Ashley / Food / Holidays and Celebrations

Thankful and Full

Happy belated turkey day everyone! We here in Chengdu had not one, but two, proper Thanksgiving celebrations. Surrounded by good friends, good food and and good laughs it almost felt like we were home for the holidays, minus family and black Friday sales.

We have a lot to be thankful for:

Phil: “friends, family, health.”

He cuts to the chase and that’s why I love him.

But once I wrote the above quote we started talking that, beyond the important things above, we’re really happy to have the opportunity doing what we’re doing right now. It may not always be easy or fun, but despite all that, we’re seeing things we’ve never seen, stretching ourselves in ways that we never thought we’d grow. What’s more we both have family and friends that take a step back and let us do so. It’s definitely not easy to live abroad, especially during times of year like Thanksgiving, but we found some replacements for family in characters like these.

Our celebration on Thursday was pretty classic, appetizers in a back yard, playing catch with a dog, a meal with all the proper fixings (a bang up sweet potato recipe along the lines of this), nice china plates and a comfy couch for a food coma.

Our celebration this weekend, while a bit more unorthodox, probably created more traditions for Thanksgivings to come. Our friends Cassandra and Taylor (who raise the cooking/baking bar way higher than our waistlines can bear) went for the brine method in the bathtub the night before and then deep fried both birds on their porch (big ovens are hard to come by). They put together some of the best food I’ve had this year…and eating is one of our main activities in Chengdu.

Both Phil and I were floored by the quality of the turkey. A “top five turkey” in Phil’s book. Other hits (and dishes destined to grace our turkey table for years to come) included our honey and whisky glazed sweet potatoes a la Epicurious.com.

We’re counting down till Christmas holidays as we have three weeks to go before we head to South Africa. The tree is up, the iTunes Christmas playlist played twice and we’ve started baking in preparation for our Christmas trivia night next week. First up was some skillet toffee that might not make it to Saturday. Stay tuned for more tales of the holidays from Chengdu!

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