I never knew what it takes to have Thanksgiving in Europe.
Thanksgiving Number 1: Ireland
I found the biggest turkey I could. It was 4 kg, so about 9 pounds. There may be a few reasons you can't find a big turkey in Ireland. First, they don't celebrate Thanksgiving here. Second, do we really need 20 pound turkeys? Third, the ovens here are so small that a 9 pound turkey almost didn't fit in the oven! I had to put the turkey in a casserole dish, because the pan I bought for it wouldn't fit in the oven. What a sight!
Marshmallows aren't the same here. They come in a small package and include very fruity flavored pink ones too. Plus, it's $2 for a tiny bag of marshmallows! I was determined to have candied yams though. Katharine was in charge of finding sweet potatoes at the grocery store. They were all out! I was amazed! Later, I jumped on my bike and rode about a mile to a street vendor who I had seen with sweet potatoes earlier in the day. She was out too! There was another vendor a bit up the road. Luckily she had 6 sweet potatoes and I bought them all. She was also having sweet potatoes for dinner. I guess half of Dublin was having sweet potatoes that night!
Everything turned out really well. We had turkey, stuffing, carrots, green beans, mashed potatoes, candied yams, and apple tart (no pumpkin pie here). Most of my classmates turned up plus some of my climbing friends and all my roommates. There were 13 people total. I think that's the biggest Thanksgiving ever for me! We had a great time.
Thanksgiving 2: Toulouse, France
Katharine and I couldn't get a taxi Friday morning. It was terrible! We ended up missing our flight because it took so long to get a taxi. We even tried calling for a taxi, but they were so busy they wouldn't send for us. We got re-routed to Paris. That ended up being fun, because our roommate Taryna, was flying to Paris as well. We found her at her gate and we all had a Coke together. Lots of laughs over that! From Paris, we flew to Montpillier. That's somewhere on the east coast of France. John picked us up and it took 2 more hours to get to Toulouse. Talk about a scenic route!
John special ordered a much larger turkey. It was 11 kilos, so about 24 pounds! Very American. It was fun going to the market to get all our fruit and veg for the dinner. We had hoped for a crowd, but there were just four of us; John, Katharine, a guy named Bill, and me. John and Bill deep fried the turkey. You can imagine the reaction of the neighbors. They've never seen a 24 pound turkey, let alone a couple of guys deep fat frying on in the courtyard. The neighbors were all peeking out their curtains. Katharine and I took care of the rest of the meal. Green bean casserole, pumpkin pie, candied yams, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes...the works!
Let me tell you about the fried onions that go on top of the green bean casserole. My mom lovingly put a package together for me and took it to John's parent's house. John took them form there and this is the path they took to get to Toulouse for Thanksgiving...
(Try to listen to Johny Cash: I've been everywhere while you read this)
West Lafayette to Chicago by car, then by plane to Paris (CDG) to United Arab Emmirates to somewhere in Africa to South America to Toulouse to Paris (ORY) to Paris (CDG) by train to Dublin back to Paris (CDG) to Montpillier and by car back to Toulouse! If I get more details on that from John, I'll try to let you know. Seriously though...those crunchy onions went all the way around the world just to make my Thanksgiving perfect! Thanks mom!
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