I love setting a pretty table. It makes things seem so civilized. However, I have noticed something odd about German table settings. Germans always have napkins on the table, usually some very colorful paper napkins. In fact, there is a wide range of colors, patterns and sizes for paper napkins here in Germany. Strangely enough, nobody actually uses them. One time I used a paper napkin at my in-laws and the person across from me looked at me like I had just committed murder. I always put napkins on the table. I prefer cloth napkins. Yesterday, two of my German guests did not want to use the napkins and one got upset when food got on it. Dude, wipe your hands with the napkin. That is what it is there for.
The company was great and we all drank and ate entirely too much. But that is what Thanksgiving is about. Unfortunately, Thanksgiving is also about the clean up. Thank goodness that I had today off as I spent most of the day washing wine glasses.
At the beginning of dinner, I made everyone go around the table and say what they are thankful for. This is what I said:
I am thankful for my husband, because he cleans the toilet and loves me even when I make him crazy. I am thankful for my business partner, who inspires me to be a better teacher and has made my career switch a lot of fun. I am thankful for my friends, who make Germany not such a bad place to live. And finally, I am thankful for my crazy family, whom I love dearly even though they are far away.
While I was washing up today, I added up the cost of Thanksgiving.
Package from the U.S. with canned goods: $90 ($60 in postage alone!)
Two bottles of Pinot Noir, one bottle of champagne, one bottle of schnapps: 30 Euro
9 pound French turkey: 20 Euros
Freshly pressed napkins: one burned hand
The screwed up face of a German starring at you in disgust after trying candied yams for the first time: priceless