A Canadian Thanksgiving, by Daniela Lara Serna

The United States isn’t the only country in the world where people celebrate Thanksgiving. Here are five others: Canada, Liberia, (one town in) the Netherlands, Grenada, and the Australian territory of the Norfolk Island. According to Zack Beauchamp,

“Canadian Thanksgiving is about the 1578 voyage of Arthur Frobisher, a British explorer who threw a meal for his crew when they (barely) made it to Canadian shores alive.”

Today, Daniela Lara Serna, who now lives in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia, reminisces about her Canadian Thanksgiving.

Letter from Canada, 2013

At six in the morning, my friend Kristen and I started on the main dish: the magnificent turkey. It’d been left to defrost in water overnight; as we cleaned the raw meat, our fingertips quickly got numb. We used two cans of peaches for seasoning, cut up onions, carrots and potatoes, which we also placed in the pan, added some pepper, covered the turkey with aluminum foil, and put the 16-pound bird in the oven.

Screen Shot 2014-11-23 at 12.58.09 PMSoon the green beans were topped and tailed; I could also feel the warmth coming from the smoking hot chestnuts that needed to be peeled for the stuffing.

While Kristen worked on the salad and the dressing, I took care of the dessert. The night before, I had made individual pumpkin and apple pie crusts, which I filled up. I had also made a pan of double fudge brownies with macadamias and marshmallows on top.

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The instant Kristen opened the oven door, the smell of homemade thanksgiving filled every room. This sensationally delicious aroma was intoxicatingly appetizing. Our stomachs growled and howled.

The feast began around the long oak table covered in a burgundy tablecloth. At the center: the pièce de résistance with its golden tint (thanks to the cans of peaches). Surrounding the turkey, like the rings around the Plaza 24 de Septiembre, in Bolivia, were the diverse dishes: several kinds of potatoes (sweet potatoes with marshmallow, fully mashed potatoes, and baked potatoes), next to the boiling hot gravy; then lay the stuffing and various assorted dishes such as cooked vegetables, salads and some chopped meat.

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Dinner was followed by my favorite part: dessert. The brownies had a firm chocolate shell with an incredible, soft and gooey marshmallow topping. On the inside there was an overflow of warm and gooey chocolate that oozed into my mouth as I took that first bite.

My specialty came out fresh from the oven: individual apple and pumpkin pies. The thick, crunchy crust guarded the sweet cinnamon syrup, apple and pumpkin custards inside.


Daniela and her mom
Daniela (right) and her mom


Daniela Lara is a 21-year-old student currently attending iU in Santa Cruz de la Sierra. Her hobbies and interests include outdoor activities (hiking, rock climbing, and fishing) and traveling. She’s very artistic (painting and drawing) and enjoys spending time with her family and friends.

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