Monday, December 2, 2013

My First Thanksgiving with the Indians

Lydia and I had intended to do a few dishes in advance so Thanksgiving day wouldn't be so crazy, but Wednesday was our trip to Agra and Tuesday was a run around like crazy people day as well, so it just didn't happen.

We began cooking at 9:30 in the morning. We ate at 4:30. Our Thanksgiving menu was this:

  • Turkey Casserole- I couldn't find a whole bird in India, plus I only have a convection microwave oven anyway, so we got cold cut turkey and layered it with stuffing, turkey graving, poultry seasoning and a mashed potatoes crust. 
  • Sweet Potato Casserole- this is one of Lydia's family traditions, made with sweet potatoes, pineapple, and pecans and marshmellows on top (and a dash of rum... though normally they use bourbon, but we had rum.)
  • Green Bean Casserole- another of Lydia's family traditions. Personally, I was planning on having green beans... but just sauteed in butter. My family isn't much for casseroles, just as we'd just make sweet potatoes like baked potatoes. We're purists. I had her substitute cream of mushroom for cream of chicken though, and I found her casserole good. (I am not a mushroom fan.)
  • Mashed Potatoes- Just the simple classic.
  • Stuffing- My personal Thanksgiving favorite.
  • Cranberry Sauce- both her and my family do this the same way- straight from the can- though personally I have never been a fan.
  • Corn- just corn kernels cooked from frozen.
  • Rolls- we had planned on making these, but in the end had our friend Shushant run out for "pau", i.e. Indian dinner rolls. If we'd started in advance we'd have made them from scratch.\
  • Gravy- We had to make this from a packet, since we didn't have any meat drippings.
  • Pumpkin Pie- I experimented with the crust, and otherwise made it from the directions on the can of Libby's pumpkin pie filling that Lydia brought. Oh, except I substituted cream for evaporated milk since you can't find that here.

The result?


The biggest surprise? The cranberry sauce was an outstanding hit with the Indians! It was the only dish that was polished off on Thanksgiving itself.

Lydia happily took some time to teach the history of Thanksgiving to our friends (Aveek, Shushant and Anil) who were joining us for the feast. Ryan lived in America for 6 years as a kid, so it was just a history brush up for him. 

Aveek was the pickiest, but from experience I've found he's not a big fan of American food. He did like the sweet potato casserole, cranberry sauce, stuffing, and corn though.

Ryan gobbled it all up.

Anil ate most of it, though I think there were a few dishes he didn't like. He was very enthusiastic about the sweet potato casserole, I think. He also liked the pumpkin pie, the only one of the friends who did.

Shushant seemed to like everything okay, except the pumpkin pie.

Lydia said the pumpkin pie was the best pie she'd had in her life. That made me happy, as that had been one of my dishes.

I enjoyed everything except the cranberry sauce (which I've never been a fan of) and made myself a heaping plateful... which I had to break up eating since my pregnant tummy has a smaller capacity than I'm accustomed to having.

All in all it was a huge success and Lydia and I thought we pulled it off well!

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