European Thanksgiving


There are 8 people living in our flat and for 8 weeks we are each cooking a meal from our native country for the rest of the house. The first week Tony made french cuisine with his girlfriend Gwen. I had been talking about how I wanted to cook traditional Thanksgiving for everyone and since we did not have the “real” Thanksgiving off of school and whatnot, I decided to use my weekly dinner to cook Thanksgiving for everyone in our piso.

I must admit that I have been so spoiled these past few years, either joining Alex and Laura in New York or going to Atlanta to see the Slacks, that I have not had to cook the whole meal for myself. Since the Friday before we had early practice, Stefan and I went to Carrefour Friday afternoon to buy all of the food. We were missing a few things, like pecans, but for the most part we had everything we needed.

I started with the most important thing, dessert. They do not have canned pumpkin because there is not the same addiction to pumpkin flavored everything here in Spain. They did sell carving pumpkins for Halloween and so Stefan and I bought one which we roasted to get the pumpkin puree. (We made this Friday night so that it would fully cool). Everyone was laughing at me because I had been up since 5:25 am and was rather delirious as the pumpkin took well over two hours to fully roast.

Saturday after practice we started cooking again. We had to pick up a few things from the Litl which Thankfully had pecans. Afterwards Stefan and I started to make the pie crusts for the pumpkin pie and pecan bars. Melanie came in and made our pumpkin pie filling. Surprisingly this took us the whole afternoon and soon it was time for the whole piso outing. We went to an old irish bar that doubled as night club. I believe it was the first night that all of us went out together since we have been here. (side note: both desserts turned out fabulously)

Sunday morning I woke up early to begin the preparation of the chickens (I could not find a turkey anywhere so we had two chickens instead). We made a homemade stuffing and then the boys let us girls stuff and dress the chicken. (haha) I will post a picture of me with one of the lucky chickens a little later. While the chickens were roasting we made green beans and mashed potatoes. Balazs put his bed in Melanie’s room so we could put the two tables together so that all of us could fit nicely with comfort. Stefan let us use his desk as the buffet table and after our madeline grace “we love our bread, we love our butter, but most of all we love each other” we feasted. We ate dinner from around 5 pm till 1:30 in the morning just absolutely enjoying each other’s company. It was a success from all standpoints. We had plenty of good food, beverages, and good company. Now I can say that I have had my own Thanksgiving this year even if it was a little early!!

Here’s a peak at our menu with the respective recipes that I used:

Main Dishes:

Bread Rolls

Green Beans (sautee Green beans with oil salt and minced garlic)

Sweet potato casserole:

Chicken and stuffing:

Mashed Potatoes:


Pumpkin Pie:

Pecan Bars:


Mimosas (oj/champy)

Wine (red/white dinner)


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One response »

  1. So Glad that you had a nice Thanksgiving with all of your new friends!!! What fun! That reminds me of the first thanksgiving dinner that I cooked in St. Louis, right after college. Garland and I were in our first home and we ended up with a few very close friends from college that could not get home and it was the most special thanksgiving EVER! Maybe because it was the first time that I was in charge of everything….it was fabulous! Enjoy these memories! So fun!
    Jenn Hughes

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