Preparations for this year’s Thanksgiving celebration started early, over two months ago.
It involved scheming (who could find a turkey here or bring one back from the United States and where will we cook a 20 pound bird), plotting (who can find the ingredients for apple and pumpkin pies) and planning (who will bring stuffing and mashed potatoes). (And by the way, one of turkeys for the dinner was about 22.5 pounds, came from Brazil and cost nearly $110!)
Today, with about 40 other people,
we celebrated Thanksgiving at the Embassy’s Marine House. (Patrick is still confused about the name of the Marine House and is constantly disappointed that his aunt Maureen isn’t there).
Our contribution to the meal was the stuffing. I like to make stuffing with water chestnuts and pork sausage. But after having spent a fair amount of time at the grocery stores of Asunción, I knew it would be nearly impossible to find those ingredients here. So, I had to get started early!
In September, I ordered four boxes of the Williams Sonoma focaccia stuffing mix.
In October, I ordered whole water chestnuts from Amazon. They only sell them by the case, so I’ve got plenty now!
Last week, I ordered 2.5 kilos of ground pork from the grocery store. Then, using a recipe found on the internet, advice from a friend here, and dried herbs from Williams Sonoma, I made my own sausage.
Another ingredient that has been hard to find here is chicken stock, so we made that from scratch too. Thankfully, my giant stockpot arrived in our sea shipment two weeks ago and I used it to make a huge batch of chicken stock.
Here’s the final product after assembly and baking:
It was delicious. Actually, everything was. There were two turkeys, one ham, and numerous, scrumptious side dishes.
And Danny definitely ate more turkey and ham than Patrick did! His favorite seemed to be the smoked turkey.
It was a wonderful celebration and a great reminder that we have many things for which we should be grateful.
Today though, the weather is not one of those things. While the temperature here in Asunción (70 degrees) is certainly higher than that in Chicago (32 degrees), we are not necessarily having better weather. There are horrible thunderstorms here today. I’ve never seen it rain harder and I’ve never seen streets more flooded and I’ve never heard thunder so loud. We all wore raincoats today!