My Mexican Family has asked me to cook the turkey for the November birthdays of three family members. I consider it an honor. In my early expat days, the ingredients were hard to find. There were no sweet potatoes or yams, but the grey or purple camote was fine, with a few drops of orange food coloring. The pecans were not available or exorbitantly expensive. Cranberries were mysterious and unavailable.
In 1980 Holiday Inn was the only hotel in downtown Merida which offered a Thanksgiving feast. We thought we needed it, but as years passed, the pumpkin pie became a memory and once important items were not missed. After NAFTA the shops filled with local, US and Chinese wonders. Our wine selection use to be limited to Padre Kino and Calafia and if a California bottle were found somewhere it was treated like a prince or princess in a strange land.
Perhaps they asked me to cook the birthday turkey because I have a new and wondrous oven, rarely used. But probably they know that I use recipes from a memory bank of much loved grandmothers and mothers, whose husbands and sons got up early to stomp through the piney woods near the Okefenokee Swamp in search of the unfortunate quail and doves. Some play tricks on me for access to grandmother's Bread & Butter pickle recipe.