Art from Julia Rothman.
Thanksgiving – a strictly American meal
With apples to cobbler and squashes to peel
With green beans and pudding and fancy red wines
With unpronounceable things like aubergines
Thanksgiving done thus is a Russian kid’s dream
But in floats holodetz, and you want to scream.
Instead of the stuffing and biscuts and pie
Surprise! It’s oliviye and you want to cry.
What’s that on the plate?! Is it penne ala vodka??
Oh no, God forbid, it’s selyodka.
And how about a nice filled-with-olives platter?
Nope! Just some chicken liver, dripping with batter.
You’d think eating your own ethnic food is rewarding,
But a girl can only take so much vodkaboarding.
So this year, she’s taking control of the reins.
She’s cooking ALL side dishes, right down to le pain.
She’s making some beans with some cute yellow rice
She’s making some dishes with more than one spice
She’s making some corn and potatoes-WITH FLAIR
There might even be a NUTELLA ECLAIR.
And yet, as she gathers her garam masala
She knows with a heavy heart what will follow.
As she takes tumeric, tofu, and brownies to bake
The women will ask, ” What the hell did you make??”
“Where is our sheika and borscht and our life?”
“Tofu for a man?? Are you really a wife??”
“Where’s the meat, the boiled cabbage, the damn pirozhki?”
“Bring back the food, or you’re off to Luzhki. ”
And, because the best defense’s offense,
She’ll come back to them, “Oh elders, why so intense?”
“Poor little old me is without my man-
He’s as far away as at least Pakistan
I have not a house, I have not a home
I have not a pot, nor even a bone.
It’s not that I want to deprive you of crap-I mean-food
It’s just that right now I can’t do it so good.
Please come to my house next year-I will host!
There’ll be sheika and bliny and even a toast
A toast to you ladies-you fabulous dames
Without whom Thanksgiving would not be the same
But for now please accept my humble (tofu) pie*
Do you want your favorite daughter/niece/cousin to cry? ”
They’ll look at her and munch quietly, forgiving.
And that’s how Jew guilt, every time, wins Thanksgiving.
The author of this poem is thankful for everything, despite the facts coming across differently on her kvetchblog. Here’s hoping you have a safe and happy holiday and if you are outside of the United States, a nice Thursday. And pray for me and my cooking “skills.”
*I am not actually making a tofu pie.