Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Thanksgiving

Could this blog BE any later (channeling Chandler Bing here). I mean come on, one of THE best Thanksgivings ever and I post about it now? I'm still on a high from that day.

I need to post pictures of course but let me just tell you a bit about my holiday first.

No holiday is perfect, but this past Thanksgiving was as close to perfect as anyone will get. Thanksgiving is not even an officially celebrated holiday here in Costa Rica. But CR stores have caught on to the fact that they have a large American expat community so they have offerings to make anyone's T-day complete: you can find various sized turkeys and the trimmings at Pricemart warehouse club, Pali, Mas x Menos, Hipermas and Mega Super supermarkets.

I made up a menu and asked each of my 30 plus guests to bring a dish to share and a drink.

I made:
*Turkey (brined in a salt and sugar solution with herbs like onions, garlic and peppers, oregano, etc for the juiciest, moistest turkey you have ever eaten, falling off the bone and just succulant.)
*herb roasted chicken (figured the almost 20 lb turkey would not be enough).
*Stuffing (from the box but oh so yummy).
*gravy
*garlic and herb mashed potatoes
*Canned beans simmered on the stove with herbs and spices

*ginger teryaki carrots
*green beans in a cream of asparagus sauce
*tuna pasta salad
*cole slaw ( I make the best cole slaw ever)
*store bought rolls
*garlic butter and sour cream spread for the rolls (I made that thank you)
*boxed mac and cheese baked in the oven with bread crumbs and extra cheese (cheesy goodness).

*2 apple pies made from scratch (yes, even the dough)
*7 layer magic bars (always a hit)
*chocolate cupcakes
*chocolate coconut raisin bread pudding

People also brought: mashed green banana puree, Pineapple cake and pudding cups, veggie salad, ice cream, veggie rice, sparkling cider, eggnog, various juices.

It was quiet simply the best Thanksgiving. And I have to say it's nice to start a tradition that I hope will carry on for years to come. Last year was wonderful and this year was even better: more food, more people, more fun.

I honestly cannot wait to do it all again. People are already anticipating next years celebration.
And as far as party planning went, it was simple and not that hard. I cooked for about 8 hours but it was fun. Most everything was so simple it was almost like I was cheating really. With the oven and stove going, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on in the background, it was a day filled with fun.

It was also an emotional day for me to start off. Seeing all the faces that showed up (over 40 friends and family to share the special day with) and missing my own family and wishing they were here to share that day with me, I have to say, it brought tears to my eyes. Making my thankful speech actually left me speechless when I teared up and couldn't continue.

BUT it was all 'gravy' (pun intented). The tears I shed were really tears of joy. Just the excitement and the emotion of it all; holidays always do that to me.

In the past, Thanksgiving was always a give or take holiday for me; now it's fast becoming one of my absolute favorite holidays. I mean, why not, right? I love to cook, I love to eat and I LOVE to entertain; Thanksgiving is my kind of holiday. Plus it is one of the only BIG holidays that you don't have to buy gifts for (no stressing about the perfect present for Jimmy, Bobby and Auntie Sue). I love that!

To me Thanksgiving is all about family and friends and food, which makes the holiday so much more meaningful and special. Because all the materialism has been banned from the holiday, it's less stressful (well, for some). Food and family take center stage and just time together with friends is what the holiday is all about (or should be about). Like I said, my kind of holiday for sure.