Belgian Thanksgiving

Oh boy am I tired. Now I know why my Mom’s always so exhausted after a family meal at our place. It’s tiring and I did a few things ahead of time! This was our menu and who made what:

Turkey and stuffing (stuffed inside turkey): Collective. Greg, Adeline, and I all made the stuffing. It had a little bit of bread, but a lot of vegetables – so a lot of chopping – and some hamburger and bacon and apples. Then Adeline and I stuffed the bird, a first for both of us.

Coleslaw: Me, yesterday afternoon.

Corn/Mashed potatoes: Me, today.

Carrot/Pumpkin soup: Adeline, today.

Gravy: Me, right before eating. It was quite flavourful and I think that was because of the thick slices of pork that were draped across the bird. I’m pretty sure that’s what added that little extra kick.

Pumpkin pie: Me, last night.

Apple pie: Me, this morning, but not as early as I originally planned because I slept in through my snooze (I’m a snooze button wake-up kind of person. It’s such a horrible habit, I know).

I guess that’s it…Adeline made sure they all knew it was me who made everything but the turkey and soup, but I still feel like it wasn’t that much. I think it’s because the turkey/stuffing is the main deal at a Thanksgiving dinner, so to me all those little sides don’t seem like such a big deal.

As far as the coleslaw, well, when I opened it up and took a big sniff I got a bit homesick. For some reason that, more than anything else so far, has reminded me of home. The smell made me think of all the Roth family dinners. I’ve only recently started eating coleslaw, I never used to like it! I probably could have made it today, or maybe made a little more sauce as it was a little runny and the taste wasn’t as strong as the smell, but that’s part of learning. Knowing sauce to veggie ratio.

As far as the pies went, they were a hit. Greg especially liked the apple. Adeline wasn’t keen on the pumpkin, but I won’t take that personally ;). The tasted like my Mom’s, but different. Maybe it was the crust since I used store-bought and not her recipe. Maybe it was the cooking time/temperature. I had to convert 350°F which is about 176°C. The tops were quite dark, but they probably could have stayed in a little longer. I mean, for my first time I think they were really good, especially since they resembled pretty closely my Mom’s. I think that’s an accomplishment in itself! For those of you who don’t know, my Mom makes the best pies in the world. Not that I’m biased or anything, it’s totally the truth. Especially apple and pumpkin because those are what she makes the most. And her coffee cake! Mmmm. Who wouldn’t prefer that to a regular Christmas card for the holidays?

Wow, it’s almost 1am here and I’m pooped. Happy Thanksgiving to all you Americans out there who happen to stumble across this. I hope you have as great a Thanksgiving as I did and as my family did a month ago. And no, I am not in a turkey coma. I paced myself. It helped that we waited for at least an hour before eating dessert. We actually had a little jam session with Adeline on the guitar and everybody (except me) singing along in the library in front of the fire. They got me to “play” a song on the guitar. Except for the little bit I’ve fiddled with since coming here it’s been about 7 years since I’m played guitar and my fingers wouldn’t cooperate. Plus I have to paper-cut-like cuts on my left index finger and one on my left thumb – that doesn’t make for easy guitar playing, especially when you don’t have your callouses anymore. I attempted ‘Bad Moon Rising’ by CCR because that’s the first song I learned how to play (chords) on the guitar. It didn’t really work.

Well, I know what we’re going to be eating for a while….


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  1. A feast as grand as any here in the States. But I’m wondering, I thought Thanksgiving was a uniquely American holiday. What’s the origin of the tradition in Belgium?

    • Ha, ha, actually they only did it because I’m here. It was Adeline’s idea to do it. She had though about it earlier in the year, but by the time she asked me about it in October, Canadian Thanksgiving had just passed (the day before). So she thought we’d just wait until American Thanksgiving. I guess I should have clarified that, lol. So it’s not a tradition here unless they decide to do it themselves every year!


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