Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Thanks for Thanksgiving

Another Thanksgiving in another country.  This year I decided to make a full fledged Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings and discovered what "necessity is the mother of invention" really means.

I started off at my favorite store and asked the butcher, in Spanish, if he had turkey.  He showed me luncheon meat.  I gave it another shot and specified a whole turkey and I was assured they would get me one for Sunday. Check.

I love cranberry sauce but couldn't find cranberries anywhere, so decided to make a salsa with some of the wonderful Colombian fruit we've been trying:  mangos, feijoa, tomate de arbol rojo, uchuvas, cilantro and red onions.  And while it wasn't Ocean Spray cranberry sauce - it worked!

Left to right:  Uchuvas, tomate de arbol rojo, feijoa

Roger loves pumpkin pie and for years he would drop hints to the bakers in our circle of friends and family.  Without fail, he would be the grateful recipient of several pies.  I am not shy about declaring my lack of talent as a baker and I'd rather buy than bake.  But, I wanted to make something special for Roger so went to 3 big stores trying to find pumpkin pie filling.  No luck.  So, I bought a pumpkin, researched what to do with it, and charged ahead.  I also couldn't find shortening for the pastry, so found a recipe that used butter.  Then I didn't have a rolling pin, so used a chilled bottle of Sauvignon Blanc -- which worked really well.  I wasn't 100% confident of the outcome so went to a wonderful bakery nearby and bought Plan B.  Fortunately, the guys loved the pie and I won't wait another few years before I bake another one!

Using the oven was challenging -- it only has one temperature setting --- screaming hot.  At one point the oven was smoking so much from the turkey that while I was flinging windows open, I considered gathering our passports, money and laptop in case I had to flee!

We invited the two expats working with Roger -- Kevin from Canada via Panama and Craig from Australia.  They are great guys and as always, we enjoyed a terrific evening with them.  And while many of my serving dishes were aluminum foil pans and not my good china, it just didn't matter. 

Dinner time!
It's always hard not being with family over the holidays, but our thoughts were never far from them.  We are grateful for so many things, and have much to be thankful for again this year.

Forever on Thanksgiving Day
The heart will find the pathway home.
~Wilbur D. Nesbit

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