Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving with the French

It is not often that Thanksgiving and the French cross paths. After all, to my knowledge, this scrumptious holiday is celebrated primarily in the United States and Canada. However, when Thanksgiving was mentioned around my wonderful friends several weeks ago, it was quickly decided that it would be celebrated this year. After all, I guess if I were French, I would be a little curious about this holiday and the different food. I was very excited because I was able to share a little U.S. culture with my friends, but I was also a little nervous about preparing the meal. Most of you know that I really do not cook. I guess when I try things tend to turn out, but in general, it's just not something that I do. 

The only real problem we had was the turkey. Where would we find one? Not the easiest thing to do in Paris, believe it or not. I'm sure it can be done, but I had no idea how. Since we didn't even meet until 4 pm, I told them that it was WAY too late for a turkey anyway...chickens would have to suffice. And they did.

I arrived at my friend's apartment at 4pm. He and I went through the recipes that I had copied down from my mother and made shopping for Monoprix, the grocery store, and one for Thanksgiving, the American specialty food store. If it wasn't for the Thanksgiving store, I'm pretty sure Thanksgiving here would have been nearly impossible for me to pull off. Where else would I find the Pepperidge Farm bag of dressing ingredients, the Oceanspray cranberries, or the can of Libby's pumpkin pie mix? When a few others arrived we headed to the stores. 

The shopping trip was pretty fun. I was consulted as the expert in many circumstances, and often answered with the classic answer of "Je ne sais pas, mais peut-etre..." (I don't know, but perhaps....etc). After the stores we bought some bread (which we were too stuffed to eat) from a boulangerie, some chickens from a boucherie, and some wine from Nicolas, the wine store, because well, I believe a French Thanksgiving (French anything, really) must include wine. We went back to the apartment and started cooking. Lots of peeling, boiling, mixing, etc. took place and it actually started to come together. It was probably 9:30 or 10 pm by the time we actually started eating, but I guess that is the French way of doing things. It was great. I think they enjoyed it. There were some definite about putting cranberry sauce on meat, and the dressing, but it definitely worked out. The only thing that didn't really work out well was the pumpkin pie...there was just something about it that didn't taste right. 
Also I didn't have Coolwhip, just some whipped stuff that had more of a sweet cream-cheesy taste.

Here is the evidence:

Sylvain stuffing the chickens...

Group shots...

This year I am thankful for friends, family, and the opportunity to live abroad, experience new things, meet new people, and live life to the fullest. 

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