Thursday, December 8, 2011

Thanksgiving Dinner

Sunday, 11-27-11
I’m a little behind on my blogs but I’m trying to get caught up. While we weren’t able to celebrate Thanksgiving on the actual date, we were able to celebrate at a later date. And it turned out it was more special because we were able to celebrate with Blanca and Cecilia’s families in Alejandría. On the actual date Kathy and I had guacamole and chips for dinner. But for our special celebration we went all out.

Chicken with stuffing
Honey glazed carrots with cranberries
Mashed potatoes
Banana bread
Red wine

We went out to buy the potatoes, carrots, onions bread, and butter at the market, and started making things the night before. When we got home I worked on cutting up the bread for the stuffing so it could dry a little and Kathy worked on the banana bread. It was good to get a couple things done ahead of time.

Cutting up bread for stuffing

The makings of banana bread

Looks good!

The next day it was time to started cooking. Kathy peeled and sliced carrots. I worked on peeling and slicing potatoes since Kathy said that would be her purgatory. Kathy got all the chicken innards out of the bag they were in and rinsed them before cooking. We debated whether or not to throw the feet into the pot and ultimately decided we’d add them for flavor and then crisp them in the oven. Then we worked on the stuffing and finally the chickens.

At some point I made the comment that it really was like Thanksgiving because the women (Kathy and me) were in the kitchen cooking while the guys (Elmer and Alejandro) were watching fútbol. Then it was time we cooked the carrots and potatoes, and before we knew it the chicken was done. We got everything into pots or bowls and loaded it all in the truck.

Not including Kathy and myself in attendance were:
Blanca – Pastoral Team
Balmore – Pastoral Team, Blanca’s husband
Ángela (Blanca’s mom)
Romulo (Blanca’s dad)
Margot (Blanca’s sister)

Cecilia – Pastoral Team
Idalia – Pastoral Team collaborator, Cecilia’s sister
Rosa – Cecilia’s mom
Alejandro – Cecilia’s brother
Elmer – Cecilia’s son
Marvin – Cecilia’s son
Freddy – Cecilia’s nephew

Look out!! She's got knives!

The boys were watching futbol

I look a little spacey peeling potatoes

The carrots were huge

Mmmm, chicken feet and organs

Bread and spices

Stuffing the chickens

Looks good!

When we got to Alejandría we parked the truck and carried all the food across the ravine and up to Blanca’s house. Kathy and I went straight into the kitchen and had everyone else leave. We would be the only ones working to get the meal ready. We set the food on the various comales (earthenware pans) to heat it up and got out the plates, cups, and napkins. Then we opened a bottle of wine and toasted our efforts.

Once everything was ready we set it out on a table so people could serve themselves. Kathy explained the tradition of Thanksgiving in the US and Balmore said a prayer Then it was time to eat! Everyone took turns scooping food onto their plates. We encouraged them to try a little of everything even if they didn’t like it. Foods like stuffing and gravy aren’t typical foods here. Carrots and potatoes are common but not the way we cooked them. But they all tried everything and several people cleaned their plates. We also served a little bit of red wine to everyone except the kids.

Food loaded in the back of the pickup

Fresh coffee

Heating up the food

Cheers! Salud!

The napkins I made with a turkey stamp on them

We're ready to eat!

Food please!

Rosa getting some food

Margot tried and ate all her food

Idalia got a big piece of chicken

Elmer tried to take an entire chicken

One at a time

Angela enjoying her meal

Romulo's meal was light on salt

Opening the second bottle of wine

Mmmm, delicious

My plate, with lots of mashed potatoes

Dessert & Gifts
Then it was time for dessert: banana bread from local bananas and coffee from Blanca’s family’s finca. As people ate their bread I presented Blanca and Cecilia with two photo albums. One was for Blanca’s family and the other for Cecilia’s family. The albums had pictures that I’d taken throughout the year. I wrote little comments beside each picture and put stickers in the book. It was as close to a scrapbook as I get. And I’m pleased to say that everyone loved the photo albums.

Soon it was time to return to Berlín so we loaded up the dirty dishes, leaving a lot of the leftover food behind. We carried everything back to the truck and dropped off several people at someone’s house along the way home. It was a wonderful Thanksgiving. One that I’ll never forget.

Looking at her family's album

Lots of fun

Sharing the photos with family

Good memories

Let's push this truck up the road

Freddy can do it!


kathy said...

What an incredible day that was. So glad we could share it together.
Love you!
mama k

Matt said...

Sounds like a great day that all enjoyed. I'm glad you were able to share Thanksgiving with so many.