Despite the peculiarities of American eats, I am grateful and thankful for many things here in the homeland — things we couldn’t find in Thailand, or wouldn’t buy for the ridiculous price; things I simply appreciate wherever I am. My list is long, but a few items immediately come to mind:

* Friends and family with dinner tables. Not that we have no friends in Asia, but I always love a good dinner party (big or small). Like last night. We surprised our dear friends in Oconomowoc, barging in on their dinner preparations. They made a fantastic laap with sticky rice and homemade chili sauce. We finally met their newborn (who arrived after our last visit in October) and caught up with their tortilla-loving, herb-eating 2-year-old. The four of us adults lingered over the table (coffee table on the living-room floor), talking well into the night.

* Wine for drinking. Say no more.

* Wine for cooking. Options beyond rice wine.

* Microbrews. After all, we’re here in the land of New Glarus. Really, I’m not an alkie. But here’s my favorite out-of-context quote so far this trip: “All I know is my brother George drank the most and he lived the longest.”

* Cheese. So much cheese. The local Sendik’s has a walk-in refrigerated cheese room.

* Mustard. Brown mustard, yellow mustard, mustard with champagne.

* Pickled herring. Love it.

* Pears. Love them, too.

* Walnuts. With fruit and yogurt in the morning.

* Ham. Thick and smoky.

* NPR. And the local affiliate. For all those oh-so-American drives to and from the grocery store.

6 thoughts on “Thankful

  1. Hey, those are all the things I like about this country too (except for the herring…that’s kinda weird) and I live here full time! I like everything pickled (except fish), and chocolate a whole lot too (not pickled!).
    Tommy likes everything off of a pig, ham included.
    What about the chicken fried steak in green chile sauce? hehe

  2. Paprika. I forgot paprika.

    Jojo, you’ll have to feed us some of that chicken fried steak in green chile sauce. Unpickled chocolate, too. We had tasty bacon tonight as a topping for dinner (more on that later). Stinky cheese and pears in port for dessert — yum!

  3. It’s a curse…when I am home in Malaysia, I miss certain things about US and when I am in the US, I want things from home. I only wish US-Malaysia is closer in distance…like 10 -12 hours flying time instead of 18 or more!!!

  4. have to agree on most things except pickled fish.. I appreciate water from the tap, FREE!, I am thankful for the absence of prahok, however.

  5. Robyn, I love foodies and boozies.

    Rasa, I agree! But then, I wonder, if these two worlds were closer together, would the experience of traveling feel the same?

    Andy, clean tap water is precious. So is good prahok, but I know how vehemently you disagree.

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