Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Australian Thanksgiving Recap

This was my first Thanksgiving abroad. [!]

While I've lived abroad before [Turkey, Jordan] I've always managed to be in the States in Novembers of years past.

The last three, I've been the Thanksgiving hostess: last year [2008] for a dozen "orphaned" friends in DC with nowhere else to go, the year before [2007] in Pittsburgh with work friends, and the year before that [2006]- perhaps my favorite Thanksgiving- when both of my parents came to Pittsburgh and stayed with me.

This year I was determined to continue my hostessing, despite my geographic predicament. Australia is not America, late November is late spring not late autumn, and well, its hot and they don't grow cranberries here! So I invited three friends over [the maximum amount of people that can fit in my tiny flat*] who seemed game for this most festive of American holidays.

I epically failed at making a plum upsidedown cake [see photo above of the gooey mess that resulted from my having a convection oven and not a real one]. To salvage dessert I bought mini frozen apple pies [note: finding a frozen pie without animal fat in it is almost impossible at the Kings Cross Coles and apparently in Australia in general].

The stuffing was a big soggy, but the choice of stuff tomatoes as a main dish was a big hit. There were honey-glazed carrots, haricot verts with crushed walnuts, a leafy green salad, garlic mashed potatoes, and heaps* of white wine. Overall, it was quite tasty I think.

I forced everyone [as tradition dictates] to say what they were thankful for. Collectively, the responses were: proper* friends, the good health of family members who have been ill, steady jobs, loving partners and families of choice [guess who that was? hint: me!], and human capital**.

I don't celebrate Christmas, but Aussies sure seem to be into it. So I think I'll go to the beach. Or hiking. Or down to the coast of NSW. Or something. I'll keep you posted.

[Others who celebrated near and far: David in Paris, Meaghan in Seoul, and Courtney in Uganda.]

* look at all my Aussie English!
** no joke, he really said that. It was bril.

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