Saying Thanks With Turkey

Saying Thanks With Turkey

On December 27th, Americans celebrated Thanksgiving. According to our number one source, Wikipedia, Thanksgiving is all about giving thanks, praying and spending time with your family. And of course, the whole day is also about turkey. In what follows, you will read the story of how a Columbian, a Korean, a Puerto Rican and a Belgian tried to follow this very American tradition. And somehow succeeded. Barely.


We were planning on making an American Thanksgiving lunch, so we had to start cooking pretty early. But the story starts the day before the festivities. That day everyone went shopping for ingredients. At least, that is what we thought. The stores were empty, and there were discounts for the turkey. I wasn't there, but according to what people have told me, they got kind of suspicious. So they asked for some more information and found out that you are supposed to start making the turkey three days before the actual holiday. Apparently, it takes a while to defreeze the turkey. Unfortunately, we had less than 24 hours. When I arrived at the apartment where the festivities would take place, the turkey had been in a bath with lemons for the whole night. That was supposed to be enough to make the turkey ready for the oven. However, it was still pretty cold. And frozen. It was almost 10:00 am, and people would start arriving at 2:00 pm. The turkey is supposed to be in the oven for 4 hours, so we were running out of time. That is when we decided to speed up the defrosting process. We started heating a lot of water and poured a lot of hot water inside the turkey. A miracle occurred and the plan totally worked. Although we were kind of behind schedule, the turkey was ready to be put in the oven. Yes!


Turkey Step 1: Project Defrosting


At 11:00 am, I was supposed to meet the Belgians to go grocery shopping. We would prepare a Thanksgiving dinner. This was my plan for the day: get up early; help preparing the turkey for Thanksgiving lunch; go grocery shopping for Thanksgiving dinner; get back to help with the rest of Thanksgiving lunch; eat Thanksgiving lunch; prepare Thanksgiving dinner; eat Thanksgiving dinner. I may have gained some weight that day. Anyway, while I was grocery shopping with the Belgians – I don't think I was away for more than half an hour – I suddenly started getting text messages that were a little worrisome. "We need help." "We made a mess." "There was a fire in our place". Okay, they were incredibly worrisome.


So I rushed back to the apartment to find out what had happened. I wasn't there at the time of the events, but here is a reconstruction of what had apparently happened. Every 45 minutes, you need to take the turkey out of the oven and sprinkle some water on top of it, so it won't dry out. In order for the turkey not to dry out, you also need to put some kind of sauce on top of the turkey before putting it in the oven. However, while taking the turkey out of the oven, some of the sauce had leaked, and there was a huge flame. The person who was holding the turkey got scared and dropped it. On the floor. Luckily, the fire extinguished by itself, even without setting of the fire alarm.  On top of that, although some of the liquid was spilled all over the floor, the turkey survived the fall and could still be used. Yes!


Turkey Step 2: Disaster


After this incident, I decided that no one else could take out the turkey but me. Usually, me being in charge of something like this would have been the perfect scenario for more disasters, but somehow I felt very lucky that day. And considering there were no more significant incidents later on, I guess we kind of were.


Turkey Step 3: The Miracle


I love miracles, so one more picture with the people who made the miracle happen! And me.


By the time the first people arrived, we somehow managed to clean the apartment, finish the turkey and also make some sides: a great salad, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce.  When we took the turkey out of oven, it looked so beautiful that we almost started crying. We didn't really want to start cutting it because it looked so good! However, we still had some doubts about the taste. It looked great, but what if our innovative endeavors kind of ruined the taste? When we started giving everyone a piece of turkey, we were looking very carefully to what their body language was telling us. When the signs seemed okay, we tried some ourselves. And it tasted great! I have never been so surprised in my life, but somehow we didn't ruin the turkey. Moreover, we made it taste incredibly good! I don't want to brag or anything, but I'm sure that for next Thanksgiving, our innovative way of preparing a turkey will be the standard recipe!


This is a picture of some people. Not everyone who had Thanksgiving lunch is on here. Not everyone who is on here had Thanksgiving lunch.

So it's kind of useless, but pictures are nice!


Everyone is on here, so this is probably a more useful picture!


Anyway, after the delicious turkey, we had some cookies and chocolates as dessert. We didn't even start with the cake, the actual dessert, because we were all so full. So this is obviously when I left for the second Thanksgiving meal of the day, this time for dinner. We were a little less ambitious for dinner, as we made chicken with stuffing, instead of turkey. That doesn't mean it was not great though. The mushroom sauce was especially delicious. The closest we came to a disaster during the dinner preparations was when we had a little disagreement over the best way to peel and cut an apple. As there were no fires or huge animals that needed to be defrosted in a few minutes. I will just summarize dinner by saying that it was great!


However, the story doesn't end here. The day after Thanksgiving, we somehow found out that one of the girls who lives in the apartment where we had lunch, was having her mother and sister over. Of course, it's nice if your place looks nice when your family is visiting. You of course remember the problems with the turkey that made the floor pretty slippery. We also only had four chairs for about seven people, so some of them ate on the couch, and let's just say that some parts of the couch ate as well. In short: the apartment could have looked a little better. It took us about five hours to clean the whole apartment. But I have to say, at the end, it looked like it had just been built. I kind of wish I had put that much time and effort into my own apartment… Anyway, the beautiful and incredibly clean apartment was not the only thing that made it totally worth it. The girl;s mother made alcapurrias, a typical Puerto Rican snack that is apparently incredibly popular around the beaches. It is made of fried plantain and has meat inside it. I have been practicing for days now, but I have to admit that I will never remember the name. However, the amazing taste is something I will never forget!


You know, I don't take pictures of great food. I eat it. But this gives a good impression.


You Zany Americans


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Did you know that the sounds for the Batman movies were recorded in some Puerto Rican caves, called Las Cuevas de Camuy?


Did you know that the Belgian highway structure is the only man-made thing visible from the moon at night? That makes Belgium supercool and also the location of an environmental disaster!


I bet you didn't know that!


Most of the pictures in this blog were made by Melissa Moreno and Adela WooJung Kim. Thank you for that! Also on the picture: the turkey, because it was really delicious!

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