Friday, November 27, 2009


Since we've been in Greece, a lot of my readers that celebrate Thanksgiving often ask how we spend our holiday abroad. Given that Thanksgiving is always on a Thursday, it lands on a busy weekday. The kids still have to attend school and Kosta has to work. My expat friends are just as busy as we are and it's difficult for us to get together. Although, we are in constant communication throughout the day, comparing our progress in the kitchen and laughing about and unforeseen setbacks. This year, we had exceptional communication given that we're all connected through our favorite social networking websites. A few weeks ago we started sharing our adventures in shopping for turkeys, giving price updates and other finds.
The only challenge that I faced was getting everything prepared in between taking kids to and from school as well as running some errands. It would have been much easier if I wouldn't have had to leave the house. But, we didn't eat until after 6pm, so I had plenty of time.
Here are some photos from our day...

A photo before dinner..and yes, even Gigi gets a little turkey. Although it's a nice photo we could've moved the napkin holder!

We have THE BEST neighbors.  Early in the morning our neighbor, Mr. George, dropped off his homemade wine to enjoy with our dinner. I'm so grateful that we have caring and generous neighbors. I never know how to thank them enough for all of the wonderful things that they do for us. This wine was perfect!

When Izabella came home from school she helped bake an apple pie. I was actually making the dough for a lemon meringue pie when she requested an apple pie, so we made this spontaneously.

I always let my children get dirty in the kitchen. I believe that letting them try everything is essential to their learning .

 Izabella's apple pie straight from the oven. It may not look perfect but it definitely tasted perfect!

The turkey. You may notice that there are a lot of drumsticks here. Well, that's because I procrastinated long enough before Thanksgiving to land myself without a fresh whole turkey. Sure, there were frozen ones available, but I couldn't have had one thawed out in time. So, I improvised and bought fresh drumsticks and baked them on a bed of stuffing. My question is this: If I could find fresh drumsticks, what happened to the rest of the fresh turkeys attached to the drumsticks?  Nevertheless, it was delicious and more than enough for us as we have leftovers for today.

I did run  into one setback. My hand mixer doesn't work! I plugged it in to whip the meringue for the lemon pie and NADA. It didn't work. So, I  had to whip the meringue by hand and I couldn't make it light and fluffy like it should be so my pie looked a little flat. It tasted fantastic though!
I had to mash the potatoes by hand as well. They were a little lumpy, but again, delicious.

Here's a list of what I made for our Thanksgiving dinner:

Turkey drumsticks
Mashed potatoes
Apple pie
Lemon meringue pie

I kept our choices minimal since it was just the five of us. Again, it was more than enough. Everyone loved the dinner and I'm thankful for that!

I hope that everyone observing Thanksgiving had an enjoyable day.

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  1. The whole dinner looks like it was delicious. I especially like apple pie! It's one of my favorites. I completely agree about letting the kids get their hand dirty. I am starting to see that my efforts at getting the kids to enjoy cooking are paying off!

    Poor you having to whip meringue by hand! They used to make us do that sort of thing at school! A bit like teaching us to do mathematics without a calculator. got to learn how to do things the 'proper' way!! I think I might have given up if I was you! Or handed the job over to someone with a stronger arm! (husband)

    Enjoy your leftovers!

  2. I just noticed how many exclamation marks I used in my comment. I think I need to learn to control my enthusiasm!!!

  3. wish i were there - i think i like the food here better than our average christmas dinner in crete

    the rest of the turkey probably went to the making of galopoula salami slices (!)

  4. Hi Cheryl! Just a quick hello from Germany, where I am for a week trip!

  5. @ Liz - Yes! Letting kids get in the kitchen is wonderful. Mine always want to help.
    As far as whipping the meringue by hand, I gave up! That's why it was flat and not worthy of a photo:)
    Handing it over to a stronger arm is rarely an option for me though, as Kosta works a lot. So, flat meringue and lumpy potatoes unless I get a new mixer!
    I love exclamation marks!!!!!!!!!!
    Don't control your enthusiasm, it's awesome and appreciated!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Have a wonderful weekend!!!!!!!!!

    @ Maria- I wish you were here too! We should maybe try to schedule a Thanksgiving experience for you & your family. It's always so much more fun with friends! I think that you're right about the rest of the turkey. They were also packaged in 3's. ????
    Enjoy your weekend!

    @ Phivos- What a nice surprise! Thank you for taking time out of your vacation to say hello. I hope that you & Popi are having a wonderful time:) I'm anticipating your posts about Germany!

    Enjoy your weekend in Germany! Auf Wiedersehen!

  6. Cheryl, you dinner looks wonderful and how can you beat, a drumstick for everyone! Happy Thanksgiving from my family to yours!!!!

  7. Oooh….everything looks so yummy!! Glad you had a nice Thanksgiving:)

  8. Oooh….everything looks so yummy!! Glad you had a nice Thanksgiving:)

  9. @ Bel- Thank you. I hope that you enjoyed your Thanksgiving as well. You know, I was kind of thinking the same thing about everyone getting a drumstick. Drumstick bonanza!
    I hope that you're enjoying the holiday weekend. Hugs & kisses from all of us!

    @ Ivy- Thank you very much. Everything was yummy. We're almost finished with the leftovers...

    Have a fantastic weekend!!!

    @ Bhavesh Chhatbar- Thank you very much! We really did enjoy ourselves and we're still enjoying the pie!

    Have a wonderful weekend!

  10. Cheryl,
    What a sweet portrait of your entire family on Thanksgiving! I applaud your efforts to celebrate the American holidays while you live in Greece. It's wonderful that your family wants to enjoy those traditions.
    Congratulations to Miss Izabella for her apple pie and to you for letting her participate right alongside you.

  11. @ Biddy-
    Thank you sweet Biddy!! That's a very nice compliment. It's sometimes difficult to celebrate our holidays but it's worth the effort as it's important to both Kosta & I as parents that both of our cultures are represented.

    Izabella loves to cook as do the other two children. Again, I believe that children need participate in everything. At the supermarket, in the yard...everything. They won't learn to be self sufficient if everything is handed to them. :)

    Have a great week!

    @ Maria-
    Yes, 3's. That's why I was so perplexed! hahaha! :) How many 3 legged turkeys have you seen? lol!!


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  13. Sure seems like you had a simple and enjoyable thanksgiving celebration. My last year’s thanksgiving was especially memorable as we had also planned a college reunion that day. We had an awesome party at the amazing event space NYC, and it was really great to see many old friends after a long time and talk about past days.