The first of our series of holidays away from home was a success. Since we live with mostly all other Americans (and one Indian), we were all very onboard with the whole idea of celebrating Thanksgiving together. We went through a series of ideas starting with making our own Thanksgiving dinner, but since our TEFL House kitchen is not extremely well equipped, we decided to go out to eat. And luckily there were even a few options of restaurants that serve American Thanksgiving dinners.
We chose Jama, a restaurant in Prague 1, not too far from our school where they have been serving Thanksgiving dinner for 20 years. They also had American Football games on TV, so that made the men in our group happy.
Our evening started with some jovial Thanksgiving-themed games in our flat where we all put the immense workload of the course aside for the night at got to know each other a little better. There was Czech beer, wine, Swiss Chocolate (one of us is from Switzerland), and pretzels. What more could you want for pre-dinner hors d’oeuvres?
After lots of laughing, reminiscent talk about our families, and drinks all around, we had to leave the flat to make it to our 9pm reservation for dinner. We were quite loud, and possibly annoying on the bus and tram, but, we justified, it’s a special occasion, so what if they don’t understand.
We made it to the restaurant and got a nice table in a small back room next to a group wearing Pilgrim hats and Native American headdresses. They too were English teachers from the US. We ordered our drinks and the first course arrived. It was corn chowder. Not quite synonymous with one of my favorite dishes, corn casserole, but the warm, potato based soup was great to get warmed up on a cold night.
Next, our main meal came out. It was definitely a Czech spin on Thanksgiving dinner. They love to pile plates up with food – sides go under the meat – and this meal was no different. We were faced with a pile of Thanksgiving foods all looking and smelling great. There was ham, turkey, mashed potatoes, green beans, and stuffing all topped with cranberry sauce and gravy. All of the flavors mixed perfectly together for a Thanksgiving feast like no other.
FInally, we got some very flat slices of pumpkin pie. Although they looked different that what we’re used to, all of the flavors were there, and the crust was some of the best Jordan, a pumpkin pie connoisseur, had had. The whole meal, with drinks and tips cost us about 450 crowns. Money well spent.
Sure, it wasn’t just like home, but I am thankful that I got closer with my course mates, ate some delicious food that we didn’t have to cook ourselves, celebrated the holiday even being so many miles away.