Longtime Newley.com readers will recall that I have blogged, in past years, about my Aunt Cece’s pecan pie.
I absolutely love it. And I make a point to bake one every Thanksgiving.
American holidays and customs resonate strongly with me during this time of year, even amid the heat and sunshine of my adopted Southeast Asian home.
The nostalgia surprises me sometimes. Born in Oregon and raised in South Carolina, when I still lived in the U.S. I never really cared that much about Thanksgiving, for instance. Then I moved to Thailand in 2006. It was only there, surrounded by central Bangkok’s gray concrete buildings, with puttering tuk-tuks buzzing in my ears, that this most American of holidays firmly took root in my heart.
Perhaps it was homesickness mixing with a bit of sentimentality I didn’t know I had. The result was a hankering for down-home side dishes like deviled eggs, mashed potatoes, and—best of all—my Aunt Cece’s South Carolina pecan pie, not to mention cranberry sauce and my mother’s oyster pie. My wife—also an American—and I used these dishes to maintain a connection to home and celebrate with our close-knit group of friends since our relatives were so far away. We moved to Singapore in February and continue to celebrate American holidays here, in this similarly tropical city-state.
It turns out I’m not the only foreigner whose view on his or her home country’s holidays have changed over time, though not always in ways you’d expect.
Click through for photos, input from other expats, and — perhaps best of all — the recipe for Aunt Cece’s pie.