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CIMG1281

Who knew that it was shameful to eat off of paper plates, or sip from a plastic cup? My translated post about Thanksgiving appeared in TOP LJ all day yesterday, and the comments were just a feast for the soul and mind! Many people immediately commented on the fact that my family eats off of paper plates, not porcelain or china! This is a sign of bad taste and a lower class upbringing, of course! We are poorly educated American rednecks! :)) Apparently after slaving over the oven all day cooking for 40 people, many Russians would prefer to stand at the sink in the evening for hours loading the dishwasher multiple times or hand-washing precious porcelain than demean themselves and use disposable plates and cups! My family certainly owns nice porcelain, but we don't feel the need to eat off of sparkling plates at such huge gatherings. Does the food taste different if it's served on a fancy plate? I don't think so. :) Other common observations in the comments:

(1) "It's horrible that everyone in your family is sitting at different tables! Why aren't you all seated at one long table?" Let me remind you that there are over 40 people at this feast, and my family does not like formal, stuffy gatherings where everyone sits in the same place for hours at a time. We like to get up and move around, talk to different relatives, go outside for fresh air....

(2) "Did you pray before the feast, or has America forgotten God?" No, I don't pray. Not at Thanksgiving, or any other day. I am not a religious person,  and don't believe prayer solves anything. However, there are plenty of holy people in the USA who pray daily and definitely at Thanksgiving. Don't worry, faith and religion is still very strong in the USA. :)

(3) "What slobs! Everyone is wearing their shoes in the house!" YES! In the USA, it is not customary to remove your shoes as soon as you enter the house, especially in a place like Virginia where we don't get much snow. Each time I visit Russia, I must remind myself to immediately remove my boots when entering my friend's apartment. For me, it's something unusual and not a personal habit. I wear my shoes inside the house all the time, as do many Americans.

(4) "Why don't the children sing, dance or read stories at the table?" The children are outside, playing in the nice weather, not sitting in the house singing, performing, or reading prose to the adults. We usually gather and sing Christmas songs during our December holiday celebration, which I will try to show you.

(5) "Why do you ask people to write comments in English! This is a Russian speaking community."  I'm exhausted over the English vs. Russian language hysteria that so commonly arises when my posts appear in other forums. I can't understand the problem, when a kind reader spent hours translating my text into Russian so it could reach a mass audience, yet people still complain! :(

Based on the comments, Russia is the most highly cultured nation, using the best porcelain, dressing in ball gowns and discussing deep and weighty subjects such as politics, literature and the fine arts at all holiday gatherings. :))

I don't claim that my family represents all of America. Of course, there are highly sophisticated and elite families who eat off of beautiful porcelain, have fancy table settings and even maids that prepare and serve their meals. But this is not my family. We are ordinary, middle-class folks, and most of my relatives are blue collar workers. We don't feel the need to dress up and impress anyone. We are surrounded by each other all the time, and to me this is the most important part of Thanksgiving, or any other celebration. Not prayer, not songs, not porcelain. Unconditional love - the highest form of spirituality!

Do you think it's shameful and unacceptable to eat off of paper plates? Is it really important to use porcelain or expensive china at holiday gatherings?
IMG_8084

Let's end with the most amusing and delusional comment to the post from my LJ enemy "lenkaolenka," please enjoy! :))

"Старая добрая Шенон со своей скрытой идеей ударить побольнее русских в то время, когда в экономике не совсем хорошо.

Мой бывший Американский муж был Мастером праздника Благодарения. Шенон права: это праздник еды. О еде начинают думать задолго до праздника, потому что это отвлекает от проблем, которыми кишит жизнь, теле и интернетный эфир. Еда - это смысл и утешение.

Как правило, все блюда этого праздника состоят из сахара, крахмала (кукуруза, картофель), муки, шоколадного порошка с небольшим количеством дешевых, чаще всего консервированных овощей (стручки гороха).

Количество еды обратно пропорционально качеству, вкусу и полезности. Поскольку мясо индющки само по себе очень сухое и невкусное, то его заедают громадным количеством "клюквенного варенья" и других сладких блюд, в которые кладется немысленное количество кукурузного сиропа. "Ветчина" - это нечто пересоленное и бесвкусное. Поэтому для нее нужно варенье. Традиция!

Еда еда и еда этого праздника - единственный повод для собрания. Сначала все о ней говорят, потом ее постоянно вталкивают и обсуждают одновременно, потом лениво переваривают. Потом разговоры о деньгах, ценах и предстоящих распродажах.

Все!

Песен не поют. Книги и фильмы (как и политику) не обсуждают. Просто переваривают еду и вспоминают, каким каждое блюдо было вкусным и необыкновенным.

Сначала это для русской души интересно. Ждешь какого-то таинства. Но его нет. Есть еда. Как будто втретилось большое количество очень примитивных особей, все счастье которых заключается в наличии большого и сытного корыта.

Мой муж никогда не готовил на праздник макароны с сыром.
Это - блюдо на случай безработицы. Сыр в этом блюде - дешевый заменитель с некоторым привкусом сыра. Это не такой сыр, который представляют себе россияне! Да и птица вроде ножек буша. От долгого чревоугодия еда постоянно подогреваемая в течение теряет вкус и пищевую ценность. Она похожа на кухни для бедных и бездомных. Но сытная. Она дает ощущение безопасности.

Вот как мы обращаемся к тортикам, если нас обидели, так бедные люди в Америке набрасываются на еду.

А потом телевизор. Да. С сытыми пустыми глазами.

И наряды обсуждать, и любоваться - флиртовать - оценивать фасончики никто не будет. Как будто ты в хлеву и тебя откормили. И у тебя небольшая передышка перед новым ударом кнута.

Да... никто не танцует и не поет. Не играют в какие то общие игры. Никто не делится сокровенным даже в кругу своих. Никто не вспоминает индейцев и историю. Все заедается сахарной бесвкусной клюквой."

You can read the other 900 comments to the post here. Welcome to all of the new readers in this blog! I'm glad you're here! :)


Comments

( 258 comments — Leave a comment )
Page 1 of 5
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onkel_hans
Dec. 3rd, 2015 05:10 pm (UTC)
Is the first one a mirror photo? - Knives on the left, forks on the right. But the name tags at each place!
peacetraveler22
Dec. 3rd, 2015 05:12 pm (UTC)
No, this is taken from Google images. My family's tables are much bigger, but also filled with paper plates. :)
(no subject) - onkel_hans - Dec. 3rd, 2015 06:02 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - onkel_hans - Dec. 3rd, 2015 06:08 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - redheadrat - Dec. 3rd, 2015 05:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - onkel_hans - Dec. 3rd, 2015 05:54 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - redheadrat - Dec. 3rd, 2015 05:57 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - onkel_hans - Dec. 3rd, 2015 06:14 pm (UTC) - Expand
theodorexxx
Dec. 3rd, 2015 05:13 pm (UTC)
It's not worth to feed trolls and justify yourself. I ate from paper plates. The only problem is that it's full of chemistry == not good for health
And here is the reason why your LJ enemy hates America -" Мой бывший Американский муж"
When she insults you she insults her ex in her mind. I'm sure she often calls him but he declines her calls so she channels an anger of an unsatisfied woman in LJ.
peacetraveler22
Dec. 3rd, 2015 05:14 pm (UTC)
She insults herself because her stupidity and envy shines in every comment. I thought you hate these family gatherings? What do you do for New Year's celebrations?

Edited at 2015-12-03 05:15 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - procurator0 - Dec. 3rd, 2015 05:16 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Dec. 3rd, 2015 05:17 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - procurator0 - Dec. 3rd, 2015 05:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - redheadrat - Dec. 3rd, 2015 05:23 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Dec. 3rd, 2015 05:24 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kichiro_sora - Dec. 3rd, 2015 05:30 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - redheadrat - Dec. 3rd, 2015 05:58 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kichiro_sora - Dec. 3rd, 2015 06:31 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - redheadrat - Dec. 3rd, 2015 08:04 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - theodorexxx - Dec. 3rd, 2015 05:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Dec. 4th, 2015 01:45 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - theodorexxx - Dec. 4th, 2015 02:54 pm (UTC) - Expand
oblomius
Dec. 3rd, 2015 05:15 pm (UTC)
Россия is a country where everything is not-russian denied. This is a country where there is still eaten with a shovel.


peacetraveler22
Dec. 3rd, 2015 05:16 pm (UTC)
And what is the purpose of being fed with the shovel? I've seen posts about this tradition, but don't understand it!
(no subject) - redheadrat - Dec. 3rd, 2015 05:25 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - oblomius - Dec. 3rd, 2015 06:08 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - qi_tronic - Dec. 3rd, 2015 09:43 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Dec. 4th, 2015 01:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - qi_tronic - Dec. 4th, 2015 03:22 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Dec. 4th, 2015 03:25 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - navvan - Dec. 4th, 2015 06:20 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - inveraray - Dec. 3rd, 2015 05:24 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - oblomius - Dec. 3rd, 2015 06:10 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - inveraray - Dec. 3rd, 2015 06:41 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - oblomius - Dec. 3rd, 2015 06:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - grimbik - Dec. 3rd, 2015 09:14 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - oblomius - Dec. 3rd, 2015 10:02 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - grimbik - Dec. 3rd, 2015 11:34 pm (UTC) - Expand
irsenas
Dec. 3rd, 2015 05:20 pm (UTC)
:)))
Russian like to discuss other and teach how to live)))
peacetraveler22
Dec. 3rd, 2015 05:21 pm (UTC)
I think it's the same for all humans. This is part of our basic nature. :) But I still do not understand what is so shameful about paper plates when you're feeding such a mass amount of people? Suffering - this is part of the Russian soul, and I guess this includes standing over the sink doing a lot of dishes. :)
(no subject) - polet_fantazii - Dec. 3rd, 2015 05:56 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - onkel_hans - Dec. 3rd, 2015 06:18 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Dec. 3rd, 2015 06:27 pm (UTC) - Expand
True! - onkel_hans - Dec. 3rd, 2015 06:39 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: True! - mrs_oblomova - Dec. 3rd, 2015 09:15 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: True! - onkel_hans - Dec. 3rd, 2015 11:15 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: True! - mrs_oblomova - Dec. 4th, 2015 05:37 pm (UTC) - Expand
Va-t-en! - onkel_hans - Dec. 4th, 2015 07:16 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Dec. 4th, 2015 12:00 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - onkel_hans - Dec. 3rd, 2015 06:20 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Dec. 3rd, 2015 06:29 pm (UTC) - Expand
I am just the opposite! - onkel_hans - Dec. 3rd, 2015 06:43 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - onkel_hans - Dec. 3rd, 2015 06:22 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - vasha_masha - Dec. 3rd, 2015 07:40 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - inveraray - Dec. 3rd, 2015 05:23 pm (UTC) - Expand
inveraray
Dec. 3rd, 2015 05:22 pm (UTC)
Honestly i hate plastic And paper dishes And it really taste different for me when i eat from "proper" Dishes.
peacetraveler22
Dec. 3rd, 2015 05:23 pm (UTC)
Okay, it's interesting. For me, there is no difference unless I'm eating a steak or meat that must be cut. Then, I use regular plates. But we carve the turkey and ham before they are placed on the buffet table, so a strong plate that can handle a knife isn't necessary.
(no subject) - inveraray - Dec. 3rd, 2015 06:46 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - onkel_hans - Dec. 3rd, 2015 06:50 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ultra_epifan - Dec. 8th, 2015 09:35 am (UTC) - Expand
kichiro_sora
Dec. 3rd, 2015 05:25 pm (UTC)
Sadly - you are right. ManyAll russians would prefer to wash dishes after slaving all day preparing food. Actually preparations often start the day before. And dishwasher machine is still extreme novelty in Russia...

I remember when I was a kid, for big holidays, like BD and NY my mom would start preparing dishes and salads the day before, than, more or less cooking all day until guests arrive, and after guests leave she'd be washing plates long into the night. Guests would bring nothing, and there was no paper plates. Now there are paper plates, but this tradition is so deep in every russian, that it's not easy to break.

When I moved to US we quickly accepted guests-bring-dish tradition, and we use (nice) disposable plates for big events. It's just making sense spending more time talking to people and less time cleaning... But as you found out - russians from Russia - will not look keenly on this shameful behaviour :)
peacetraveler22
Dec. 3rd, 2015 05:37 pm (UTC)
We also start cooking the evening before for our Thanksgiving feast, and there are tons of dishes to do from the preparation and cooking. So, that's why we don't want to be bothered with even more dishes after everyone eats. By that time, we're all exhausted, full and want to take a nap. :)
(no subject) - kichiro_sora - Dec. 3rd, 2015 05:41 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - halftime_result - Dec. 3rd, 2015 05:53 pm (UTC) - Expand
rina_grant
Dec. 3rd, 2015 05:25 pm (UTC)
I can't believe you actually received all those comments! I'm terribly sorry. These people are a disgrace to their own culture. They have their own system of very basic "values" and are deaf and blind to everything else.
peacetraveler22
Dec. 3rd, 2015 05:37 pm (UTC)
It's ordinary to receive so many comments when I write about ordinary American life in that community. I guess it sends their mind into a frenzy, because the picture I paint is very different from what they see on TV.
justadreamer
Dec. 3rd, 2015 05:25 pm (UTC)
Ой вэй! Дорогая Шеннон, неужели вы ещё не поняли, что больше всего наш русский народ любит учить весь остальной мир как нужно жить )

Edited at 2015-12-03 05:26 pm (UTC)
peacetraveler22
Dec. 3rd, 2015 05:38 pm (UTC)
And they accuse America of doing the same!
moskitow
Dec. 3rd, 2015 05:27 pm (UTC)
OMG! I missed all the fun! Didn't pay attention to "my-one-day" since I've already seen the pictures here in the blog.....
Maan, how dare you, Shannon, not to slave in the kitchen first, cutting for hours delicious salads made out of little cubes of overcooked vegetables, bologna and pickles with lots of nutritious mayo and then washing loads of china dishes by hand (because dishwasher is for lazy girls who would never get married to a nice russian guy!) :)
And your male relatives don't drink lots of vodka and argue about politics for hours while women are serving them and cleaning up? What a boring party.....
The worst part is that It's so easy to turn into a person like you :) I, myself, use paper plates now(and oh, horror my mom in Russia is doing the same thing now, she learned it from me) and make all these american dishes instead of a winter salad. Shame on me.....
Good reads.
peacetraveler22
Dec. 3rd, 2015 07:40 pm (UTC)
:)) I prefer to make life simple. I can think of a dozen things I'd rather do than stand and wash dishes at the sink!
1kompozitor
Dec. 3rd, 2015 05:27 pm (UTC)
Для хорошей компании всё равно где собраться и из чего есть.

П.С. Почему-то во всех странах в интернете очень любят писать всякие пакости. И это не только в России. Видимо здравомыслящие люди любят общаться в живую.
rina_grant
Dec. 3rd, 2015 05:30 pm (UTC)
В общем-то да: когда не видишь человека в глаза, его так легко облить грязью.
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Dec. 4th, 2015 01:49 pm (UTC) - Expand
Alex Winter
Dec. 3rd, 2015 05:28 pm (UTC)
вот то, что американцы не снимают ботинки дома, меня всегда поражало, конечно. грязь ведь всё равно разносится. недавно смотрел фильм с вуди алленом, где он лежал в кровати в кедах, будто так и надо.
onkel_hans
Dec. 3rd, 2015 06:54 pm (UTC)
В Америке нет столько грязи, как на Московщине.
В Америке даже в госпиталь заходят, не снимая шубы и сапог.
(no subject) - graze - Dec. 3rd, 2015 09:00 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Dec. 4th, 2015 01:50 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - Alex Winter - Dec. 4th, 2015 02:05 pm (UTC) - Expand
redheadrat
Dec. 3rd, 2015 05:28 pm (UTC)
There are only two reasons for preference of porcelain dishes to paper or plastic.

First is the heat retention qualities. Food temperature and taste get affected by the plate used, but in order to exploit this, you really need to warm or cool half the dishes depending on the food that is being served.

Second is about paper plates getting soggy from the juices and the sauce. This can get annoying, but can also be mitigated by using higher quality disposable plates.
onkel_hans
Dec. 3rd, 2015 07:01 pm (UTC)
A good point.
I new a Jewish woman from Russia whose husband was a pretty good cook.
The held a "Russian" store then decided to expand and opened a restaurant,

It turned out a complete failure, although the meals were good.
The waitresses brought the meals on cold plates which killed the taste.
The waitresses stank sweat (as is usual with the Russians)

I was invited on a Jewish wedding party and bar-mitzva, enjoyed the food immensely.
Yet, after half a year they had to close the shop.
Re: A good point. - redheadrat - Dec. 3rd, 2015 08:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: A good point. - onkel_hans - Dec. 3rd, 2015 11:10 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Dec. 3rd, 2015 07:44 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - redheadrat - Dec. 3rd, 2015 08:06 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Dec. 4th, 2015 01:44 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - redheadrat - Dec. 4th, 2015 02:35 pm (UTC) - Expand
logofilka
Dec. 3rd, 2015 05:29 pm (UTC)
I am glad you had an entertaining experience!
Though, I truly believe that the food served on a fancy plate tastes better (it does not discourage me from using paper plates at large gatherings, but I love china and porcelain).
peacetraveler22
Dec. 3rd, 2015 07:05 pm (UTC)
It's always amusing and interesting to be an American writer in the Cyrillic sector of LJ. :) Comments definitely make my blood pressure rise sometimes, but there are many nice folks also. We must take the good with the bad to survive in RuNet. :))
(no subject) - logofilka - Dec. 3rd, 2015 07:23 pm (UTC) - Expand
To a logophiliac: - onkel_hans - Dec. 4th, 2015 12:32 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Dec. 4th, 2015 01:51 pm (UTC) - Expand
elinelisky
Dec. 3rd, 2015 05:33 pm (UTC)
I like porcelain and china a lot, but I think this is not important. This is just what decore you want to see.

Edited at 2015-12-03 05:34 pm (UTC)
peacetraveler22
Dec. 4th, 2015 01:51 pm (UTC)
I also like it, and we use such plates for smaller dinners, but not for big feasts like this.
(no subject) - elinelisky - Dec. 4th, 2015 07:35 pm (UTC) - Expand
mb_b
Dec. 3rd, 2015 05:33 pm (UTC)
As for me, I mostly eat off paper towels (unless the food doesn't lend itself to it -- soups, salads etc.) Right now, I'm fasting anyway.

And I can heartily second the following statements from above:

"Russian like to discuss other and teach how to live"
"they have 2 treats at the price of one: they get fed and get to bite the feeding hand too. only in america!"
"its called 'sour grapes' soviet garden variety"

...Just remembered: Americans run out of the house with just their socks on! That, in my opinion, beats wearing street shoes inside. And I'm not even mentioning raw mushrooms in the salad!

Edited at 2015-12-03 11:50 pm (UTC)
peacetraveler22
Dec. 4th, 2015 01:52 pm (UTC)
Haha! And some Americans wear pajamas to the store! :))
Yankey-doodle came to lift ... - onkel_hans - Dec. 4th, 2015 07:22 pm (UTC) - Expand
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