Monday, November 26, 2012

Thanksgiving Down Under: 2012

Another Thanksgiving in Australia has come and gone.

This year, Phillip and I debated between inviting his immediate family over, sharing a giant meal with the two other families in our assembly (plus his own family), or just doing it alone again.

Alone won out. Basically, cooking for us and two (well three really) other families, one of which contains nine hungry children (though one isn't on solids yet) would have been too much for me with the whole pregnancy fatigue thing. Then it was down to maybe just his family.

Honestly, I just got selfish with my holiday traditions and we had it, just the two of us.

Thanksgiving back home wasn't really much more than a big family get-together and a pretty fantastic meal. We really have never had more to go with the tradition than just that. But it was still somehow MORE than just getting together with the whole extended family (and sometimes a few extras) and eating until we had to be rolled around the house to get anywhere. I can't put my finger on it, but there was just... more to it than what was on the surface. Something about just the FAMILY together, a sense of identity as a family, a group, US. Enjoying being with each other to do more than eat massive amounts of delicious food. To sit and talk and joke and laugh (and here is where I start to get teary-eyed).

So when it comes to trying to introduce my own family traditions to a family that has never followed anything similar to it, I tend to just not want to bother with it and horde all the goodness to myself and my husband, and keep it within our own little family of, for now, two.

Though we haven't thrown out the idea of making basically the same meal at a different date to share with others, Thanksgiving is still ours while we're here. It's my American tradition.

So this year, again, I cooked things in small batches for days in preparation of our little feast. French bread was baked four days prior in order to sit and get stale for stuffing (and other purposes at later dates that require stale bread), pie crust was made and frozen, and the day before, I made some spectacular biscuits and pumpkin pie.

This years pie, though, was made with a butternut squash (here in Aussie land called a butternut pumpkin). Also, rather than roasting it, in the interest of saving time, energy and money on our power bill, I cut it into chunks and steamed it. It turned out to be one of the creamiest pies I have ever made. The taste was basically the same as using any other pumpkin, too, with maybe a bit more sweetness.

Day of was, of course, turkey roasting day. Stuffed absolutely FULL of stuffing, our little 3.5 kilo bird went in the oven along with candied sweet potatoes, MORE stuffing, and a random corn "pudding" concoction that was the result of two recipes I found online.

Carving the turkey. I think Phillip was trying to show off my bump.
Le finished table setting.
Biscuits, mashed potatoes (with ranch), stuffing,
turkey, corn "pudding", gravy, green beans,
and, Phillip's favorite, candied sweet potatoes.
Also some grape juice.

We're just adorable, us three.
Experimental butternut pumpkin pie.
Seriously GOOD. Topped with homemade whipped cream.

1 comment:

  1. Everything looked (and sounded) really good, Joy. It sounds like you have a great tradition going! :) And I loved getting a glimpse of your bump!