Saturday, November 25, 2006

Turkey Day

My first Thanksgiving in a foreign land turned out better than I thought it would. Though my search for a turkey yielded a 2.5 kilogram filet-o-turkey rather than a whole bird, I think that was just the right amount of meat for us, so it was alright. The fact that I found any turkey at all is amazing – it’s not really a popular meat here. What was really worrying me was how I was going to cook it. Without a body cavity, how does one stuff a turkey? After consulting Grandma and others, we settled on covering it in butter and the spice mix that Misha the spice man said was good for poultry, and stuck it in the oven for a couple of hours. Luckily Adam’s computer has a Fahrenheit to Celsius converter, so we even figured out what 350˚ is on my oven (~177˚). I was afraid it would be a bit dry but it was really tasty. I found a jar of cranberry jam at the market as well, another rather serendipitous find that I wasn’t expecting. Though a little sweeter than the usual cranberry sauce, it tasted really good with the turkey.

The other sides were a little less traditional. Mashed potatoes are a must with turkey, but Adam decided to do things the Russian way and made them from a box. :-/. I hate box potatoes. They taste like cardboard. But that’s what happens when you leave guys in charge of something as easy and important as mashed potatoes. Aaron, his Belgian girlfriend Caroline, and their Chinese neighbor Yusi decided that since we are such an international bunch we might as well have an international Thanksgiving spread. So they made a whole bunch of dim sum. My, it was tasty. They made potato-filled ones for the veggie-heads who were coming and a bunch with ground beef. It was perfect. We also had a bottle of Chilean wine and (being Russia) vodka. All in all, it was a nice meal. We sat around eating and laughing, with Adam playing random American folk songs every now and then on Yusi’s broken guitar (the g-string was always out of tune, no matter what we did to it). Afterwards we toasted some pumpkin seeds that I had found in the Market, a less-than-perfect substitute for the pumpkin pie that I was unable to make (pumpkin can only be found here in September and early October, and only fresh ones). A little latter, Isa (one of the Poles) showed up with a tiramisu-ish dish she had made for our little celebration. Oh, I ate so much. By the time I walked home (through newly-fallen snow :-D), I was absolutely stuffed.

I was expecting to get a phone call from some of my family members, so I stayed up a little later than usual, watching Harry Potter. Around 2 I figured they had forgotten to call me, so I started getting ready for bed. Unfortunately, right about then the power went out in the building. Whilst fumbling around for the fusebox, I met some new Russian students. IGLU is hosting a tournament this weekend, so there are some students from other cities staying in our dorm. They insisted that I come have tea with them (I think they wanted to practice their English), so I ended up sitting over in their kitchen until about 3. Then I went back to my room and watched part of another movie. I finally succumbed to my bed at around 4, a bit bummed that I hadn’t gotten to talk to anyone at the farm on Thanksgiving.

Even with the anticlimactic ending, I think things went well this Thanksgiving – though I will be glad to be back at home next year. There’s something about being with all the extended family that makes Thanksgiving special, and it’s the one holiday that I’ve missed so far that I regret missing.

But then, I’ll be home in 25 days.pan style=""> Woohoo!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What a bummer!! William wanted to call and we decided it was too late. We missed you all day and talked about your food problems. Sorry we didn't go ahead and take the chance of waking you.
We love you and sorry we missed you. We should have asked you to call us. Oh, well.."The best laid plans of mice and woman"
"Ant Marty"