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Happy turkey day, Whistler style…



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"Amongst the group it's popular, but very few other people know about it," says Murray, now 68. He's done at least 40 marathons, 90 Olympic-distance triathlons and 18 Ironman competitions over the years. (That's why you do all those events, so you can eat lots.)

"It's a good way to get the group together at the end of the cycling/running season, stand around and drink a little bit of wine, have a big feed, and giggle and tell stories," he says.

Over at Fumie Kashino's house, they don't do marathons, but they love Thanksgiving traditions just the same.

Fumie is the chief cook when it comes to turkey dinner, complete with pumpkin and apple pies, for her family. They often include their kids' school friends and their parents who come from Japan but haven't yet discovered the custom of Canadian Thanksgiving.

"We don't have Thanksgiving in Japan so my recipes were from people from Vancouver who are second or third generation Japanese and, yes, they were all explained in Japanese," says Fumie, who hails from Osaka. "They are old people and they taught us how to do it, so I just go to it."

Now, 19 years after coming to Whistler, Fumie is known for the desserts she creates at Nagomi Restaurant, including her famous green tea brûlée, not something she serves for Thanksgiving but delicious just the same.

"I haven't asked all my friends about Thanksgiving but many Japanese people who've been here a long time are making turkey dinners and gathering their families up for Thanksgiving," she says. "It's an opportunity just to get together and have a nice dinner."

So not a single piece of sushi can be seen at the Kashinos' on Thanksgiving. But I thought I'd try one more person who might, just might, create an off-beat Thanksgiving dinner: former bullfighter and restaurateur extraordinaire, Mario Enero.

Of course, nobody celebrates Thanksgiving in Spain, since it was all about giving thanks in North America when everyone had gotten the heck out of the Old World and survived a brutal winter here.

But since moving to Canada, Mario has gotten into Thanksgiving in a big way, usually celebrating it twice, once on Sunday night at his Caramba! Restaurante with friends, and again on Monday when he cooks a classic turkey dinner at home for friends and family.

"I learned that when I lived in Saskatchewan and had a restaurant in Saskatoon," he says. "For me, Thanksgiving after all these years I've been in Canada (about 28), is like Christmas Eve. It's all about being with the people you love.