Holidays of all sorts were celebrated in my house when we were growing up, but we had a particularly heavy hand of influence from my maternal Grandma. This strong Catholic lady didn’t put up with any nonsense, but she also didn’t hold back when it came to making sure all the grandkids had unforgettable memories of Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter; you name it. Every holiday was done to the nines from decorating the house from top to bottom to an elaborate feast featuring all the fixings. Fast forward to now when I’m in a foreign country, longing to recreate those feel-good holiday memories and ease the bit of homesickness I’m starting to feel.
At school, none of my Korean co-teachers or students had ever celebrated Thanksgiving with past Guest English Teachers. My students had no idea what to expect, so I spent time with them recreating those childhood memories by making hand turkeys (I’m pretty sure my Mom still has one of mine somewhere – and I’m sure your mom does, too!), watching clips of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, watching Charlie Brown’s Thanksgiving and eating pumpkin pie.
On the actual day of Thanksgiving, I brought in pumpkin pie and macaroni and cheese for my Korean co-teachers to partake in. All three of them had never eaten either dish, so it was cool to share this tradition with them. Shout out to Costco for having these huge pumpkin pies available as their seasonal dessert offering. As many Korean apartments don’t have ovens, and if they do, they’re the size of a small toaster oven – it makes baking a challenge. However, these large pies more than filled up the bellies of my co-teachers and my country school students.
I celebrated with a couple of my friends, who also happen to be Guest English Teachers at different schools. We’re from all over the States; west coast, midwest and east coast. So, you know we had a variety of dishes we wanted to make that drew us a little closer to home.
Our Friendsgiving Menu consisted of:
Spinach and Artichoke Dip with Tortilla Chips
Baked Brie, Salami and Sourdough Rye Bread
Mashed Potatoes and Gravy
Garlic Rosemary Stuffing
Maple Dijon Pork Tenderloin
Homemade Pumpkin Pie
Some of the items may seem more traditional than others, but it’s what made our Friendsgiving 2018 unique and ours. What dish is a must-have on your holiday table? Please share it with me in the comments below! Don’t forget to subscribe to my blog and check in for my regular posts over on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.