21 December 2009

Thankful that Thanksgiving Disasters Never Happened

To be perfectly honest, My Love and I were worried about hosting our first Thanksgiving.  Really worried.  Especially when you factor in the fact that we were in a crumbling communist-era apartment in Albania with a poorly working stove and oven and both of our mothers thousands of miles away.  Frantic phone calls for help would be out of the question.  Emergency runs to the grocery store for the boxed version of stuffing or a pre-made pie were not options. 

After 24 hours of travel the day before, I wasn't exactly the earliest riser.  My Love opted to wait for my input before buying groceries, so at about 1 in the afternoon, we started cooking our Thanksgiving dinner tenatively scheduled for 5 pm.  We decided on roasting two chickens (we had absolutely no faith in My Love's oven's ability to cook a turkey even if we stuck it in the oven for 3 days), stuffing, mashed potatoes, broccoli with cheese, and dinner rolls.  We had exactly one working burner on the stove, and the chickens took an hour to thaw out under cold water and about 3 hours to cook. 

So, naturally, My Love was looking up translations to explain Thanksgiving to his neighbors.  The translations he looked up included "food poisoning is an essential part of the Thanksgiving tradition," "you must overeat,"  and "please call the fire department! my stove has exploded!"

Fortunately, he never actually had to say any of those things in Albanian.  In fact, he never even had to explain Thanksgiving.  Turns out, his neighbors had watched Obama eating turkey on TV and knew exactly what we were celebrating.

It's not Thanksgiving until you have a paper turkey on the table.

Against all odds, everything we cooked came out perfectly. 

Thankful that our first Thanksgiving was a success (surprisingly, the stuffing was a HUGE hit!), My Love and I were able to relax and enjoy the absurdity of having a sweet little Albanian man singing Albanian love songs as we ate.  I also danced with the man later on in the evening.  We ate too much, drank just enough, and laughed often.  Then, as the evening wrapped up, My Love's neighbors invited us over for lunch the next day. 

Note: 3 bottles of wine on the table, including 1 bottle of homemade wine.  (I was thrilled that the moonshine raki wasn't offered to me.)

Turns out, the Friday after Thanksgiving is an Albanian holiday (what exactly it celebrates escaped me).  So, after a lengthy lunch on Friday, My Love and I passed out from major food comas. 

But, the amazing part is, My Love and I survived hosting our first ever Thanksgiving.  In style.  Successfully.  In Albania.  Next year, fancy feast for 20 guests in America?  No problem!  Bring it on!
We're SO willing to relinquish holiday cooking duties back to our Mothers.  We'd much rather just be responsible for the overeating instead of the cooking, overeating, and mountain of dishes....)

No comments: