Thursday, December 7

The yumminess that was Thanksgiving

What do vegetarians in Texas eat for Thanksgiving?
That’s right Tofurky!

mmm yummy?
On Thursday the 23rd of November we celebrated our first Thanksgiving. Everyone we talked to seemed a little sketchy on the details of exactly what we were giving thanks for (something about the pilgrims) but they all agreed the entire point of the day was to cook and eat a mass of good food. Sounded a little like family Christmas for us so we figured we could handle it.

Thanksgiving was held at John and Joanne’s because Joanne’s folks were visiting from Oz. In total we had 13 people, with a clear over-representation of Aussies (there were eight of us!). Jo and I got there bright and early to help cook, including the 20 pound beast of a turkey that took more than 5 hours to cook! Given the size of the bird we planned for an afternoon meal, and everything went surprisingly smoothly (considering the last minute realization that if the turkey was in the oven, NOTHING else could fit!).

While the food cooked we watched the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, which apparently is the traditional thing to do. Lots of amazing floats, most of them including a ‘hot air balloon shaped like X’ where X was pikachu (a pokemon) or nemo, mr potato head, supergrover… There was much dancing and many cheerleaders, although since it’s held in New York and it was 2 degrees and raining, everyone was rugged up to the eyeballs! The parade finished with santa, just to remind us all that Thanksgiving is only the beginning of the crazy holiday season.

before the spread
I won’t go into too many details but the entire event was lovely, and a lot of fun. We had a great group of people, including a strict vegetarian, and it was great to hang out with a bunch of aussies and pseudo-aussies. It was a gorgeous 27 degree day, clear and sunny, but we hardly ventured outside! We began with prawn skewers sprinkled with old bay seasoning and grilled (or mixed veggie skewers for the non-fish eaters), champagne (Jacobs Creek) and punch (although the lads did have an esky of beer). By this point the room was full of turkey smells so the skewers not only kept the masses happy, but they injected a little bit of Oz into the whole traditional American holiday thing.

The dinner was amazing, and we managed to time it surprisingly well given the total chaos in the kitchen and the fact that different people had contributed different items that all needed heating/cooling/dressing etc. Lorena, our resident vego, brought the Tofurky and it was a surprisingly handsome (and tasty) beast. Being a true American she also supplied the mash and the green bean casserole, but I guess I should tell you the menu…


A MASSIVE roast turkey, golden brown, with a bread/bacon/mushroom stuffing
Fried slabs of smoked ham
Roasted veggies, including potato, sweet potato, pumpkin, onion, parsnip and garlic
Steamed asparagus
Steamed cauliflower with white sauce
Vegetarian friendly couscous stuffing with cranberries, orange, and pistachios
Traditional green bean casserole, made of a mixture of long green beans, mushroom soup and chili, with crispy fried onions on top - sounds bad I know, but was very good!
Mashed red-skinned potatoes
Cold cranberry relish that was a little sour and had nuts in it
Cranberry sauce
Two types of gravy (the turkey juices made the BEST gravy!) plus a vegetarian ‘gravy’
And finally, there was the Tofurky!

While attempting to digest all that yumminess we watched ‘Charlie Brown’s Thanksgiving’ in a attempt to work the whole thing out. For good measure we followed it up with the Garfield version (the original cartoon, not of the CG stuff). Once we had regained some measure of composure, and just before we all fell asleep, we unveiled the dessert table! We had lemon meringue pie, a huge pavlova (mad by one of the other aussies) and, of course, pumpkin pie! Jo helped make the pumpkin pie the day before, so she has the details of what went into it. It was tasty, because of the spices, but I wouldn’t have gone back for seconds. It was served with either whipped cream, or cool whip, which is a scary white substance that is almost entirely unlike whipped cream.

Anyhow, I highly recommend thanksgiving. And it was a good test run for Christmas, where we get to do most of it all over again!


CupKate said...

Wow that sounds like a banquet! I'm full from reading about it. I remember meeting some german toursists once telling usa bout their vegetarian Christmas trick of making eggplants look like a turkey - with toothpicks etc to hold legs/wings in place. I didn't work out why the people who won't eat turkey want their dinner to look like one... but still. Tofurky sounds intreguing. And pumpkin pie was disappointing when I had it - looked so good but didn't taste as good as I hoped!
Keep up the good eating :)

CupKate said...

Or intriguing. Whatever. Its tofu!

b&c said...

We don't know what you're all talking about, Pumpkin Pie is yummy (and I have the candles to prove it)! Sure sounds better than Tofurky *shiver*

Cher Michael said...

g'day Jac!!! DJ, Ewen and I are thinking seriously of introducing a Thanksgiving celebration here in Melbourne to bring the family together more often. What do you think? I make a mean pumpkin pie, the secret is in the spice!
Great to read the news from Texas...if Thanksgiving was fun what does Christmas have in store? Enjoy to the max!


Jac said...

Hey Cheryle!

Great to hear from you. A thanksgiving celebration in Australia is a great idea. We may not have pilgrims but we have plenty to be thankful for, and it provides a good trial run for the Christmas feast.

Give my love to everyone for Christmas. Huge hugs :)