Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving in Munich

Thanksgiving is probably my favorite holiday. I love the excitement, the smells, the work. I love the food. I set this day aside to think if family and friends and count my blessings. I have lots to count!

This year we had a friend over, a friend who never experienced a "Traditional American Thanksgiving". He came not knowing much about it at all except that he had heard that turkey was a dried up big bird. It was a great joy telling him about all the traditions and things that happen in households throughout my country. Some things I just had to explain...like football and sweet potatoes and real corn on the cob, right from the farmer. Others he got to experience first hand....

Like a beautifully set table, homemade stuffing, a juicy and tasty turkey, pumpkin pie. He wasn't sure about what he was going to eat. And he isn't a dessert person....not at all.


But I did my thing and it was awesome! I did our Thanksgiving dinner proud and represented my country well! The stuffing was either going to be really good or very strange. It turned out very good. The mashed potatoes were heavenly....and yes, mashed potatoes can be heavenly! The turkey itself was incredible. I thought since I've learned so much about cooking this past year that I should use some of this new founded knowledge on my turkey. Please note...there aren't any pictures of the finished product....the turkey didn't have one of those strings on it and it actually fell right off the bones when I took it out of the pan!! It was that juicy! I did have corn on the cob but it's just no way near what fresh-from-the-farm is. I had a vegetable dish and the closest thing to dinner rolls I could find. No one ate the rolls....there just wasn't room!
I did sort of cheat on the cranberries....I had preiselbeere instead. This is sort of like cranberries but the berries are smaller. It translates to "lingonberry" or "foxberry" but I've never heard of those. Whatever it is, it is better than cranberries in my opinion. Our friend ate and ate....and ate. He couldn't get enough! But then, we all know what happens, after you stuff yourself with turkey.....you're stuffed! ha ha


I worked on the dishes while the guys walked around and around the couch, trying to work off some of that good food. I love my little kitchen but it really is not set up for doing a whole Thanksgiving dinner! Well, better said, it's not set up for doing the dishes after a whole Thanksgiving dinner! But I plugged away at it and did it sort of in shifts. As the last dish was rinsed, I ran completely out of hot water. I consider that successful...last year I had to heat water in the water cooker to finish!


Our friend made it very clear that he wasn't a dessert person and that he would only try a very small piece of whatever a pumpkin pie was, just to try it (and be polite) So after an appropriate wait, it was pumpkin pie time. I cut a small sliver for him. He ate it and then helped himself to more! This was really the "icing on the cake" .... Americans aren't all about microwaves and fast food! I won a heart that day.....all because of my pumpkin pie! Thanks Mom for bringing me the Libby's pumpkin....there's no way to make a pumpkin pie without it and we can't get it over here!
I hope you all made memories in your own traditional way. Whatever that is. I know that not everyone's holidays are the same. I've spent many Thanksgivings and even Christmas's in a Laundromat....and those were special too. Yes, it was pretty empty but it wasn't completely empty. There was always a few people milling around, doing laundry, trying not to feel lonely and far away from everyone you love. And we all ended up celebrating together, with conversation, laughter, cookies from the vending machine and smiles. The laundry sometimes forgotten and complete strangers becoming part of our personal history. However you spent your Thanksgiving, I hope that the memories are good and, even through some tears, they will bring a smile to your face in the years to come.

6 comments:

Kathy A. said...

What a lovely traditional Thanksgiving. Glad your friend liked the pumpkin pie1

Elizabeth Braun said...

Am I only seeing one part, or is your kitchen almost as tiny as ours?? It would make me feel better if it was!!!

Yup, my mum-in-law told us that it was quite warm in southern Germany. In fact, I think at that time, it was warmer there than here! We seem to have done a swap...=(

Dani - tkdchick said...

Isn't it lovely to still celebrate those holidays and traditions despite being miles from home! And it was so nice of you to share it.

quiltmom said...

Wanda,
What a lovely thing to do with your friend. I am sure it made you miss being at home in the States a little bit less.
It looks like you made a terrific feast - though I am not a fan of pumpkin anything. I figure that leaves more for the rest who love it. The turkey is one of my favorite foods and I love stuffing too. Lingonberries are very common in Sweden and Norway. I am of Swedish descent and my mom has bought lingonberry jam.It is sometimes served over a pudding too-
You would have really enjoyed the bead show that I attended yesterday. The hand made pieces were all so gorgeous- it was hard to pick which pieces that I loved the best.

Have a great week- looking forward to seeing how your needlework is coming along.
Warmest regards,
Anna

Xeyedmary said...

Happy Thanksgiving Wanda! It sounds like you had a wonderful time. Bravo for spreading the American feasting-until-you-burst tradition!

Susan said...

Hi!
Steve baked just a turkey breast and some green beans. For us, it was just enough....and you know how I feel about cranberries! I'm glad you had the traditional dinner though.
Susan