Friday, November 29, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

I really feel like our Thanksgiving embodied everything good and gracious about our expat experience.  It was a last minute decision to host a potluck meal.  A friend of ours suggested it and I gladly accepted the hosting responsibilities.  I don't need much arm twisting to host any event.  If I get to bust out my collections of mix matched vintage silver, I'm in!
We had eight adults and eight children.  Having a place for all the grown-ups at the table for dinner is key for me.  I really love being able to all sit down together and talk and toast to a great meal.  The intimacy of the meal depends on sitting together.  Everyone brought a portion of the meal, which left me with only a few dishes to make and absolutely no stress.  I just made sure the table was pretty and there were oysters and olives to munch on as a starter.
Thanksgiving is about breaking bread with family.  Sometimes, family happens to be the people you share an experience with.  Our family this year is friends who are sharing the Ethiopian experience with us.  Truly, it's the people that make this experience amazing. Five families who, three months ago didn't know one another, are now spending Thanksgiving together.  That is what life as American diplomats is all about.  I am so grateful we had the opportunity to give thanks together over delicious food, good wine and great company!  The kids played, the babies cooed and the adults drank and filled our bellies.  Perfect evening.
The menu (cooked by all)
Honey glazed ham
Apple cider brined turkey breast
Turkey gravy
Spicy corn casserole
Scalloped potatoes
Cranberry apple stuffing
Kugel (a Jewish sweet noodle pudding)
Homemade crescent rolls with honey butter
Green salad with honey mustard vinaigrette
Roasted cauliflower and carrots
Green beans with caramelized onions and bacon
Pumpkin pie with whipped cream
Pecan pie with cinnamon ice cream

The meal was absolutely fantastic and truly a special treat while we are here in Ethiopia.  Things are hard to find (turkey and ham), special ingredients were used (butter and pecans) and extra special care was given to all the components of the meal.  Accomplishing a Thanksgiving meal in Addis Ababa is a feat of greatness.

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