" Thanksgiving soon gave way to the chill of December "
is an American festival, celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November. It marks the survival of the first winter in America by British settlers
who arrived on the east coast of America in The Mayflower
in 1620. The holiday gives rise to a long weekend, and a Thanksgiving dinner of traditional fare which includes roast turkey, potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn on the cob, vegetables and pumpkin pie, amongst others. The holiday is also a time for charity, with the less fortunate often given food.
Traditional Thanksgiving recipes
" I am not, of course, an Arab "
The Arab people
occupy lands in North Africa and West Asia – notably Egypt, Algeria, Morocco, Saudi Arabia and Iraq. They are an ethnic group, whose common identifying factor is the Semitic language
, but are now commonly identified with Islam
, which is the major religion amongst them. Worldwide there are around 30-50 million Arabs. Pakistan is not an Arabic country.
" armed men had assaulted the Indian parliament "
December 2001, five gunmen attacked
the Indian Parliament
building in New Delhi. The Prime Minister had already left, but other ministers were in the building when the shooting began. The five terrorists, six policemen and one civilian were killed in the gun battle
which raged for an hour, but no MPs were hurt or killed. India blamed the Pakistani terrorist groups Lashkar-e-Toiba
for the attack, and in December 2002 four members of the latter were arrested and trialled, one of whom was put to death. The incident led to a mobilisation of Indian troops against Pakistan on 20th
December 2001, and the India-Pakistan stand-off
which lasted into 2002.
" fresh from the clay oven "
Bread can be baked in a traditional clay oven, in which a fire is lit, the temperature raised, and then the flames extinguished before the bread is sealed in. Clay ovens can be used for other dough-based food such as pizza, and are used in many countries around the world where electric or gas ovens are too expensive or uncommon.
If you would like to build and use a clay oven yourself, then here is how you do it!
" the time has now come for us to dirty our hands "
Eating customs vary across Pakistan, but in general food is eaten with the hands. Muslims use the right hand only, as a sign of respect, and the plate should be cleared, so as not to waste food – rice or bread is used to mop up sauces. In rural areas the meal is often taken sitting on the floor, from a low table, but dining tables are common in towns and cities.
" the conflict with India dominated conversation "
The military standoff
between India and Pakistan began as a direct result of the Pakistani attack on the Indian Parliament
December 2001. On 20th
December 2001, India moved large amounts of troops to the Kashmir
and Indian Punjab
regions – the largest Indian military mobilisation since the previous Indo-Pakistani war in 1971
. As a response, Pakistan diverted its own troops from the Afghan border to the Indian border. Both countries also deployed ballistic missiles and skirmishes occurred in Kashmir. Clashes in May and June led to a heightened fear of nuclear war, and the USA and Russia interceded, which led to a de-escalation of the situation
in October 2002.
" Jerk chicken is common where I come from "
Jerk seasoning is a style of cooking native to Jamaica. Pork or chicken are traditionally cooked in this manner – the meat is rubbed with a hot mixture of spices, and then barbecued over aromatic wood or charcoal. The spice mixture includes allspice and Scotch bonnet peppers, which are some of the hottest peppers in the world, as well as cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, garlic and various other ingredients.
Jerk chicken recipe
" overlooking the Hudson River "
The Hudson River at Bear Mountain Bridge - Credit: Rolf Mueller
The Hudson River flows north to south through the eastern part of New York State, covering a distance of 315 miles. Its source lies in the Adirondack Mountains, and at its mouth it forms the border between New York and New Jersey, draining into Upper New York Bay.
The river was explored in 1609 by Englishman Henry Hudson.
" Eyelashes like a Maybelline ad "
Maybelline is a cosmetics company founded in 1915 in New York – its first product was a mascara. The company name is an amalgamation of the sister of its founding chemist (Maybel) and Vaseline, which she used to apply coal dust to her eyelashes to darken them. It was acquired by L’Oreal in 1996. Its advertising slogan is, ‘Maybe she’s born with it. Maybe it’s Maybelline’, and the adverts are famous for their long-lashed beauties!