Well, in the words of my husband, "I have come of age." He said this because he made broccoli cheese casserole for his own Thanksgiving this year. His momma was not here to do it. Our Thanksgiving would not have been as tasty if it weren't for the yummy box of ingredients that my mother-in-law sent to us this month (containing Velveeta and a can of real pumpkin).
We had 2 Thanksgivings. One of our professors prepares a meal for the Peace Corp participants in our area. He was very nice to invite us. The meal included a giant turkey that was so juicy. Peruvians traditionally eat turkey on Christmas so it is not a stretch for them to fix this bird for a meal. Alfredo, the host, lived in New York State for awhile so he also served buffalo wings (which were really tasty). The rest of the meal included a vegetable platter, cut apple slices, mashed sweet potatoes, white potatoes, chips and dip, gravy, and stuffing. Alfredo baked cookies and brownies for dessert. This may not sound very close to your Thanksgiving meal, but it was a great attempt from a Peruvian trying to make some Americans feel a little more at home.
Also, several of our language teachers came to the dinner. We taught them a little bit of our culture. The Saturday after Thanksgiving, the McKinzies and the Smiths celebrated their first official holiday as a teamAREQUIPA family. We invited two other Americans from our school to join us, and one came. We decided to not mess with cooking a turkey and bought roasted chickens instead. Honestly, I could have done without the meat with the spread that we prepared.
The Smith Family brought: dressing, gravy, green bean casserole, fresh frozen fruit cups, pecan pie, and a peach dump cake. The McKinzies prepared: asparagus roll-ups, sweet potato casserole, broccoli and cheese casserole, mac-n-cheese (with Velveeta of course), bread, and pumpkin pie.
It was delicious. We were all very proud of how we were able to make our traditional family dishes with a few tweaks here in Arequipa. Thanks to all of our Mommas for the tradition of a delicious Thanksgiving! We are abundantly blessed and realize that God has blessed us with each other. It was hard to spend our first holiday away from family, but I count it a huge blessing that I have so many loved ones to miss. I hope your Thanksgiving was blessed. It is hard to believe that Christmas is just around the corner.