Thanksgiving 2006

November 21, 2012 at 11:56 pm (A Little Fun, Fun Photos, Memories) (, , )


As I was preparing my customary Thanksgiving dishes today I was thinking about what is probably my favorite Thanksgiving celebration.

We were oceans apart from family in a country that does not celebrate Thanksgiving (that’s right American friends, Thanksgiving is not celebrated across the pond).  We were dirt poor.  I was a supervisor at Starbucks and Josh was not working.

But we had so much to be thankful for.

We settled on 15 November as the deadline for Josh to get a job before we had to buy our tickets to move back home.

On 14 November Josh was hired!

I love sharing holidays with friends and this was special because many of our friends had heard of this crazy holiday of ours but never experienced it and the strange foods we concocted.

We squeezed 10 people into our 650 sq.ft. apartment (which actually was the most spacious we had had at that point!).  It was probably a Saturday evening since people obviously do not have the holiday off and it is just easiest to do it on the weekend.

This was actually the size of our kitchen.  Just a few inches behind us is the wall.

We had a tiny oven.  I didn’t even THINK about what a challenge it would be finding a pan for the turkey that would fit in the oven!  I think Sam came to the rescue on that one.

The refrigerator was also tiny, though not as tiny as our first one!  It was by far the most tricky time I have ever had planning a meal this big.

A living room/kitchen view.  I LOVED our doors.  Even though we didn’t have a balcony it was great to let in fresh air and it was crucial for this girl who was deeply affected by dark winters to have as many windows as possible.

The meal: Turkey (the first I had ever made), brown sugar ham, scalloped potatoes with chipotle, mashed potatoes (from scratch), gravy (from turkey drippings), Stove Top, cranberry relish, sweet potato casserole, salads, cheddar garlic biscuits (scones, not cookies!).  Imagine doing all this with just an apartment oven and a microwave!  On top of that is the challenge of actually finding the foods we need for this meal.  Pumpkin is pretty much non-existent unless you can find an American imports store and pay at least twice as much.  Turkeys are really not around until closer to Christmas.  Stove Top had to be shipped in.  Chipotle, again, imports store.  The cheddar cooks differently, the potatoes are different, everything is just…DIFFERENT!

I was pretty excited about the Bisquick (probably found at ASDA, owned by Walmart).  I was also thrilled that Stephanie sent me a care package with fall goodies including STOVE TOP!

Explaining to my Chinese friend exactly what these dishes are and how you eat them.




Countries represented that night: USA, Scotland, England, Nigeria (sort of), China, Australia, Spain.

The cook finally eats when everyone else is full.

Pudding (dessert): the most important part of the meal!  Friends were always so intrigued by pumpkin flavored desserts but when they tried the pumpkin cheesecake it was always a hit!

This memory is so fond to me because we had dear friends with us, we were able to share a special holiday with friends and other internationals, and could offer a place to go for other Americans who couldn’t be with family.


1 Comment

  1. Anonymous said,

    Such a charming remembrance. Phil and I shared a meal with the Fullbright community when we lived in Turkey. I especially remember the
    scrawny, pathetic and tough thing that passed as a turkey. Now, turkeys are very common there and have largely replaced lamb in doner kabob, or as we say, gyros. Love, CarolJean and Phil HAPPY THANKSGIVING1

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