Thanksgiving in Germany!

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November 28th 2007
Published: November 28th 2007
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I hope that everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving with Family and Friends back in the states. This was my first big holiday to miss with my family, and I have to admit it was a little hard. But I was determined to make sure that we had an authentic Thanksgiving here. Hosting my first Thanksgiving was tough, but there were many firsts and I ran into a few problems, just a few...

The Pumpkin Pie. I managed to locate some Pumpkin Pie filling at the Karstadt downtown. They have an "american aisle", though small, is worth while. But if it gives you an idea, a can of PAM cooking spray is about 6.50 EUROS. (yeah thats about 10 bucks). I looked in my dictionary and translated Evaporated milk to Kondensmilch. I just bought a ton because I didn't know how much i'd need. Then I realized that there were no pre-made pie crusts, well really no pies in general, the word Pie translates to german as Kuchen, which means cake. Yeah, there is no difference here, there are no pies. So..the next day I headed back to the Karstadt and picked up a big can of Crisco. So..I attempted pie
We're DancingWe're DancingWe're Dancing

19 pounds isn't light
crust and pumpkin pie for the first time and then used a cake pan as there were no pie pans. Overall, the pie turned out fabulous, topped with a little Schlagsahne (Whipped Cream)

The Turkey. Well, the Turkey was a feat within itself. On Tuesday I went to my local butcher and asked if we could order a fresh turkey. I was told from the English speaking group here that this was the better way to go about it. We were going to have 6 people, so I figured that a 5 kg (11 pound) turkey was plenty of meat. Well he called the farm or wherever they kill turkeys and they said, is 6-8 kg ok? I said, whatever, thats fine. Brooke and I woke up at 8 am on Saturday morning and headed down the street to pick up our turkey. He grabbed a huge box and then weighed teh turkey inside, it was 8.7 kg.(19 pounds) Well we weren't going to just turn it down, so we said whatever, and then attempted to carry the turkey back to the house. After washing it, we then wrapped it in foil per instructions and stuffed it in the
Spaceman TurkeySpaceman TurkeySpaceman Turkey

Yes, we wrapped the whole thing...I know...
oven...well the legs had to be readjusted to fit. We thought it would cook 4 hours, but apparently we had some problems with the oven, which never really heated over 75 degrees celcius, so it took about 9 hrs to cook. About halfway through we took all the foil off, then we attempted to prop some wood to keep the oven shut. And later on we transfered the turkey to a wire rack and it FINALLY started to juice, a great sign.

Stuffing. The recipe that my mother passed on to me unfortunately included things like "a box of stuffing mix" and "a box of cornbread stuffing mix" (they dont have cornbread mix here to begin with). So, I received a recipe off the online group here. I needed bread crumbs, so I went to the local bakery and asked for a loaf of white bread. They didn't really get what I was doing and gave me one that they said "schmeckt ein bisschen anders" (tastes a little different), so i said whatever, i'll take it. It tasted really good though and actually ended up being a good mix. I cut up the bread the night before (no easy
Fitting in the OvenFitting in the OvenFitting in the Oven

The legs barely fit in there.
feat with german bread, the crust is quite tough) and then on Friday put the whole recipe together. We went to cook the stuffing and get our dinner ready and well...the oven went out. We ate some chocolate and contemplated ordering a pizza, planned to move thanksgiving to megans house, and then learned that all that happened was the fuse went out. Haha. Oh well.

Corn Pudding. No worries here, This one is easy to make no matter where you are in the world and always tastes good. My contribution to all family gatherings. :-)

Robert showed up about mid day from Kiel and then Megan, my friend from Australia, headed over in the mid afternoon. She even contributed a typical american dish, green bean casserone, although the fried onions were not to be located in Germany. My roomate Tina and her boyfried joined in on the festivities as well.

While we were cooking the turkey, I guess it got a little hot in the kitchen and one of the pillsbury cans burst open and flew into the air. I think it gave us all a good laugh after we got over the heart attack of trying

For the turkey to cook
to figure out what had happened. I prepped the Corn Pudding and we waited on the turkey, and i think about 3 pm, we cracked open the wine because we needed a glass or so to get through the day.

FINALLY about 6 pm, we decided that at least the TOP of the turkey was cooked enough to eat, so we took it out of the oven and then cooked the corn pudding, and proceeded to heat up the Sweet Potatoes (that Robert made, fabulous recipe!), I had located some Marshmellows in that American Aisle in the Kastadt which was nice. We heated the green bean casserole, made some gravy, and cooked the rolls. At about 6:45, we were finally ready to eat. A long day of wine and salsa to keep us sane, we were starving for our tasty meal.

Overall it was quite an adventure and I had a wonderful time eating great food and enjoying great company. These times are always a reminder of what Thanksgiving is, enjoying eachother. It was great to laugh and just relax and have fun. I am attaching some entertaining pictures for everyone to enoy.

Since thanksgiving, ive continued

Look, we are so creative! But the oven was shut which was good!
to apply for internships, hoping to get a break soon. No big news yet on MBA programs. Im headed to Rotterdam this weekend for a huge Couch Surfing gathering to celebrate Sinterklass (Santa Claus). Very much looking forward to it. Tonight im headed to see the Warren Miller film (for my ski fans)!!!

Keep me updated on whats going on with everyone back in the states. The holidays tend to get a little hard, so im trying to keep myself busy, joined a gym which is fabulous, and I am VERY much looking forward to my family coming in less than a month and Rachel coming in a month!! Tschuss for now!

Additional photos below
Photos: 15, Displayed: 15


All DoneAll Done
All Done

Well most of it!

Look at our beautiful turkey, it was fabulous! Best turkey meat ive ever had
Corn PuddingCorn Pudding
Corn Pudding

My favorite!
Getting ReadyGetting Ready
Getting Ready

Getting everything else ready!

Robert taking his manly duties to carve the turkey!

Look at all that fabulous food!
Lets Eat!Lets Eat!
Lets Eat!

all done!
Showing offShowing off
Showing off

Fabulous sweet potatoes and rolls!
Pumpkin PiePumpkin Pie
Pumpkin Pie

It really turned out Great!

28th November 2007

Gobble, gobble!
Very impressive, Ms. Brown!!! You did more cooking in one day than I've done in my entire life. Kudos! I got a shout out! WAHOO! And marshmellows aren't an international delicacy??? They don't know what they're missing!
29th November 2007

I'm so proud of you Paige. I never doubt how smart you are, but pretty ingenious to make pumpkin pie without pre-made pie crust. I would have no idea where to begin. You did an awesome job. Miss you!
29th November 2007

Good Job
Being a chef I have to say with what you had to work with--good job. There is not much snow in Aspen. Only a few runs are open on 2 mountains. I'm looking forward to Xmas in Texas. Wish you could be there. Love Uncle Roby
30th November 2007

Gut gemacht
Hey Paige! Looks like you did a pretty good job of preparing Thanksgiving. It's amazing what you end up doing because you can't find American goods here. For example, making a pie from scratch or whatever. (That's what I have to do) Schade, that you're not coming to Thanksgiving at David's. But it looks like y'all had a lot of fun!

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