Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Thanksgiving Feast

As a South African Thanksgiving holiday was something I never celebrated or cared for. I did enjoy the occasional dinner back in Taiwan with American friends, but on the whole I couldn’t be bothered. After I started dating an American things didn’t really change, Alexander not being one for this particular holiday, he’s more into his Halloween and Christmas.

Last year would have been the first time for us spending Thanksgiving together in the States and I actually became quite excited about experiencing this major vacation (most of my US friends wax more lyrical about Thanksgiving than Christmas) in the US. Alexander’s sister was going to cook a proper holiday meal for us and we were going to celebrate it on the day of our arrival in LA with some of her friends. This never happened due to that unpleasant little situation at Suvarnabhumi Airport in Thailand. We spent Thanksgiving at Incheon International.

We were going to give it a skip again this year, until I got it in me that I wanted to try making turkey. Next thing I knew Alexander was inviting people, Marie was making her house available for the feast and I was standing in the kitchen with an enormous poultry cadaver while pumpkin as being roasted for pie. Fun!

Alexander suggested making a South African stuffing, so I decided to use the very SA boerewors sausage as stuffing, mixed with loads of rosemary, sautéed onion and garlic, breadcrumbs, grated carrot and dried peaches soaked overnight in brandy. I heard that one should get some of the stuffing between the skin and the breast to keep them from drying out, which is what I did. A gross process, but it made all the difference. And I even made a brandied gravy using the giblets! Yes, I cooked with giblets (flaming brandy in the kitchen and all). And it was good.

Alexander made pumpkin pie from scratch. And from scratch I mean he roasted his own pumpkins (white pumpkin and some green gem squash) and made his own pie crust. None of this store-bought nonsense for our Thanksgiving pie thank you! Don’t they look great? He used the squash seeds and all which added a beautiful texture to the pies.

Our friend Marie (who’s house I’m in love with) invited us to host it over there. She has a massive open kitchen and she pulled together two tables and all the chairs in the house to accommodate all the guests. Thanks Marie!

All the guests were asked to bring something to the Thanksgiving feast. We had peas and bacon, a potato dish, fresh beetroot and feta salad, turkey and stuffing and, my absolute favorite part of the evening, sweet potatoes and marshmallows, decadence! I had loads of the latter and took lots more home, which I stood eating in front of the fridge with a spoon the next day.

We also had lots of dessert- Alexander’s pumpkin pie, pecan pies and homemade chocolate mousse tartlets with mulberries. I forced myself to have some of all the desserts, which I guess is not very healthy but Thanksgiving only happens once so don’t judge.

We had an excellent evening and I think a very successful Thanksgiving. I think I’m going to make a habit of this, celebrating Thanksgiving every year. As long as there is an oven and turkey I’ll be having fun with this one. After all, I did marry into an American family and as a devoted husband it’s the least I could do to make their customs my own. I want to insert a smiley face here, but I won't.


Erin said...

Your turkey is lovely. I'm glad to hear you are a Thanksgiving convert. After all, it is an excuse to spend a day cooking a wonderful meal.

Great job on the pies Alexander! What was the texture of the seeds? Did you do anything to them other than roasting the pumpkin?

amesh said...

eventhough i don't celebrate thanksgiving, but oh please cook me that turkey of yours. looking yumm-ee!

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