The Great Thanksgiving of Assistants

In France, Thanksgiving is not a holiday. You probably know this already. It makes sense, as the pilgrims didn’t just go a little south to France but went all the way across the sea to the states which weren’t yet states to have a big feast with the Native Americans. Ok, so that’s not exactly why they came. But it happened, and we’re thankful that this happened, and thus we Americans still celebrate Thanksgiving. One of the assistants here lives with a couple that always asks the assistants that live with them to put on a Thanksgiving dinner, so a bunch of assistants got together this weekend to make that happen. I was on the pie-making team, so Friday night I headed up into the hills of Nîmes to contribute pie crust and crumble topping to the pumpkin and apple pie initiative. I must note, pumpkins as Americans know them simply don’t seem to exist in France. Meet your alternatives:


Potiron. Notice that the flesh is much thicker than that of the typical American pumpkin (citrouille).

La courge musquée


Courge musquée pie. They really did turn out just like pumpkin pie!


Yummy food


Apple pie with my crumble topping

We used a courge musquée for our pumpkin pies. With the right spices, it really did taste just like pumpkin pie! I made the crumble topping for the apple pie using a crumble recipe in the Nutella Cookbook (which did not involve Nutella) that my friend Kathleen and I enjoyed cooking from in college. Our meal included a turkey, stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, roasted vegetables, and sweet potatoes. For dessert, there were the two pumpkin pies, the apple pie, and a sweet potato pie. It was delicious! It was nice to celebrate Thanksgiving with fellow Americans and a Canadian (where they also celebrate Thanksgiving albeit at a different time) and to teach some French and English people what it’s all about.


I believe that you should show people appreciation and give thanks for all great things every day, but on Thanksgiving in particular, it’s important. I honestly didn’t get to talk about Thanksgiving with many of my students as most teachers wanted me to focus on Black Friday. I tried to include Fair Tuesday in my lessons as well. However, I did have my students share what they were thankful for at English Club, and it was so gratifying to hear them say that they were thankful to have me as their assistant 🙂 I am thankful to have them as students and thankful for the opportunity to be a teaching assistant in France. So, let’s all take a moment today to let all those we’re thankful for know it and just to feel thanks for all good things in our lives.


About Quiche Lauren

A blog by an English teaching assistant in Nîmes (Académie de Montpellier) through the TAPIF program.
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