I was very jealous of my fellow Americans on Thanksgiving Day this year. I just really felt like I could use a day off of work, but of course here in Estonia, it was just another Thursday. I didn’t celebrate on the actual day. I called my family just as they were sitting down to their holiday dinner, and I baked an apple-lingonberry pie with crumble topping for my co-workers. I don’t have a picture of it because I baked it late at night, and by the time the apples were soft enough for me to finally pull it out of the oven, all I wanted to do was go to bed. My co-workers liked it (full disclosure– the pie crust was store-bought dough), and they also loved the variation on David Lebovitz’s spicy glazed nut mix I made (I didn’t use the cayenne pepper since many Estonians don’t like things spicy).
J and I had our real Thanksgiving dinner on Saturday, the day that we had time to dedicate to shopping and cooking. I roasted 500 g of turkey pieces (a little over a pound) with onions, carrots, and some seasonings, and then J made gravy from the drippings (we used my oven-proof skillet for this– I’m so happy I brought that thing with me from the States this summer!). J made mashed potatoes, and I roasted Brussels sprouts according to this recipe. That was all accompanied by some store-bought potato salad, quick lingonberry sauce (you know, instead of cranberry), and some garlic bread (the kind that comes frozen and you pop it into the oven for a little while).
I was really proud of us. Sure, it was a small-scale Thanksgiving dinner for two, but we pulled it off really well. Everything was done at the right time, even though I was improvising some of the recipes, and it was delicious. I loved the roasted Brussels sprouts, simultaneously sweet and salty and a bit bitter, though I might add some butter next time to make them even sweeter.
J enjoyed Thanksgiving dinner, his first ever. We were both thankful for the delicious food we’re able to create in our own kitchen. I’m thankful that he likes learning about the traditions of my culture as much as I like learning about the traditions of his. Most of all, I’m thankful for my family in America– who were certainly thinking of me as they sat down to turkey, potatoes, and my sister’s tiramisu– as well as for the family that I had sitting right beside me.