Friday, November 27, 2009


Obviously, Thanksgiving was yesterday in the US, and of course, French people don't celebrate it.  However, we did have a bit of a Thanksgiving Dinner if you will.  It was a lot of work, and it really makes me appreciate all the work that my family went through to get it on the table.  So this will be an overview of the fun that resulted.

First and foremost, the turkey.  It didn't happen.  We would have to do a dinner, as it's not a day off in France, so that meant that we would have to pick up the turkey at a boucherie, as it was not only a more specialty item, but boucheries have better meat anyway.  It's just hella expensive.  So most meat is bought in supermarkets.  We decide we will go to the supermarket first and the boucherie last to buy the turkey.  Of course, by the time we got back from the supermarket, the boucherie was closed for the midday.  That meant it wouldn't be open until 3-ish.  There is no way that would be enough time to cook a turkey completely, unless we planned on eating at 9.  That just wasn't going to happen.  So we had a chicken instead.  It was damn good.

Next, in the words of Gir, I made mashed potatoes.  Well, I shouldn't say I made mashed potatoes.  My partner actually was the one who did all the work.  He peeled them all, added the water, and put it on the stove.  I just mashed and seasoned them..  As they were boiling, I didn't think it looked quite the same as when it was made in the US, but then I realized......we hadn't cut the potatoes into smaller pieces.  So yeah, I thought it was going to be horrible.  Turned out it was great.  There was more starch, and it made it really thick.  It was almost like there was cheese in it.  I made whipped potatoes of course, as that's how American mashed potatoes are made.

I also made dressing.  This one is always a nail biter for me, because I, like my mother, believe my dressing can never live up to its predecessors.  Also, for those who are confused, dressing is the word my family and a lot of people back home, use for stuffing.  As I always understood it, stuffing is when it's in the bird, dressing is when you make it separately.  We didn't go shopping the day before, so that meant no drying the bread overnight.  Instead, we dried it out on the first setting on the oven.  Thank God it was a convection oven.  Overally, the seasoning wasn't bad, but I had to be conservative with the garlic, as I am a fiend for the stuff.   I was pretty satisfied though.

The last thing I made was dessert.  Yes, Yes, I know what you're all thinking; how did you make pumpkin pie in France?  To tell the truth, I didn't.  I know, how can you have Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie?  Well, I made cinnamon rolls, from scratch, instead.  In my opinion, they turned out better in France than any I made in the US.  I got baker's yeast, which worked out pretty damn well, and I had to use complete cane sugar, because you can't find brown sugar in France.  I wasn't even about to try and look for molasses.  Call me crazy, but I was just betting that would be an adventure and a half.

Overall, the meal was a hit.  It was enough for 6 people with some left over.  The potatoes were the biggest success.  I am glad people liked them, but well, mashed potatoes are about the most innocuous thing in the world.  I have never met someone who didn't like mashed potatoes, French or otherwise.  The dressing, was successful with everyone, except for my niece.  I think it was the celery and the onions that she didn't like.  Maybe, the sage, who knows.  But she's a kid, so it's not unexpected.  The cinnamon rolls, not so much.  Everyone liked the pastry itself, but it was the cinnamon that killed it.  It seems that French people aren't huge fans of cinnamon.  So overall, the night was great!

Now, to the real part of Thanksgiving.  I have to devote a special section to my partner, without whom none of this would have been possible.  He's a sweetheart of darkness, and has always been there for me.  He accepts me for all of my numerous faults, and puts up with me when I am being a bitch, or tired, or just ready to pass out.  He also did quite a bit of the work, and put up with my whining.  I do owe him a huge debt, that's for sure.

I know, ironic that it's at the end and will probably be the shortest part, non?  I am thankful for being here in France and all the support I have received on both sides of the ocean.  Not only that, but for my family that helped me get here, and the family that has opened their homes to help me here.  The support of friends is not to be forgotten either.  Thank you to all the friends who have kept me going while I was here and been a constant source of good times and an ear when I needed it.

More info later.  Tonight is Mansfield.TYA in Orléans!  There's an opening act, so maybe something else to talk about.

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