Dec 20, 2013

FOOD FARE: An Expat Thanksgiving

We weren't going to let a big American holiday pass us by, even if if no one here has heard of it. Unlike other American holidays that Japan adopts and then changes, Thanksgiving is virtually unknown. That includes the holiday's traditional dishes of turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, candied yams, mashed potatoes, etc. So, with a little improvisation, Mr. C, Olivia, and I came together to cook our own Thanksgiving feast:
Pumpkin bread, mjudra, beef, hard-boiled eggs, sweet potato casserole, broccoli casserole, pumpkin salad, and yuzu water. The center of the Thanksgiving spread was beef since it's so expensive we don't buy it that often.

It was so interesting to hear how our Thanksgiving traditions and foods differed. Mr. C's family makes stuffing with chestnuts, while I add mini sausages. We compromised and added both. Olivia made broccoli casserole and sweet potato casserole with marshmallows on top, both of which I'd never tried before (they were of course amazing).

Pumpkin pie, mjudra (a Lebanese dish of lentils, rice, and onions), and made-from-scratch stuffing.

One thing all three of us agreed on was pumpkin pie. I had canned pumpkin sent over from the US, and mixed it with a few of the spices I could find here... but there was nothing to make the crust with! Instead I bought two circular pound cakes and sliced them up to make the base of the pie. It must have worked, because the pie was polished off in no time.

This year I'm thankful for my new friends.

After dinner, a bottle of red wine, hot chocolate with peppermint liquor, desserts of fresh fruit dipped in chocolate fondue... we were stuffed! It was a great feeling.

The aftermath, not including the pile of dishes on the other kitchen counter, too. Worth it.

The next day, as we dug into the leftovers, instead of being sad that the holiday was over, we were busy planning the next one: Christmas in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Wooo!


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