While you can get turkey here, I had two reasons for not getting it. It's quite expencive...although if I split the cost between all the guests it would have been more than reasonable. But, secondly, usually when you order the turkey, you get the whole spread, you know, potatoes, stuffing blah blah, the whole nine yards. Which, admittedly would have been really nice... but part of Thanksgiving for me is the cooking and preparing. I wanted to make my own potatoes, my own broccoli, my own stuffing and I trusted my friends to bring along their own specialties.
But what about the bird? Lack of ovens here make it difficult to do much at the house. I decided that it would have to be chicken, since it's cheap and yummy. The boyfriend suggested boiled chicken. My response to that was, well, why don't we just serve ddeokboki for breakfast on Seollal instead of ddeok-guk. It's ddeok, right? Ddeok-guk... ddeokboki... what's the difference? There was no way I was going to boil a chicken for Thanksgiving dinner. So, the solution?
Rotisserie chicken truck!
For those who don't live in Korea, there are these awesome trucks that park around town roasting chickens. Here, the price is 2 for 11,000 won (less than $11 USD). They're also stuffed with rice. While rice is not quite stuffing, I made some of that too, so it wasn't a problem. We bought 4 for 9 people (one vegetarian). They're not very big.
Thanksgiving in my home (or any holiday for that matter) tends to be about the appetizers. My mom will make her awesome kielbasa, my aunt will make some crazy nacho dip thing, plus fruit, cheese, bread, crackers and other assorted things. This more or less leads to being full before it's turkey time. True to tradition, I made up a big plate of veggies and another of crackers. My friend brought along the cheese, but the problem was the dip. Usually we buy vegetable dip at home, or maybe use a soup packet to make one with sour cream. I'm lacking in most of those key ingredients, but I did have one thing. Our homemade yogurt. So, following a recipe I found online for a Greek cucumber dip, I diced a cucumber, put it in yogurt with olive oil, a bit too much garlic and a few drops of lime juice. Then we added a bit of honey because we were worried the taste would be too sharp. People seemed to like the result, though I'd never tasted that before so I wasn't sure what kind of result I was supposed to be aiming for.
Finally, everyone arrived and it was time to chow down.
Our table... actually we thought our normal table would be too small, so we took the support from under our bed to make a table. It worked. Oh, and the boyfriend brought me a new table cloth from his work. This one is a reject from Ann Taylor. It's nice stuff.
Cassie brought a can of cranberry sauce leftover from last year I guess. Didn't bother anyone that it was so old. Tasted great. I don't think cranberry sauce can go bad... We mushed it up because we thought the can shape would scare the non-North Americans at the table.
The boyfriend made his lovely Thai Curry.
And one of our four chickens. I don't have a close up of the stuffing, but I'm so proud of my stuffing that I'm going to make a separate post for it anyway.
People had to get going early, so we rushed into desert next. I didn't really do anything in the way of desert, but everyone really stepped up to the plate on this one.
Top left here is homemade sweet potato pie. I've never had it before, but it tasted quite similar to pumpkin pie to me. I was impressed. Top right is the PUMPKIN PIE!! Our friend picked it up at Costco, evidently for 6,000 won?!?! Is that possible? Too cheap and too yummy!! Bottom left is a cake from a hotel where one of our guests works. Those strange fruit on top are figs. I never knew what a fig looked like before... And lastly was a cheese cake. While it was good, it didn't quite live up to our expectations. It was kind of more closely related to the Korean cheesecake family rather than the American cheesecake family. Both good, but quite different.
Some people left, and the ones that stayed broke out Scatagories (teaming Koreans and North Americans together). Such a fun game.
I hope everyone in America has a lovely Thanksgiving today and I hope that everyone in Korea or living away from home can celebrate Thanksgiving in their own way.
How did you/ will you celebrate Thanksgiving this year? Any suggestions on the best way to do it when abroad?