Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thanksgiving abroad

This weekend I had two (count them, TWO) Thanksgivings. First on Friday night, a 4th year by the name of Jeni invited us for dinner at her flat. Now, a note about Jeni = nicest person ever! I met her as she was talking to Jessica outside Summerhall one day, and within minutes I was invited to Thanksgiving dinner. So, at first I was a wee bit nervous, because the only person I would really know there would be Jessica, but everyone was unbelievably nice and friendly, and plus, there were CHILDREN!

I walked in the door, and was greeted by Jeni's adorable son, Hosea (15 months old), who promptly handed me a bib as a welcome gift. I met Jeni's husband, Matt, and I'm not sure who he reminds me of, but he definitely reminds me of someone. But it might just be that he's one of those people that you feel like you know as soon as you meet him. Anyway, he was so nice, and we all chatted while Jeni & Matt finished up the last minute details. I took over baby-amusement duty, which was amazing. It's been so long since I've interacted with a toddler, and it made me really happy.

Anyway, so dinner was absolutely delicious, with everything I'm accustomed to having at Thanksgiving. It was a bit odd, not doing it at home, and having it be a much less formal affair than what I'm used to at home with the fine china and everything, but at the same time it was nice to have it be a come as you are kind of thing.

So then moving on, on Saturday we had planned our own Thanksgiving with Jessica, Pookish, Anik, Jessica A., Kyle, Lydia, and Lindzie. Everyone made or brought something, and some people wore PJs :)

I chose to bring champagne, and I also made homemade Cranberry sauce and mashed potatoes. It was actually extremely delicious, and I think I'm going to have to save this recipe, because it was fantastic. For anyone else interested, here's how I did it.

  • 1 (12 ounce) bag fresh cranberries
  • 165 g (or 3/4 c.) packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 large orange, juiced and zested
  • 135 ml (or 9 Tbsp) port wine
  1. In a large saucepan, combine the cranberries, brown sugar, orange zest and juice, and port wine.
  2. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer until the cranberries have popped and the sauce has thickened, about 15 minutes.
  4. Cool, and refrigerate overnight before serving.
I didn't cool it overnight, but rather I just stuck it in the fridge till we were ready to eat, and I think it was kind of nice to have it a bit warm instead of cold. But perhaps that was just me. I also found that putting a big chunk of the orange rind in the saucepan helped get more of the orange flavour into it. I really like the port wine added to it as well.

We also had mashed sweet potatoes (Lindzie), Cuban cornbread stuffing (Anik), Meat stuffing (Anik), Green-bean casserole (Lindzie?), and dinner rolls (Kyle). For dessert we had pumpkin pie (Jessica), Mince pies (Lydia), and wine.

Oh, and of course, I can't forget about the Turkey. Jessica spent ALL day cooking this turkey. Literally she had to get up at 6am to start defrosting this thing, so major Kudos to her for doing that all by herself.
Kyle carves the turkey
The rest of the food
My masterpiece of a dinner plate
Me & Jessica, the hostess with the mostest
Anik in her PJs Digesting while Lindzie looks on.

So now the Christmas season can officially start. And, of course, now that Thanksgiving is over I am officially going to be studying nonstop until exams. Ok, well not nonstop, but I will be studying a lot. It's amazing how when I'm going over my notes I realize how much I still have to learn. It's a very daunting task. Somehow I'll get through it though.

Also, on a side note, I can hear someone playing the bagpipes from my open window (because it's GORGEOUS out today), and it makes me incredibly happy. Every day I'm here I realize how much I love it here, despite the fact that I am in an extremely demanding program, I'm so happy to be here. :)


Jenevieve said...

You guys are awesome. You can come tickle Hosea ay ol' time!

Claire said...

We had 2 Thanksgiving toooooo!

Claire said...

I also love that you've started using british phrases in your blogs, e.g "wee" "quite a lot" "a to do"