Thanksgiving is a wonderful opportunity for au pairs and families to get together and celebrate holiday traditions. As you are getting ready for this year’s festivities, here’s a look back at au pairs giving thanks and sharing culture in Boston last year.
For their November cluster meeting, Saori, Amy and Nadia, three Community Counselors covering the Boston area, decided to host a Thanksgiving luncheon for their au pairs at Nadia’s apartment in Brookline. It was a festive gathering full of international culture. Fourteen au pairs attended, representing Mexico, Brazil, Germany, South Africa, France, Israel and Spain.
For many au pairs, this was the first time learning about the Thanksgiving holiday in the United States. Some au pairs were curious to find out about the tradition of this important holiday and asked many questions, while others listened attentively. They then talked about their own holidays and the special meals served on those holidays, while occasionally peeking into Nadia’s kitchen as they were building up their appetite.
Nadia and Saori had been busy preparing the Thanksgiving feast since early morning. They made an array of foods including turkey, potatoes, green beans, carrot salad, cranberry sauce and bread. The house smelled just as you’d expect—like a Thanksgiving feast. Once the food was served, it became very quiet around the table, which was the best compliment to the chefs.
When the desserts arrived to the table, pumpkin and apple pies with lots of whipped cream, joyous chatter around the table resumed. One by one, au pairs shared their stories of what it is like to be an au pair, what they like about living with their host family and what they miss from their own country. An au pair from Brazil brought a traditional Brazilian dessert to share called “brigadeiros” made of mixed condensed milk and chocolate.
1 tablespoon butter
14 ounces condensed milk
3 tablespoons cocoa or chocolate powder
In medium saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Stir in condensed milk and cocoa powder and cook until the mixture thickens, about 10-15 minutes. The texture should be thick enough to form a ball and you should see the bottom of the pan. Pour contents into a lightly greased bowl and allow to cool.
Once room temperature, grease hands with small amount of butter or non-stick spray. Roll about a teaspoon of mixture between your hands to form 1½ inch balls. Roll brigadeiros in chocolate sprinkles (or substitute powdered sugar, coconut, chopped nuts, cake decorating sugar/sprinkles, etc.). Place in small paper candy cups and serve.
The au pairs and Community Counselors enjoyed sharing this traditional American holiday meal, and everyone learned something new about different cultures. On the way out, phone numbers and emails were exchanged and new connections and friendships were made.
To learn more about au pair exchange and how to bring culturally enriching child care to your family, visit Au Pair in America.