Holidays are all about family, friends, and the traditions that keep the holidays alive. Holidays have always been different since Josh and I got married. We have only been together on the actual day of the Holiday two holidays in 3 1/2 years, one Easter and one 4th of July. Josh is usually off working. So actually celebrating on the exact day, has never really been a big deal. We always have our family traditions, just on a different day.
This year was no different, since we are in Australia and Thanksgiving is an American holiday, neither of us will be off for the actual day. So, we celebrated the weekend before. Since we have no family around, we chose friends. We decided to have a Thanksgiving dinner for the people Josh works with. In true Thanksgiving fashion we kept with all the Thanksgiving staples, and the age long tradition of going around the table to share what we are thankful for. We were going to have two dinners; one for Josh's work, then one for friends we have met out and about, but the friends one didn't work out with everyones schedule. We will have them over for a different tradition next week.
We needed to get cornbread mix for the dressing. Yeah! that is where we ran into our first issue. There is no Jiffy cornbread mix in Australia. SO...cornbread from scratch for dressing was a must.
Did you know you can make it from scratch? Yeah me the, "just microwave it," kind of cook had no clue. I thought Jiffy was the only way to have cornbread. It was quite comical seeing us in the grocery store trying to decode everything. Corn meal is called polenta, french onions are called chalets (which are found in the Asian food section of all places), and there were MANY others. I guess we looked helpless because we had a man come up to us and say, "I am enjoying watching you go around the grocery store, but I am a chief and would love to help you." He was our saving grace. He helped us decode the first part of our list. After he walked off we remembered one more thing. Don't worry, I ran through the store and found him though. He was so nice before he left he came and found us and said, "last shot, are you sure you got it all?" I kind of wish we would have invited him to Thanksgiving dinner, but we were not thinking straight at that moment. Maybe we will run into him again.
While trying to keep Thanksgiving as close to the traditional recipes we grew up with, we had family email us, and relied on our best friend Google.
The pan wouldn't fit in our oven. I fixed it quick, just smash the pan.
Every year when we cook Thanksgiving, I am shocked at how much butter you can fit into one meal. When I invited Australian's over for Thanksgiving dinner, I warned them, run extra, or workout harder before you come over. When it comes to traditional American food, it really is all about the butter and unhealthy. I found this video to help explain Thanksgiving nutrition to our Australian friends. I had to share the laugh.
Since we got married our tradition has been to cook for who ever wanted to come over and eat with us. Most years we have ended up cooking two meals. I would wake up early in the morning on Saturday, go run 20 miles, that was always on my running schedule when I would run St. Jude Marathon, come home, Josh and I would cook, and the first round of people would come over. On Sunday, we would go to church, come home, and get cooking for round two. Those were fun times.
Like our fine china? Hey, clean up was awesome, one trash bag and one dishwasher load. WINNNING!
This thanksgiving was for sure great memories. I loved sharing all the food and traditions with people who had never tasted any of the food, or heard the traditions. They made it fun here. One of our friends said it best, "This was fun, I really enjoyed getting together with friends and reflecting on the past year and being thankful." That my friend is what it is all about.
All our Thanksgivings have great memories. What are some good ones for you? What are you thankful for this year?