Journalist Sarah Efron explores strip malls and hole-in-the-wall restaurants in search of the city's best ethnic food

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Yanksgiving: Expat Americans gather in Toronto to celebrate turkey, cranberries and Barack Obama

There's a strange cultural ritual that takes place in Toronto every November: The Democrats Abroad Thanksgiving dinner. It's an event where left-of-centre Americans living in Canada gather to eat dinner and chat about the nuances of American politics.

Two years ago on the heels of Obama's election, it was a packed house, with more than a hundred people gathered to take part in the ritual. This year a more subdued and much smaller gathering took place at The Chef House, the restaurant of the culinary students at George Brown College. Off of Obama's highs and after the Democrats midterm losses, the group has shrank back down to its core: draft dodgers in their 60s and their spouses.

They're a friendly bunch and they love their rituals. Yes, turkey and cranberries, but they also do a reading of the bill of of rights to remind themselves of "what the right wing is trying to take away from us." People cheer after each amendment, except the second amendment, about the right to bear arms, which got a few boos.

Then it was on to an obscure American politics trivia quiz and a music quiz, with the winning tables getting a free bottles of wine.

You can watch your food being cooked on the kitchen cam. 

The turkey and cranberries were okay, but this maple sugar tart was wonderful.
Despite their smaller numbers after this year, the group vows it will regain its strength. Organizer Adrienne Jones told the crowd that the midterms didn't mean Obama would be a goner after the next election--Clinton also suffered during his first midterms and went on to win a second term.

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