I know I’ve been in France six years, but this weekend was really only my second Thanksgiving. Most years I do nothing, including last year where I was at the hospital so the question was moot. I did get a lovely delivery of pecan and pumpkin breads from a visitor, so that almost counts. Otherwise, the only time I’ve celebrated Thanksgiving was two years ago, when I was pretty stressed from my job and didn’t even try to take care of things like stuffing and cranberry sauce.
This year my friend Maggie was completely up for a full-on Thanksgiving, and it did indeed end up being full on, since we had 21 people! The menu consisted of:
Two roast turkeys (~16 pounds of turkey in all) + gravy
Masses of mashed potatoes
Mashed sweet potatoes
Sauteed brussels sprouts
Roasted red kuri squash
Green been casserole
Pumpkin pie with whipped cream
I was in charge of cooking the turkeys (ordered the Thursday before at the Poitiers market, costing only 63 euros total this time) and they turned out beautifully, phew. But I learned a few things this year: at least with a small turkey, there is really no need to tress. So I’ll spend no more time buying kitchen string for Thanksgiving. Also, basting and oven bags seem unnecessary with this size turkey as well, though this wasn’t tested on purpose-. I added foil over the turkeys for the last hour to keep them from drying out.
We celebrated on Sunday to accommodate everyone’s schedules. I bought an American pumpkin a few weeks ago and saved it for Thanksgiving, so Saturday afternoon I spent roasting pumpkin, peeling it, pureeing it, and making pumpkin bread out of it.
Pumpkin bread has long been my favorite part of Thanksgiving. I’ll hopefully get around to making more, because these two loaves only used a third of the pumpkin.
Here’s what things eventually looked like for our Thanksgiving dinner.