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How Do You Like Your Turkey?

MTM and I have a tradition. We do not spend family holidays with extended family. Thanksgiving always finds us in a random spot, scrounging for a repast that mimics the place. For Thanksgiving week, I will write a series of posts set in places we’ve visited to flee the obligatory family meal. Some fiction. Some true. A whole lotta gluttonous food. 

The Musee d’Orsay stays open late on Thursdays. She planned her whole Thanksgiving trip to Paris around this fact. Who needed the decadence of French cuisine when one could gorge herself on Impressionism? Hours of wandering around a repurposed train station, feasting upon her favorite genre of painting, trying to decide where to take her next bite. An assured overload of the palate.

Maybe she would grab a croissant and a coffee in the museum cafeteria, the one behind the big illuminated clock. Pastry for Thanksgiving. The thought made her swipe a bit of drool from the corner of her mouth as she waited behind the barricade outside the storied building.

She waited. And she waited some more. She could smell the aura of the canvases wafting from the structure, could taste the moods and textures on her tongue. Ravenous for visuals, she was.

Her research into visiting France did not include their selective decisions to go on strike. For some mysterious, tres French reason, the museum workers were striking on the very Thanksgiving she decided to allot to her gastronomic feast of art. Inside, her organs rumbled, impatient. Her face was plastered in smiles, though. SHE would not be THAT American, the one who wanted everything yesterday. She smiled at the guard closest to her, hid her longing behind a facade of nonchalant cool. She refused to join her complaining compatriots, fixing her eyes on that guard, willing him to see her as worthy to gain admission to the table.

And, just like that, the guard motioned to her. TO HER. (She decided everyone else didn’t count.) He let her choose the first plate, queue at the beginning of the line for the buffet. Her mouth was overflowing with merci as she entered the empty galleries, her eyes competing for what to consume first. Every surface held something glorious, a tasty, delicious morsel of art.

There. Dindon ala Monet. The most fitting piece in the entire collection on this day. She couldn’t help herself.


An illicit photograph. To remember. To savor. To relive her first experience in Europe. A place of her dreams. A place she never thought she’d see.

27 Comments Post a comment
  1. Well, that’s made me feel very hungry, Andra! I’m orf to eat!!! :D

    November 20, 2011
    • I had to have a snack after writing it, Tom. Hope your repast was yummy.

      November 20, 2011
  2. An art buffet. How delicious.

    November 20, 2011
    • I tried to stand in front of every painting in the place.

      November 20, 2011
  3. The Queen and her turkeys, such an apt representation of this post. Of course, it could be a mirror shot and you are really looking at us, your Penelope minions.

    Now, this is real art: Thanksgiving Art Activity Prschool Video by cullensabcs

    November 20, 2011
    • The turkey painting was quite funny, Lou. This was the first Thanksgiving trip, and it started the tradition. We’ve never eaten turkey on Thanksgiving since. This year, we will probably have sushi on the plane, because we leave on Thanksgiving Day.

      November 20, 2011
  4. What fun! Happy Thanksgiving Week to you both! :)

    November 20, 2011
  5. What a great way to celebrate Thanksgiving! I love the description of the “feast” and the mouthwatering anticipation of it. Art really is a meal, and really does inspire cravings.

    November 20, 2011
    • Elizabeth, I didn’t grow up with much art, leaving me incapable of getting enough of it as an adult.

      November 20, 2011
  6. Thanks, Andra.

    We’ve done Thanksgiving alone, with extended family, with friends. Some years, we felt like ping pong balls being bounced from one feast to the next ~ because everyone wanted a piece of US for Thanksgiving.

    Other years, we stayed home to watch the parade, sip coffee, and allow our appetites to grow to fit the feast.

    November 20, 2011
    • We do make these holidays too stressful sometimes. The expectations and feelings of obligation made the whole thing unenjoyable for me. Now, we go see family on the off-days, and it is much more relaxed and easy.

      Those quiet moments at home are treasures, aren’t they?

      November 20, 2011
  7. Our tradition is to have no tradition. It leaves us open to any invitation, or to none. But, I’m a Philistine; my eyes are never as hungry as my belly.

    November 20, 2011
  8. A woman after my own heart. Experiences like this: they are just stunning, something which stays with us longer than conventional food. I could spend my life in these places. I would, if someone would pay me to.

    November 20, 2011
    • Kate, the experience will live with me forever (though food tends to do the same thing these days – linger FOREVER on parts of my person.) If you ever find a paying gig, I will happily be your sidekick. :)

      November 20, 2011
  9. Loved this. Great ending… :-)

    November 22, 2011
    • Why, thank you, Brett!

      November 22, 2011
      • Welcome. In fact, I posted it on my sparkly new Facebook page! :-D

        November 22, 2011
      • I like your sparkly new Facebook page.

        November 22, 2011

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