Even though we were finishing up our last classes and saying goodbye we still had a feast to prepare. None of us had any idea how to find a turkey but our country director and PST training director got them for us. So we had three turkeys to prepare, brine and cook for around 50 people. Now, I love Thanksgiving but I didn't know how we were going to cook 18lb turkey's in oven's made for smaller poultry. Fortunately, the PCV who lived in Sveti Nikola suggested we try a bakery. So Tome and I went to talk to the owner and see if she would cook them. She had no problem with it and so I went home to prep my bird.
|My recipe: Brined with salt, pepper, herbal seasonings, stuffed with onions, cucumbers, carrots, apples, oranges, lemons and half a stick of butter. The other half was spread on the outside and seasoned with creole seasoning.|
|I then carried Fred to the bakery.|
I met up with Iris and Victoria at the bakery so we could have our birds cooked together. We explained to the baker that we didn't want water put in the pan to help "cook" the bird. We left to go make our side dishes at Victoria's. We hung out all afternoon jamming out, Skyping with family and cooking. It's amazing that we used the exact same ingredients as our families but had such a different result. After a couple of hours we went to check on the birds to make sure they hadn't been "altered". Remember, the baker thought it would be ok to sit the birds in water to cook them. It's a good thing we did go to check because she was about to flip them so they would cook faster! We explained that we didn't want that and to please just allow us to cook them American style. Fortunately, she was laid back enough to do that even if she thought we were wrong. This was the end result:
After thanking her profusely for doing a great job we headed off to the restaurant that was hosting the dinner. I have to give credit to Gwen for working with her host mother to find a place and then set it up. They did a great job.
|Food for days except it only lasted hours.|
After setting up, everyone settled in and away we went. There were a couple of nice speeches and then we danced. Actually we "oro'ed". It's the traditional dance that has a multitude of different steps and beats but we just kept it simple. It was a lot of fun and certainly made our Thanksgiving that much more memorable.
|*Crissy stepping a jig.|
|*Susan, Larry and Gwen got in the thick of it too.|
|Of course Blage and I were rocking it out too.|
|Everyone got involved. It was a lot of fun.|
|This is what happens when you let friends use your phone to take pics.|
|My Sveti family. They were happy don't be fooled.|
|The Sveti crew.|
It was a great night being together and is one Thanksgiving I won't soon forget. I hope that yours was spend enjoying family, friends and great food as well.
*Pics courtesy of Rebekah Brown.