I hope all of my readers in the US and Americans abroad had a lovely Thanksgiving day. I can’t wait to read and look at all of the photographs that will be posted about your Thanksgiving feast. As you can see we ended up having our own little Thanksgiving dinner. This is the first Thanksgiving dinner we’ve had in many years. Being that it’s an American (and Canadian on a different day) holiday it just seems silly for us to celebrate it in Europe. I know many expatriates have parties and celebrations at home, but for us this has been the first Thanksgiving we have celebrated in a very long time. I think that since we are not in the US and not seeing and hearing all of the Thanksgiving adverts and buzz is another reason why we don’t get into the “Thanksgiving” holiday mood. But since I have Spicie Foodie I am constantly reminded of all of the holidays (around the world) and all of the food that goes along with the holiday celebrations. About a week ago I mentioned to my husband that seeing everyones photos and recipes for Thanksgiving was making me crave those big American Thanksgiving dinners.
When my family moved to the states we gladly incorporated all of our Mexican traditions, holidays and foods with those of our new home. We celebrated both Mexican but mostly American holidays. Thanksgiving dinner was no exception we had turkey (sometimes 2 different flavors), ham, all the trimmings, pumpkin pie, pies, cakes, flan, Mexican breads, tortillas,dinner rolls, pastas, both American and Mexican beers and soft drinks, well it was a pretty American meal with a hint of Mexican. Sometimes there would even be turkey tamales, so yummy! If I remember the only thing that was different was that our dinner hour was later than an American home. My poor husband was used to eating around 6 and any holidays at my parents he was always ravenous by the time we sat down to dinner. At my house holidays were also more routy but very laid back, kids all over the place running and yelling, loud conversations, loud laughter, Mexican music in one room, televisions blaring in another, most of the adult woman gathered in the kitchen preparing tons and tons of food, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, neighbors, the family friends that became our tios y tias (uncles and aunts) and then those non-blood relations that became family. Celebrations also went on longer into the evening (or early hours of the morning) than at most American celebrations I attended. What can I say Mexicans like to party.
Both of our families are back in the US and so our little family that is my husband, Panchito and I often have our own little celebrations. Sometimes when we think back of all those hectic holidays where we had to split between 3 family celebrations. At the time it was so stressful trying not to hurt one parent’s feelings by not attending their dinner. We used to say next year we are going away or staying home. But now we can think back and appreciate them and even think about how nice it would be to go back just for the holidays, perhaps next year. A couple of days ago my husband said lets have those open faced turkey sandwiches for a Thanksgiving dinner. You know those sandwiches from the greasy spoon diners that give you a mountain-full of food and for dessert you get a slice of pie free, oh don’t forget the endless coffee refills too. I miss those places, there isn’t anything like that here. This was our delicious European Thanksgiving dinner.
A whole turkey is just too big for 2 people and a hungry terrier, so I slow roasted 2 huge turkey drumsticks. They were so tender that the meat just fell off the bone and all of the fat had melted away.
My husband also wanted cranberry sauce so I made it for the first time in my life and from scratch. I bought the organic cranberries from a Russian specialty shop. So glad they had them, I couldn’t find them any were else.
These beautiful and buttery sweet cookies are traditional Czech cookies. The variety boxes of these cookies always starts to show up this time of year. They are so delicious and addictive, you have to eat a couple at a time.
These little turnovers are also Czech and they are filled with a quark cheese. The pastry is buttery and flaky and they are a little bit sweet, delicious.
And this is what my plate looked like, open faced turkey sandwich with mashed potatoes, gravy and cranberry sauce. My husband didn’t want me to bake fresh homemade bread he wanted the same bread used in those diners, sliced toast bread.
But for his plate he wanted me to place the drumstick directly on the bread, “Nope, don’t slice the meat off. Just like that!” He’s hilarious and I think his plate looks just a little cavemanish, lol.
Oh I forgot to tell you for the wine we had a Beaujolais, a French red wine produced each year. Maybe not the fanciest of wines but because “Le Beaujolais nouveau est arrivé!” and one mustn’t resist it. After diner we enjoyed the rest of our Beaujolais by sitting down and watching Sideways, we love that movie. I am so glad Panchito is all stomach because I could have never finished the drumstick myself. I had a lovely evening surrounded by the person I love most in the world and by the puppy that I love most in the whole world. I have so much to be thankful for and my family is the number one reason.
In case you missed it please stop by The Ardent Epicure to see my guest post.
I just got done eating leftovers and seeing this I want yours too!
Green Girl @ A little bit of everything says
can I have some of those Czech cookies, they look so good.
Hope you'll have a wonderful weekend
Your “European” Thanksgiving looks just beautiful. But I have to say, the sound of those turkey tamales is just fantastic. I love tamales! What a great way to incorporate the mexican and american.
I love that roasted chicken! Hmmm..Delicious!
Green Girl @ A little bit of everything says
Still me LOL
An award is waiting for you on my blog.
Sommer J says
Looks amazing!!! I would have gone cavemanish on it as well!!! I am starving now!!! Glad you guys had a great meal together. I totally understand missing celebrating at home :( I, too, plan to spend at least one of the holidays home next year. Its been nearly 6 years!!
Actually, I prefer the look of your caveman's plate and if this was my home, I'd probably be using my hand to hold that turkey drumstick! Does that make me cavewoman-ish? Lol. Your Thanksgiving dinner looks perfect, not too over-indulgent. And bravo for your efforts in securing those organic cranberries! The fact that some ingredients are harder to find makes the meal all the more worthwhile at the end of the day.
Magic of Spice says
I can't believe he wanted the whole drumstick like that, too funny. Beautiful meal for a beautiful family. I love Beaujolais although it's a bit lighter than my norm, perfect for heavier meals. And sideways is a fun choice for after dinner movie…love that movie :)
Nancy, I think it's wonderful that your family celebrated both mexican and american holidays? When I look back I'm amazed that my mom learned how to make a traditional thanksgiving dinner… She couldn't even speak english! I'm glad to see that even in europe you are continuing to embrace other traditions. So fun, yes? :)
Chef Dennis says
what a wonderful dinner the two of you had!! You know Thanksgiving is a state of mind, its about reflecting upon our lives….what ever you serve would be perfect for the day, and it looks as though you did a splendid job with the holiday fare! My wife's favorite wine is beaujolais, ever since our first visit to France.
Glad you were able to celebrate Thanksgiving
Happy Thanksgiving, Nancy! I love that you guys added international flavor to the meal. It's the only way we ever celebrate the holidays :) I really love the whole drumstick on the bread. You have to love a man who knows what he wants! I hope all is well across the pond.
Hey Nancy, your dinner looks delicious, and I love that you made your own organic cranberry sauce. We always make homemade organic cranberry jelly or sauce and it is so good-love it! Glad that you guys decided to enjoy a bit of Thanksgiving goodness this year. It's worth the trouble-me thinks at least (smile).
Oh, and we love the movie Sideways too. It's so seedy yet kind of real and wholesome at the same time. Funny too…
p.s. the drumsticks are especially rustic and pretty in your photos:)
Conor @ Hold the Beef says
I love your version of a Thanksgiving dinner.. am wishing I'd celebrated my own Aussie thanksgiving in this way.. those drumsticks are impressive in more ways than one ;)
A SPICY PERSPECTIVE says
What a fun change from the traditional meal! I'd love the get my hands on those cookies!