Thanksgiving 2012.2

I began writing this final post about Thanksgiving while watching A Charlie Brown Christmas for the first time this Christmas season. It's certainly the time of year for back-to-back holidays, so I apologize if I seem to have holiday dyslexia. It's also the season for back-to-back guests. We just finished hosting a very dear friend from my childhood in PA, and N's parents arrive in a couple days. So many reasons to celebrate as we wrap up 2012!

Anyway, for the third year running, we hosted Thanksgiving at our house, inviting primarily non-American friends over for turkey and stuffing, friends and football. 

Unhindered by his black eye (basketball injury), N carved the 19-pound bird.

I loved the international menu that showed up last year, so I made a similar request this year: Each person had to bring a dish that was traditional to his/her home country. We kicked it off the right way with Chinese gyozas, an appetizer expertly prepared by EL before our very eyes.

Speaking of expert preparation, I once again tried to make gravy from scratch using the turkey drippings. Apparently it's not as easy as just dumping a heap of flour into the grease. It took three people to rescue dinner's main condiment.

Thank you EL, EW, and SS for coming to my aid!
Next year, I won't make the smallest attempt to prepare gravy until you arrive.

At least jellied cranberry sauce is something that not even I can mess up.

I know it comes from a can, but it's my favorite.
[Also: KK, do you recognize these name tents?! Thank you!]

But I'll give myself a little credit with the turkey. I discovered the Alton Brown method last year, and I'm never going back. Moist and flavorful, without having to be in the oven for half the day. Perfection.

Other international highlights included:

  Bacalhau & braz from Portugal
Basically, codfish and potatoes.
Brussels sprouts from England
With a bit of bacon added in for flavor.

                            Sweet potato casserole from Canada
It's the Ruth's Chris recipe. The best.

  Boerewors from South Africa
Leave it to a South African guy to bring another (meat) main course. Yum!

And on the American front: Sunday Night Football.

Four people in this photo from four different countries.
And from North America in general: An Oreo/Reese's chocolate/peanut butter/caramel dessert. I don't know the actual name, but for all the Americans and Canadians in the crowd, you know this is the kind of food that makes us weak at the knees. (As for the rest of the world, not so much. Oh well.)

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite days of the year, since the primary focus of the holiday is to remember what you're thankful for while spending time with the people you love. It's been such a great experience to be here in Cayman, celebrating this holiday with non-Americans, who are only too willing to take part in a day that's dedicated to giving thanks. In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, even here in Cayman, it's easy to lose sight of what you're thankful for and what really matters in life. I love a holiday that reminds me to regain focus and zero in on the positives.

And here's a positive: Three more sleeps until Christmas!

(Sleeps?! you may ask. I never heard that way of measuring time either until moving to Cayman. But I figure if the non-Americans can adopt my holidays, I can adopt one or two of their phrases.)

Happy Holidays!