My friend did a post a few weeks ago about her Thanksgiving experiences in China and it reminded me of our weird Thanksgivings in foreign countries. We've actually only celebrated two Thanksgivings abroad and neither of them were particularly zany, but I thought I'd dredge up some memories for you anyway for Flashback Friday.
In Russia, we got together with a few other American expats at someone's apartment. It was one of those things where we all did our best to re-create a family favorite with the ingredients available, and some of us had more success than others. Jeremy and I brought that dessert that has so many different names, the dumbest of which is The Next Best Thing to Robert Redford. I think we only had to make a few substitutions in the ingredients. The main problem was that we didn't have an electric mixer to whip up the cream, and Cool Whip in Russia was obviously not an option. I don't think we had powdered sugar either. We did score some Jell-O pudding mix at the commissary, so that was nice.
The final product might not have been as fluffy or light as usual, but it was sweet and chocolatey and creamy and I think it tasted pretty good. Thanksgiving success.
My memories from Syria are a little fuzzier because Jeremy and I were just barely recovering from some pretty terrible spinach-inflicted food poisoning. I do remember that the senior couple volunteers made some major ingredient coups and had prepared a pretty good spread of American food for the members of the branch and our friends. My favorite was that they had actually made stuffing, albeit with a different kind of bread and a vegetable that was not celery but was the closest thing the street vendors could rustle up for them. I'm still not sure what it was, but it all tasted so good.
Strangely, I don't remember either gathering having turkey.
I'm glad we made an effort to celebrate even though it was awkward and difficult at times. Because it was also delicious, and that made it all worth it.