8:51 AM

Post #18 of 24 (3004 views)

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Re: [Gringal] Thanksgiving in SMA and Mexico

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Well, we were just in Querataro during our Canadian thanksgiving last month.

We stayed a B&B called "HOME" run by Shelley Whittall

She is a Mexconnect member, here is the link to her profile if you want to email her or PM.

http://mexconnected.com/perl/foros/gforum.cgi?username=Northerner;

I don't know if she is booked but she put together a Turkey dinner with stuffing and cranberry sauce that we just loved!
I think that is she has the space she would consider doing a dinner for non-guests, or you can always stay over and have breakfast the next morning, also a treat!

As far as cooking goes, this is the info I have on her cooking background:
BC Foodsafe-advanced, a degree in Food Sciences from U of T and one in Nutritional Therapy and as a chef, a pastry chef and Cdn Chef de Cuisine.

Not a restaurant atmosphere, but a real home cooking experience!

We really enjoyed our stay and wouldn't hesitate to recommend.

I don't know how often she checks her email, but if you want to PM me I can give you her phone number

Todd


(This post was edited by toddmc on Nov 15, 2005, 8:52 AM)


MariaLund

Nov 15, 2005, 9:15 AM

Post #19 of 24 (2998 views)

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Re: [wmhwilson] Thanksgiving in SMA and Mexico

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Funny thing those holidays abroad. Almost no matter where I am (outside of the USA) I get invited to American Thanksgiving parties, organized euther by a local American Club (like last year in Spain) or American Consulate (in Sweden, Poland, etc). But come Christmas and I get invited to both Polish and Swedish parties - and only once - in Spain - I was invited to an American Christmas party as well.. though this particular American Christmas party was ce4lebrated at a local 4 Michelin star French-Belgian restaurant and was not American at all, while the Polish and Swedish parties always have their particular Christmas foods - very different from each other.

Thanksgiving is only celebrated by Americans and Canadians - the pilgrims (imigrant) who landed safely and had a good luck of encountering friendly natives. (Spaniards in Mexico were not pilgrims escaping persecution or poverty, they were conquerors, and Indians have no reasons to celebrate being conquered). Besides, even in the United States the Thanksgiving holiday was established less than 150 years ago (in 1861 if I remember my US history correctly). Christmas, on the other hand is celebrated in all countries with some christian traditions (be it catholic or protestant).
Vivere non est necesse, navigare necesse est!

(This post was edited by MariaLund on Nov 15, 2005, 9:18 AM)


wmhwilson


Nov 15, 2005, 10:14 AM

Post #20 of 24 (2987 views)

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Re: [MariaLund] Thanksgiving in SMA and Mexico

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Thanks for all who gave valued positive input.
It's important to know all customs and how people relate and celebrate. Many Gringos think Day of the Dead is creepy because they don't understand.
While my ancestors were not Pilgrims they were Scots and Irish. People who were under the yoke on the English.
Like many peoples the English forbade Irish and Scottish clan rituals and cutoms and placed many hardships on the Irish and Scots.
Maria was right about those who fled for religious freedom and not conquering.
Thanksgiving is being thankful for many things include basic freedoms and bounty.
Peace
Bill and Jackie Wilson
Wallingford,PA

(This post was edited by wmhwilson on Nov 15, 2005, 10:15 AM)


jennifer rose

Nov 19, 2005, 6:14 AM

Post #21 of 24 (2905 views)

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Re: [RexC] Thanksgiving in SMA and Patzcuaro

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Atencion San Miguel is filled with advertisements for Thanksgiving dinners at many restaurants, seeming to range in price from $190 to $420.

In Patzcuaro, Cha Cha Cha will be doing a traditional Thanskgiving dinner on Thursday, Nov. 24 from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. for about $120. Make reservations by writing Rick Davis at ricpatz@aol.com

Menu:
TURKEY 2 BREAD STUFFINGS (ONE, WITH APRICOT, PRUNE, NUTS, SEASONING - OTHER,ONION, CELERY, SMOKED OYSTERS,SEASONING, ETC.) -HAM -BAKED ACORN SQUASH -SWEET POTATOES -MASHED POTATOES -CREAMED ONIONS -FRENCH CUT GREEN BEANS WITH MUSHROOM (A CLASSIC WHETHER WE ADMIT IT OR NOT) -CARROTS & SESAME BOTANA: CREAM CHEESE SALMON DIP WITH TOTOPOS PECAN PIE


Gringal

Nov 19, 2005, 8:30 AM

Post #22 of 24 (2890 views)

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Re: [jennifer rose] Thanksgiving in SMA and Patzcuaro

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What! - no marshmallow-topped sweet potatoes, no ambrosia salad or punkin pie? No jello molds? I thought the classic green beans had almond slices and bacon bits on top.

One of the best things about Thanksgiving is the memories of dinners past and the dishes that appeared once a year, sometimes regional-specific, and sometimes just in the family.


(This post was edited by Gringal on Nov 19, 2005, 8:37 AM)


lakechapaladreamer

Nov 21, 2005, 11:38 AM

Post #23 of 24 (2820 views)

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Re: [Gringal] Thanksgiving in SMA and Patzcuaro

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When I was growing up, we always had the green bean casserole that every can of french-fried onion rings has a recipe for on the back. I still make it every year! Basically, it is thawed french style green beans, a can of cream-of-mushroom soup, some milk, and half of the can of fried onions stirred up. Pour in the casserole, cover with the rest of the onions and bake. I usually add some tiny pearl onions and almond slivers also. Deelicious!!!


Gringal

Nov 21, 2005, 12:04 PM

Post #24 of 24 (2814 views)

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Re: [lakechapaladreamer] Thanksgiving in SMA and Patzcuaro

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That's a good one. I've had it and loved it.

As I think back, some of the great Thanksgiving memories are of the funny things that went wrong. Like the year mom had eight relatives coming to dinner, came through with a great turkey and trimmings, and in her excitement of preparation, forgot to put the sugar in the pumpkin pie. Oh my. Squash delight.

Happy Thansgiving shopping, and don't forget the antacids!
 
 
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