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Thread: My first foreign Thanksgiving with friends only

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    My first foreign Thanksgiving with friends only

    I'm not sure how else to describe it!

    Anyway, I have 9 friends, including my flatmates, coming over for a potluck Thanksgiving tomorrow night. I sent out a list of traditional Thanksgiving foods and people selected what they are going to bring.

    I went shopping today for turkey and ingredients for pumpkin pie and corn pudding. I struck out on all three! A turkey breast would have set me back $40, so I bought 2 whole chickens instead for less than half the cost of the turkey breast, but I forgot to get a pan to roast them in. The store I went to, which is the only large grocery store in my area, did not have canned pumpkin, so I had to think on my toes and I got ingredients for a fruit tart. One of my guests will be bringing apple pie, so we will have the two desserts to choose from, plus ice cream. I couldn't find corn muffin mix or corn meal and assumed they didn't have creamed corn either, so we will just be having canned corn. I did pick up "corn flour" hoping it was the same as corn starch. I made the pastry cream for the tart with the corn flour, but had to add a lot more milk to get rid of the chalky texture.

    ETA: I hope to Skype briefly with my family back home when they are ready to start their Thanksgiving dinner so I can at least "be there" with them for a bit! It is my first Thanksgiving without my family, which is sad, but I'm grateful that I have wonderful friends here to share it with.

    My friends are all in good humor about my need to improvise. They say, "It's ok. It's a Scottish Thanksgiving!" I am looking forward to dinner tomorrow night, and I'm excited to share my American holiday with friends from Ireland, Canada, Norway, Germany, France, and China!

  2. #2
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    Nov 2003
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    Sometimes the best dinners are the least traditional ones; but you've put the most important thing on the table already-- the care for your guests. I am sure they will appreciate your warmth and charm and food.

    Happy Thanksgiving, Jessnc.

  3. #3
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    Jan 2007
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    SE CT
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    I think it is great of you to share our Holiday with your friends from different places. I'm sure it will be enjoyed by all who attend. Have a great time!!

  4. #4
    A traditional Thanksgiving gains it's value from the people that you share it with - and it sounds like the friends you are surrounding yourself with will make this a memorable one...=) so celebrate the day! Have a great holiday!

  5. #5
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    Over the years I've been blessed to participate in a number of non-traditional Thanksgiving and Christmas events. A holiday really is about those you love and those who love you, regardless.

  6. #6
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    Feb 2006
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    Have a great day, Jess, and I'm glad you're sharing it with friends and family! Even if it is Skyped!
    Kay
    I'm a WYSIWYG person -- no subterfuge here!

  7. #7
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    Sound fun! Let us know how it turns out.

  8. #8
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    Feb 2007
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    North Carolina
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    Wow - what a wonderful day! I had a class this morning and a group presentation in a tutorial this afternoon. It was a first to go to school on Thanksgiving. My group did an excellent job with our presentation and I was walking on clouds as I left the tutorial, knowing that we did well, and that I could go do what I love to do the most - cook!

    I stuffed the two chickens that I had with celery, carrots, onion, garlic, and rosemary and roasted one in a small casserole dish, and the other on a jelly roll pan. Our nearby store did not sell any aluminum type roasting pans (or any type of disposable pan). My flat smelled amazing while the chicken was cooking. I made pastry cream for my fruit tart last night, and assembled the tart today after the chicken was in the oven. Then I opened the cans of corn and dumped them into a pot on the stove. Not exactly gourmet cooking, but it was nice to have a really easy dish. The one item that I was able to find yesterday that I did not think I would be able to find was smooth cranberry sauce! That was another easy dish. My friends brought mashed potatoes, rolls, stuffing, gravy, honey-glazed carrots, sweet potatoes, apple pie, and ice cream.

    We had such a great time! Out of the 10 of us, 8 had never had a Thanksgiving dinner before. I expressed what I was thankful for, then had everyone else go around and say what they were thankful for, and they all pretty much said they were thankful to celebrate Thanksgiving for the first time. We have already made so many memories together in the two months that we have known each other and I'm glad to add this day to my collection of memories. I especially liked that my two friends from China ate their Thanksgiving dinner with chopsticks!

    I was able to Skype with my family for a few minutes and saw their delicious-looking spread. So, one of the things I am thankful for is Skype!!!

    Here are a couple of pictures. I haven't figured out yet how to make them big - sorry!

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  9. #9
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    Sounds like you made the most of what you could get your hands on and had a great day and dinner. This will be one Thanksgiving you'll not forget.

  10. #10
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    Oct 2005
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    Jess, not sure if you're checking this but my cousin just told me that you can get canned pumpkin at Jenner's. You may not want to bother but I thought if you still wanted your friends to try it that it can be found.

  11. This is really a great experience. This year i have no guys share with me,

  12. #12
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    Sep 2004
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    What a wonderful meal! You were also celebrating your successful arrival on a new continent feasting on what that country could provide. So glad to read your updates
    We give dogs time we can spare, space we can spare and love we can spare. And in return, dogs give us their all. It's the best deal man has ever made.
    -M. Acklam

  13. #13
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    Thanks, everyone!

    Mary - I don't know where Jenner's is, but if I want to make a pumpkin pie, I will certainly look it up! Thanks for letting me know!

  14. #14
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    May 2006
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    Glasgow, UK and Skagit County, WA
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    Memories

    Jessnc-

    You have brought back fond memories. I'm an American and lived in Glasgow for 5 years while attending the Vet School. We had a big American Thanksgiving every year for our friends and had so much trouble finding ingredients. We usually settled on turkey drumsticks which are relatively inexpensive and found in most grocery stores. Or, you can get a full turkey, but you need to preorder it from the butcher.
    The best place I found to get canned pumpkin is at Peckhams in Hyndland (the one on Clarence Rd, not Peckhams Naturally on Hyndland Rd). They have a great selection. Combined with Peckhams Naturally just up the road on Hyndland, I was able to find many things not in the larger stores. They are just a short walk from Byres Rd.

    Have a great time in Glasgow!
    Tolerance: the virtue of a man without convictions - G.K. Chesterton

  15. #15
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    Dec 2000
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    Houston, Texas
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    Introducing American traditions to our HS foreign exchange students is a perk....

  16. #16
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    maryland
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    yay for you and what a special memory
    Cheryl

  17. #17
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    Jul 2001
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    Great job, Jess! A memory maker for sure. Our daughter lives in Germany at this time, but her first TG was in Finland with her husband. I sent her canned pumpkin[$$] and she never received it. What you are experiencing now will make memories for a life time. So glad that you were able to share with your new friends.

    In case you are in a foreign country for your next TG day, here's a recipe for creamed corn.

    http://allrecipes.com/recipe/cream-corn-like-no-other/

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by hislightrq View Post
    Jessnc-

    You have brought back fond memories. I'm an American and lived in Glasgow for 5 years while attending the Vet School. We had a big American Thanksgiving every year for our friends and had so much trouble finding ingredients. We usually settled on turkey drumsticks which are relatively inexpensive and found in most grocery stores. Or, you can get a full turkey, but you need to preorder it from the butcher.
    The best place I found to get canned pumpkin is at Peckhams in Hyndland (the one on Clarence Rd, not Peckhams Naturally on Hyndland Rd). They have a great selection. Combined with Peckhams Naturally just up the road on Hyndland, I was able to find many things not in the larger stores. They are just a short walk from Byres Rd.

    Have a great time in Glasgow!
    Wow - 5 years! I wish I could stay here longer. I am not going to know the city nearly as well as I want to by the time I leave. I'm glad I could bring back fond memories for you! Thanks for the canned pumpkin tip! We're already talking about Christmas dinner, so this is good to know.

    vbak - Thanks for the recipe!

  19. #19
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    You're very welcome!

  20. #20
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    I finally got around to posting about Thanksgiving on my blog. Here is the link: http://jessicasjourneystudyabroad.bl...nksgiving.html

    My flatmate is organizing Christmas dinner here and I'm so excited to be able to spend another holiday with people from all over the world!

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Jessnc View Post
    I finally got around to posting about Thanksgiving on my blog. Here is the link: http://jessicasjourneystudyabroad.bl...nksgiving.html

    My flatmate is organizing Christmas dinner here and I'm so excited to be able to spend another holiday with people from all over the world!
    Thanks for sharing. You all look so gorgeous and happy.

  22. #22
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    Oct 2005
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    S.E. Michigan
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    Dinner looked great and you did a fine job with the fruit tart. Enjoy your last days there.

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