Oberlin Blogs

Thanksgiving Break: The Food

November 30, 2023

Phoebe McChesney ’25

My professors canceled classes for the day before Thanksgiving so I was able to spend that morning doing some packing before catching a shuttle to the airport.

Cleveland Hopkins International Airport is about a 30-minute drive from Oberlin. While pretty sizeable, it’s not too big. What I most enjoy is that it’s usually not too busy, so I don't stress about the lines. I also like taking the moving conveyor belt-like sidewalks where I can walk at double my regular speed. While they are not unique to the Cleveland airport, I take full advantage of the opportunity to walk at a superhuman pace whenever I pass through. 

Once I landed in Chicago and arrived at my family’s home, I walked into a flurry of holiday activity: last-minute preparations, baking, and the warm sound of laughter and chatter. This was the first time I’ve seen my sister in person since the summer. She was warming up bulgogi mandu which were sizzling in a pan when I walked through the door. To my surprise she gave me first dibs and I got to take the first delicious bites.

On Thanksgiving Day, I watched some of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and was amused by the performances, giant balloons, music, and the familiar faces of cheery newscasters. My family and I snacked on lox and bagels for breakfast, a lighter fare in preparation for the big meal later on in the day.

In the afternoon, we feasted on a golden turkey, gravy and stuffing, baked mac and cheese, green bean casserole, sweet potatoes, pumpkin-shaped rolls (made by my sister), cranberry sauce, and cranberry bread. We spent the rest of the evening trying not to fall asleep, watching A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, and enjoying pumpkin and pecan pie with the option to add heaps of whipped cream. 

The next day, we went out for Korean barbecue at a joint so popular that the line wraps around the building. It was freezing cold, so we stood there shuffling our feet around and stuffed our hands into the pockets of our jackets. 

The wait was well worth it. Once we were seated, we feasted on japchae, seafood pancake, bulgogi, kimchi soup, and cold noodles. Our meal was accompanied with rice and a bunch of side dishes that provided additional bursts of flavor to the already savory food.

The night before I left, we ordered sushi from our longtime favorite restaurant. I got the nigiri combo and a roll with crab, salmon, and avocado. We finished it off with a multilayered Black Forest cake topped with light and creamy frosting, cherries, and chocolate shavings. Fully satiated, I was able to enjoy a wonderful end to a relaxing break (and do some last-minute packing).

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