Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving from Istanbul!

The big day is finally here! I started working in the kitchen at 7:30 this morning. I have to get several things ready to go because soon my giant turkey will consume the entire oven.

I picked up Mr. Tom Turkey yesterday in Yenikoy, and he weighs a whopping 11 kilos. It's difficult to carry the darn thing! Last night, I rubbed the turkey down with a herb and salt mixture and wrapped him up in foil to rest. It's a new techinique (for me) that I read about in Bon Appetit magazine.

This year is my first Thanksgiving I actually get to celebrate at home with my husband and friends. For the past seven years, I've always been working in a restaurant kitchen preparing desserts for hundreds of people on this day. Sure, I got to nibble on leftover turkey and stuffing during the day, but it's not the same. I wanted to be the one sitting down, enjoying a nice meal and talking with my friends and family members.

Since we are in Turkey this year, we don't have family to celebrate with, but we've invited six friends whom we've met here. As expats, friends become like an extension of family because your own relatives are so far away. I am very thankful for the great group of international friends we have made so far.

Today's menu had definitely been keeping me busy. I'm a perfectionist when it comes to making food for others. I want everyone to be happy and enjoy everything. I also tend to overdo it.

Here's the menu so far:
Homemade dinner rolls
Cheesy green bean casserole
Herbed stuffing with apples, chestnuts and onions
Mashed potatoes with turkey gravy
The turkey
Mini pumpkin tarts and maybe an apple tart too
Cranberry-orange-ginger bread 
I made these homemade dinner rolls on Tuesday night.
Besides all the delicious food on this day, Thanksgiving, most importantly, is a time to give thanks. 

I'm thankful to be married to a wonderful man whom I laugh and talk with every day. I'm thankful for this opportunity to live in a foreign country and experience all it has to offer. I'm thankful for the adventures we've experienced this year. I'm thankful we will celebrate Christmas with both of our families next month back in the states.

What do you give thanks for?

May your Thanksgiving be full of happiness and a full belly!

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