Monday, October 09, 2006

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving!

It's that time again. The time when my American friends say, "Huh? Oh, that's right, you crazy Canucks celebrate Thanksgiving in October. Go figure." Yep, second Monday in October and don't you forget it.

But I'm not in Canada any more so why bother celebrating at all? Well, because tradition is important to me and I want my kids to be aware of their heritage. And besides, there's nothing they like better than to sit down to a special dinner with our little family. We do eat together every day, of course, but they look forward to the fancy meals the most.

This year's feast which we had last night since Boy10 is away on a field trip this week. I try to keep it small because there are only four of us, but I like to have a lot of variety.



The bird is surrounded by brussels sprouts, mashed potatoes, roasted butternut squash with brown sugar and nutmeg, red cabbage and bacon-wrapped green beans. Fiber and beta-carotene, baby! Yeah! Stuffing was vetoed long ago by three out of four family members (not me! I love stuffing but my hips don't!) and none of us really care for gravy, so I dispensed with both of those. And can you believe it? This year will go down in history as the first year that I forgot to make cranberry sauce. I must be getting old - I can't remember a thing anymore if I don't write it down.

For dessert we had, what else, pumpkin pie, made from scratch with that lovely Hokaido pumpkin I bought on Saturday.



I had a bit of extra pie filling so I poured it into some little ramekins and baked it like that. The recipe for the pie and for the green beans (which are REALLY good and must be tried) can be found at last year's Thanksgiving post.

I know I whine sometimes, but I do have SO much to be thankful for, including the many wonderful friends who have come into my life, especially in the past few years. You all know who you are and I thank you.

32 Comments:

At October 09, 2006 1:02 PM, Blogger Sandra said...

Looks delicious. I'd love some of that pie. Happy Thanksgiving.

 
At October 09, 2006 1:20 PM, Blogger Elemmaciltur said...

Yummy! Happy Thanksgiving!

 
At October 09, 2006 1:31 PM, Blogger Maribeth said...

Happy Thanksgiving!
If I lived in another country, I still would celebrate all of my holidays. In my family we celebrated not just the American holidays, but all the German ones as well. That pie looks so yummy!!!

 
At October 09, 2006 3:13 PM, Blogger cara said...

looks delicious! these are the days when i really miss being back in BC for my mother-in-law's thanksgiving meal. she can't cook worth a dang on normal days, but out does herself on holidays. i tried last year to do thanksgiving, but it was so frustrating not being able to find 'normal' ingredients. perhaps it's easier in germany than corsica, but i could not find a whole turkey, cranberries, any sort of squash/sweet potatoes/yams, brussel sprouts etc. it was very disheartening. tonight we're having curry chicken. after living in surrey for several years, that's pretty appropriate anyway, eh?

 
At October 09, 2006 4:10 PM, Blogger Alison said...

Once again you put me to shame :) We had take out Indian food for Thanksgiving!

 
At October 09, 2006 5:41 PM, Blogger Expat Traveler said...

that looks so yummy! It turns out that we are going to hhave dinner with my aunt at a cancer lodge where she is staying in Vancouver. Different for sure for me, but also P and her don't like Pumpkin pie! So we are going to bring it to sick husband after the dinner with a beautiful view of all of the city from the 16th floor!

 
At October 09, 2006 8:23 PM, Blogger J said...

Where on earth did you find bacon like that? It appears to be the crispy kind that I know and love.

 
At October 09, 2006 10:55 PM, Blogger Angie said...

That is the most beautiful pie I've ever seen! Well, the whole spread is beautiful. I'm going to start calling your blog the Virtual Calories Bar.

Hey, I'm coming to Europe in a month -- are you sure you don't want to drop by Madrid? With pie? :)

 
At October 09, 2006 11:25 PM, Blogger Sal DeTraglia said...

I second Angie's comment. Come to Madrid, and bring LOTSA pie.

Man! As if your Oktoberfest post wasn't torture enough!

Sal

 
At October 09, 2006 11:57 PM, Blogger christina said...

Sandra - Thanks! It's times like these when scratch and sniff blogging would come in handy, eh?

Elemm - It was yummy but it's all gone now.

Maribeth - Yup, it's nice to keep the traditions going. We did some German/Austrian ones at home when I was a kid too.

cara - Thanks for visiting! Curried chicken = Surrey. LOL! Totally appropriate. Turkey is easy to find here, as are brussel sprouts. You need to chase around for cranberries and the only place I've seen sweet potatoes is in Asian markets, but Germany has come a long way food-wise since I moved here.

Alison - But take-out Indian food is definitely something to be thankful for!

Expat - hope you had a good time. I think people either love pumpkin pie or they hate it. It triggers a gag reflex in my dad - he simply can't eat it. You can imagine how much fun Thanksgiving used to be around our house. :-)

J - That was the Danish "Tulip" brand and I think Herta bacon is also OK. I can by it at Plus or Edeka. It usually says bacon or "Frühstücks Bacon" on the package. It's pretty good but a little salty sometimes.

Angie - Well thank you kindly! And the Virtual Calories Bar is a great name. Madrid is sounding pretty good right now - how many pies do you think I could squish into a suitcase?

Sal - Or...I could come to Madrid and make pie in YOUR fancy kitchen that's about a thousand times nicer and bigger than mine (but not for long!) :-) So sorry for the Oktoberfest torture. I just like to cook - what can I say?

 
At October 10, 2006 12:20 AM, Blogger Dixie said...

What a feast! I hope it was a lovely holiday for you and your family.

 
At October 10, 2006 3:17 AM, Blogger Cathy said...

Happy Thanksgiving, Christina!

 
At October 10, 2006 9:56 AM, Blogger Sal DeTraglia said...

My kitchen is your kitchen.

In fact, it's *anyone's* kitchen...provided that they cook as well as you seem to.

Sal

 
At October 10, 2006 12:22 PM, Blogger christina said...

Dixie - We did have a nice day, thanks.

Cathy - Thanks so much. I hope you guys had a restful weekend in N.S.

Sal - Preheat the oven, I'll be there after lunch! :-)

 
At October 10, 2006 6:12 PM, Blogger Berlinbound said...

Beautiful spread! And was that a proper "turkey" and is that the same thing as "puten" which I see everywhere - and which sort of scares me?

 
At October 10, 2006 6:49 PM, Blogger CanadianSwiss said...

Ok. That's it. Were're flying over to Germany next year for Thanksgiving! No. Wait a minute. We all throw in our small change and get you to fly around the world to cook for blogger friends. You can start in Switzerland - before we leave-, then on to Madrid, further to Atlanta, up to Montreal - once we are there-, then to Vancouver (where you can also visit your parents) and then... uhh. You know anyone in Japan and/or Australia??

We can talk about the details later. Now how does that sound :-)

 
At October 10, 2006 9:48 PM, Blogger Expat Traveler said...

LOL - too funny CS,.... But what I don't understand, why does everyone have to eat brussel spouts. To me, they are just plain and since we didn't get any cranberry sauce, it just makes the meal even more dull...

We never have that in the US, but it's probably because I told my parents to cook other veggies... LOL

 
At October 10, 2006 11:06 PM, Blogger christina said...

Richard - Yes, it was a proper turkey, but a so-called "Baby Pute", actually - about 9 lbs. It's hard to get a really big turkey here and that's probably a good thing because it wouldn't fit in the teeny oven anyway!

CS - Sounds like an awesome plan! Don't know anyone in Australia or Japan but there's still time to make new friends. :-)

Expat - We have brussels sprouts because Mr. M loves them. I like them all right, but they ARE pretty darn boring. My mum serves wild rice with her turkey instead of potatoes. To each his own, I guess.

 
At October 11, 2006 4:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

brussels sprouts

American in Germany. I love them! But learned a German way that beats any version I ever used in the States. Stir fry (in butter, of course) slivered almonds and the sprouts (pre-cooked if raw). If frozen, bit of moisture does not hurt the stir frying. We let them get "burned" on the edges, as well as the almonds. DARNED GOOD!

I, also, LOVE turkey and am thrilled to get pute here. Best turkey I´ve ever eaten. Have not tried a whole one though. In Dresden could NOT find such a thing but here in Hamburg ... seems easy enough.

Cranberries appear around this time here in Hamburg (and Dresden). Ocean Spray brand. In the larger stores, of course. AS pecans do! Takes awhile but CAN get a USA Thanksgiving meal done. :-)

 
At October 11, 2006 6:00 AM, Blogger Angie said...

I just had a thought! Coconut pie!

 
At October 11, 2006 7:09 AM, Blogger Karen said...

Oh - that looks just absolutely scrumptious! *drools* ;-)

 
At October 11, 2006 10:10 AM, Blogger christina said...

Anonymous American - Hi! Your sprout recipe sounds great - thanks! I think it's easier to get a whole turkey closer to Christmas because Germans eat them too and it also depends what region you live in. I do have a big bag of cranberries in my freezer, I just forgot to make the sauce this year. Wahhh!

Angie - Ah, someone had to say it, didn't they. :-) :-) Yes, yes, the thought was in the back of my mind too but I've never made a coconut cream pie in my life. Might be a new challenge.

Karen - Thanks! It was really good - I think the Hokaido pumpkin I used gave it a lot of flavour.

 
At October 11, 2006 10:31 AM, Anonymous Belinda said...

Christina, you don't know it yet, but I'm going to move in with you and your family if only to get yummy meals!!!!

Hope you had a wonderful time together :D

 
At October 11, 2006 10:33 AM, Blogger christina said...

Belinda - You mean you only love me for my cooking?? I have other talents! Really! I just don't talk about them on my blog. :-) But rumour has it that you're a pretty good cook to so maybe I'll move in with YOU.

 
At October 11, 2006 12:07 PM, Blogger Secret Chicken said...

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving. I used to live in Vancouver for a couple of years so I had 2 thanksgivings - one in Canada and another back home in the USA.

 
At October 11, 2006 3:12 PM, Blogger christina said...

secret chicken - (is that your real name?) Hi and thanks for stopping by. I see you'll be in Berlin for a while - welcome to the neighbourhood. Must have been nice to experience Thanksgiving in both countries - I'm sure there were a few subtle differences.

 
At October 11, 2006 3:26 PM, Blogger Betsy said...

Hope Thanksgiving went well! As usual your pictures made my mouth water!

My parents moved to Toronto from Florida about 15 years ago after I'd already moved to college. They love life in Canada and have really embraced their new identity as Northerners! :-)

I love Ontario as a vacation destination but have to admit that I really struggle to keep track of the different dates for holidays you have in common with the US-- Thanksgiving, Mothers' Day, etc.

Maybe we can all save ourselves a lot of trouble and agree on a common date halfway between the two? ;-)

 
At October 12, 2006 4:47 AM, Blogger Tim Rice said...

The meal looks marvelous; I can't wait for my Thanksgiving! :)

And I loved it when my mom baked pie filling in those little ramekins. They were a special treat.

 
At October 12, 2006 5:22 AM, Blogger Ginnie said...

A virtual delight to the eyes, dear Christina. As always! You certainly have a way with cooking, as you know by now. We could all descend on you like vultures!

 
At October 12, 2006 7:42 AM, Blogger christina said...

Betsy - Thanks! I can see how your parents would enjoy Ontario. I visited there several years ago in the fall and just loved it. A completely different world than the West Coast.

Time- Thank you! The smell of the turkey roasting always brings back fond memories for me. And yes, those ramekins do make it seem special, don't they?

Ginnie - You're so sweet. I'd be more than happy to entertain anyone and everyone. Just come on over!

 
At October 16, 2006 6:20 PM, Blogger swissmiss said...

happy belated thanksgiving and your pie is beautiful. I love the leaves. (I love all your food posts)

 
At October 19, 2006 10:16 AM, Blogger Sean Carter said...

Tradition is very important. It's good to know that you are teching the traditions to your kids. They need to know them. You can get lot more info and facts at this Thanksgiving Blog. It's got a lot of info on our tradition and culture regarding Thanksgiving.

 

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