I have to say that I may have just experienced my first real Thanksgiving at the tender age of 26. What makes this Thanksgiving different from the 25 previous Thanksgiving, was that I was the one doing the cooking for everyone. Every year before this, my mother, my father, my Aunt, my Grandparents, somebody had cooked. This was the first year that I actually cooked, and I have to say it came out better then I was expecting.
The menu was quite a simple fare given my surroundings. Turkey is not readily available here in Korea, and when you do find it, it's ridiculously over priced. Take you standard 13 pound turkey, and add about 40 dollars to the price. Add on top of this the fact that most the ovens located in this country could not actually fit a bird the size of a turkey and you have a recipe for Thanksgiving Chicken. While more of a distant cousin then an actual relative, the Thanksgiving Chicken is actually quite delicious. We started with two large chickens (normal size in America). To these wonderful birds I added bread stuffing that I had made. After thoroughly violating the perceived rights of the Chicken I gave them a bath and a massage. The bath was in Olive Oil, and the massage, well that was to work in the Italian Seasonings, Rosemary, and Pepper. I threw them in the oven for about 80 minutes and then set about the other small side dishes that I was making.
Mashed potatoes are a staple of almost any Holiday meal, and if I need to explain to you how to make them then you're probably already lost by this blog. To pair with the mashed potatoes I made orange infused sweet potatoes with marshmallow topping. Yes, those things. Originally the recipe calls for orange juice concentrate, good luck finding that stuff here. We have to settle for orange juice and orange peel infused potatoes. It still comes out tasting close to the same, but it looks nothing like the original. We pared these two sides with steamed Broccoli and garlic bread. Now garlic bread is not your standard fare at Thanksgiving, but it turns out that every time I make a meal for people I make garlic bread. I think it has something to do with the scarcity of ovens in this country and that is a requirement for Garlic bread. Either that or a large BBQ, which also tends to be a scarcity.
The last thing we had was stuffing. I actually made Bread Stuffing for the first time. I have to thank Mom for the excellent recipe. I knew that stuffing was relatively easy but given the pointers and the advice I received it made it quite simple. It was a simple thing to make, and honestly the two hardest parts where drying the bread, it took a while, and finding Sage. We had to use fresh Sage, but I don't think that anyone really noticed. To this I added dried cranberries, onions, celery, celery stalk, and a few slices of carrots. I accidentally over salted due to the discovery of vegetable bouillon at the store, so I had to add some more stuff to it. Honestly, I'm somewhat impressed with myself, and think that I will be able to not only replicate this stuffing, but make it better next time for Christmas.
For desert we demolished the Pumpkin Pie that I had purchased from Costco. The Pumpkin Cheesecake survive somewhat intact due to the fact that we were stuffed by the time we got to it. Still it lost about 1/4 of its weight. All in all, while a quite simple dinner compared to those of you in the States, it was greatly appreciated. It was nice to have some semblance of normalcy on this Thanksgiving. Last year we went to a nice restaurant and ate dinner. This year it felt like Thanksgiving. I was even exhausted after the meal because I had spent about 4 hours cooking in a small kitchen. Ohh well, Christmas should be just as fun.