Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving

I felt fine not celebrating Thanksgiving (which actually caught me off guard, I was expecting a twinge of home-sickness) but I had enough friends asking me questions about Thanksgiving that I decided to cook the meal and invite over some friends. I was able to find a six pound turkey that was about the same size as a Chicken. I also decided on making cranberry sauce, stuffing, candied yams, corn bread, mashed potatoes, and zucchini (courgette) bread for desert. (My friend from France had made us a french meal after returning from a trip and no one had ever heard of using courgettes for bread and couldn't understand how a vegetable could be made into a sweet bread so I couldn't resist a demo.) For all the people out there that think that zucchini bread does not a desert make will find it funny that none of the guests would believe me that the candied yams were not part of the desert either, sugar really is in more American foods than other places.
The friends that I had over were from Poland, France, and Taiwan. I had invited friends from Ireland also but they couldn't make it so I ended up not making the corn bread or mashed potatoes, which kind of made me mad because I had to go to 3 different grocery stores before I was able to find corn meal. (Corn, a very American food.) I thought I would have trouble finding a turkey this early before Christmas but I guess the grocery store keeps a few in deep freeze throughout the year for people's feasts. I was not surprised that when I looked for the jellied cranberries in the can (not because I like them, but I thought my guests would get a kick out of it) that I could not find them. Instead I just boiled dry cranberries in cranberry juice until it was jelly and it ended up being tastier than any cranberry sauce I've had before.
So of course all my friends wanted to know more about the "Thanksgiving rituals". I was kind of flummoxed because most of traditions that I know of center around strategies of how to eat as much food as possible then watching American football. The one tradition that I did have as a child and hated was to go around the table and say what you were thankful for before eating; but with the other tradition of skipping lunch I never felt very thankful for anything staring at all the food. They also wanted to know the differences between Canadian and American Thanksgiving and I was at a loss for that as well. Instead we ended up talking about soap opera similarities in all the represented cultures.
They were all impressed by my cooking but I felt like everything tasted a bit off. However, I just chalked it up to rounding errors from switching all the recipes to metric measurements. I did succeed in stuffing everyone enough so that the food they brought as gifts (Cadbury chocolate and sesame rolls) never did get eaten and I had a fun time explaining why I had "Christmas dinner" leftovers for my lunch the next day. (Yes, working on Thanksgiving and the Friday after were a bugger.)

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