Yes, the meat was chicken (there's no turkey in this country), the potatoes were a bit sweet (due to a cream we tried to add to make them creamier), the gravy was a tad lumpy, the sweet potatoes were too sweet, and the imported apple soda was disgusting (buy hey, it looked interesting), but over all I had a successful and rather tasty Thanksgiving in China.
After school this past Thursday, Jimmy and I headed back to his apartment to attempt to prepare a traditional American meal. After about 2 ½ hours of cooking, a messy kitchen, and a bunch of "made up" inventions using what ingredients we could find here, we sat down to a full table of chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing (mailed from the US by my dear parents), green beans with carmelized onions and toasted almonds (yum!), bread, jam, sweet potatoes, apple soda, and homemade chocolate chip cookies for dessert. Though not as perfect as home and mom would have made it, it was quite delicious and we were able to share it with Timothy, Jimmy's roommate, and Tina and June, 2 young designers from the Company.
attempts at sweet potatoes
carving the chicken. yes.
On a scale of 1 to 10 we had our guests rate our cooking and the meal overall, and the lowest we got was a 7 (on the sweet potatoes - no surprise, but I insisted on having them. It's tradition!) Jimmy and I high-fived and with big grins and happily watched them devour with hungry tummies EVERYTHING we had made. This was the first Thanksgiving I haven't had leftovers. Of course, this is my first Thanksgiving away from home, and in China, so I guess it's a season of many firsts.
TADA! our Thanksgiving feast!
Jimmy, Tina, Timothy, me, and June
We finished the evening by decorating Jimmy and Timothy's little Christmas tree, an activity neither of the girls had ever done in their lives, and after finishing off the cookie dough baked in Jimmy's mini toaster oven, we said our goodbyes. Overall it was a wonderful evening, far better time that either of us expected.
I am missing home, especially during the holidays, but I am determined to make my holidays here the best I can. I am decorating my little tree this evening and will enjoy it to its plastic fullness (or lack thereof. Ha). The true Reason for the Season is close to my heart as I am away from what I know, but He is just as present, just as close, and just as significant. No geographic location can change that.
Happy belated Thanksgiving from China, the land of no turkey!