By Nash Wills, Staff Writer
How to Cook Thanksgiving Dinner in Jesus Maria, Argentina in 38 Simple Steps
1. Decide early on that Thanksgiving would be a cool way to share your culture with your Argentine family and friends.
2. Procrastinate until Thanksgiving day is only a week away.
3. Realize that there are only three days left until Thanksgiving and decide that you should live up to your original idea.
4. Sit your Argentine family down and tell them that you want to have a party for Thanksgiving.
5. Realize that no one in Argentina has any idea what Thanksgiving is.
7. Proceed with the plan anyway.
8. Start spreading the word and inviting all family and friends to the party.
9. Unsuccessfully explain to all friends and invitees what Thanksgiving is and reassure everyone that the food will taste good.
10. Walk to the supermercado on Calle Mendoza down the street from your house and buy improvised ingredients for macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, and stuffing.
11. Go to the carne section of the supermercado and tell the tipo that you are trying to buy a turkey.
12. When he skeptically asks why you would ever want a turkey, explain to him that you are throwing a Thanksgiving day celebration and then proceed to explain to him what Thanksgiving is.
13. Realize that no one in Argentina ever eats turkey and therefore it is almost impossible to come by.
14. Go to the other grocery store in el centro on Calle San Martin. Repeat steps 11 and 12.
15. Go to your Argentine family and explain to them that you cannot find a turkey.
16. Heed their advice and call the Wal-Mart in Cordoba Capital to see if they have any turkeys for sale and repeat the explanation only to find out that they don’t.
17. Start asking around town if anyone knows where to get a turkey and be directed to farmers.
18. Ask your English students at the high school in la escuela rural if any of them have a turkey.
19. Find out that Alfredo does indeed have five turkeys roaming around on his campo.
20. Go meet Alfredo’s padre and explain to him why you want the turkey.
21. Go to Alfredo’s campo and be given the turkey for free in exchange for an invitation to the fiesta.
22. Kill the turkey and boil the feathers off with Alfredo and his padre.
23. Take the turkey home with you.
24. Realize that you have never actually cooked a turkey before and start watching Youtube videos on how to do it.
26. Go to the carniceria down the street with the turkey and tell them what you want to have done only to have them ask why you would ever want to butterfly a turkey and then repeat all previous explanations.
27. Show them a Youtube video of Martha Stewart butterflying a turkey and have them copy it.
28. Ask them how much it costs only to have them tell you it is free in exchange for an invitation to the fiesta.
29. Realize that you need a venue for the fiesta.
30. Call up local English institute where you help out occasionally. Ask to use the spare kitchenette and yard and invite them to the fiesta in exchange for free use of the venue.
31. Go to the venue and begin the all day cooking process.
32. Realize that Argentines will probably not enjoy the food that you have put so much effort into and go buy asado meat just-in-case.
33. Wait for all of the guests to arrive around 10pm and do not start dinner until 11pm.
34. Set the table and give a toast to all 30 guests.
35. Begin eating and observe everyone’s reactions to the meal.
36. Hear that it is good but is muy seco y pesado (dry and heavy).
37. Serve the asado instead.
38. Officially check having served your first Thanksgiving dinner in small-town Argentina off of your bucket list and enjoy.