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Thanks, yo.

So there are some minor not-so-great parts of celebrating Thanksgiving in England, like, ohhh, the fact that Thanksgiving does not exist in England. There are good parts though, too, like the fact that at approximately 8 a.m. New York time, I had already returned from the gym, made stuffing, poured myself a glass of champagne, and scored a gravy stain on my shirt from too much taste-testing.

It’s my 36th Thanksgiving, so I thought I’d share a list of 36 things I’m thankful for. What the heck, right? People like numbered lists. I bet a few of you are even thankful for them. Here we go.

36 Things I’m Thankful For

  1. Old friends, especially those who are better than me at staying in touch. Love you guys.
  2. New friends who are starting to feel like old friends already. How does that happen so quickly?
  3. That I can still hear Dad’s voice and see his smile. Hi, Dad.
  4. My sister Allison’s upcoming wedding. Hells, yeah!
  5. The way it feels to get lost in music
  6. Shiitakes, tomatoes, soy sauce, marmite, nutritional yeast, and all other plant-based sources of umami. God bless.
  7. Endorphins, and how you can just put on your running shoes and switch them on. What a marvelous cheap trick that is.
  8. That even though everything else is different in England, the gym class choreography is exactly the same.
  9. Good health
  10. Four generations of tight-knit family (and a few of us are even still alive for now!)
  11. David Sedaris, Malcolm Gladwell, Dana Spiotta, Leonard Lopate, Mo Willems
  12. 5 Second Rule, Joy the Baker, What Katie AteSweet Paul — a few current favorites among shiny spots on the internet
  13. Modern Family, 30 Rock, Mad Men, and Parks and Recreation
  14. Learning to say “I’m open!” I could never do it in middle-school soccer, but it gets easier as life goes on.
  15. Kindle, Skype, Pinterest, Nikon, Apple, Virgin Atlantic. You guys know how much I adore you, right?
  16. That I learn as much from a good children’s book as my kids do, if not more.
  17. Dinosaur kale, spicy tuna avocado maki, caffe Americano, Veuve Clicquot. I love you all every day, but not always in that order.
  18. Separation of church and state
  19. The fact that in England, there’s no separation of church and state. Hellooo, adorable owl and angel in the school Nativity play.
  20. The way the 3-year-old says “ackshuwee” instead of actually
  21. How much the 7-year-old loves to disappear into a book
  22. Cope. Hi, love.
  23. The incredible luxury of doing work I find both important and fun
  24. The best vegetarian gravy ever. Recipe coming soon.
  25. Joel Fuhrman, Caldwell Esselstyn, T. Colin Campbell. Great work, you guys. Say it louder!
  26. A home to live in…and to decorate
  27. That hair grows back
  28. Late afternoon light (or as we call it in England in wintertime, the light at like 5 minutes past noon)
  29. That some people are really great at being funny, and some people are really great at being serious.
  30. Nursery rhymes and tea (two things I didn’t appreciate at all until moving to England)
  31. My friend Vera’s Facebook feed, aka my primary source of news
  32. Levi’s Curve ID
  33. Good questions and people who aren’t shy about asking them
  34. That other people want to be doctors and teachers
  35. Both of Conan O’Brien’s commencement speeches
  36. All of the hundreds of thousands of you (from 178 countries!) who have found Umami Girl’s little blip in the solar system and decided to spend a few moments of your busy, interesting lives here. Thank you for sharing this space with me. Without you I could only be like this in my own head, and that would suck.

Happy Thanksgiving, all. Hope it’s a great one.


Hi there, I'm Carolyn, and I'm delighted you're here. I'm a NYC-area food, travel, yoga, coffee, wine, running, music making and book obsessive with a great family and a love for sharing it all with you. Grab a drink and come on in. Learn more.

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