Thanksgiving this year was unique and a lot of FUN! It actually started off as an ordinary day since we had 4 hours of language class but once we jumped out of the school doors, our holiday was on!
A few weeks ago we chipped in for our turkey. It arrived on Saturday with lots of squawking and the oohs and aws of Joey and I and especially the family as it ran around the yard. As it goes, our new friend was in the food trajectory by Sunday morning when it was killed and plucked all before noon! Our host family was excited to host our training group especially since our host mom was even more excited to help us celebrate our anniversary. (Yes, we did get an anniversary song that sounds a lot like the birthday song in Azeri)
Since we had been to the market on Wednesday, (also a lot heavier to carry groceries though a market and then on crowded pubic transport than sticking them in your trunk), we were ready to get this cooking feast started. Our group consists of 3 men and 3 women and we all jumped in and started our individual tasks. Cutting fruit & vegetables, crying with cut onions, pealing potatoes and grinding walnuts for the stuffing were just a few of the tasks going all at once! It is important to note that my host mom was very flexible during this process. Her only criteria for letting us actually be in her kitchen was that we keep it clean but watching men contribute in her home became a point of interest and sometimes laughter! I think her sons were watching with similar interest and her daughters might have had a seed planted that they might one day choose a man that would help in the household. (fingers crossed)
The meal came out beautifully. We had a roasted chicken stuffed with walnut stuffing, fruit salad, macaroni & cheese, garlic mashed potatoes, garlic bread, veggies, with the most popular last 2 dishes, 1) hacked up turkey and plov (Plov is rice with lots of yummy stuff in it and the turkey needed to be hacked up since it was cooked on the stove with the rice) 2) Onion rings, which might have been the biggest hit and possibly a tradition all of us want to continue.
As an anniversary gift to ourselves, Joey and I committed to make a pumpkin pie together which came out as great success the night before. I’m pretty sure that means then next year of our marriage will come out pretty well too! Although it was not a great Azeri hit for their taste buds, all the Americans were very impressed.
As we ended the evening watching ‘Charlie Brown’s Thanksgiving’ with our host sister and brother, it was like icing on our Thanksgiving cake. Sitting with family, laughing at what we don’t understand (for a change they didn’t understand the words) We have lots to be thankful for here and back home and we are thankful for this Azeri style event that was unique and special to us. That hospitality makes us happy and humble to live here for the next two years!
We hope you had a lovely celebration back home and have had the opportunity to reflect on what you are thankful for. Happy Thanksgiving!