Even though it’s just the three of us here in our cozy covid pod, I didn’t want to just say ‘fuck it’ and like, order pizza or something, which is definitely something we have done on other holidays since we don’t really have anything else to do, family to visit, etc. So I suggested that we make a little spread of international delights, akin to what I had planned for 4th of July before we decided to tear up the kitchen instead.
(“Yeah but can’t we still do it anyway?” I asked Henry and he was like WHERE WOULD YOU LIKE ME TO COOK?? Oh…yeah. Lol.)
Here is the menu I painstakingly constructed only to have Henry prove at 11pm on Thanksgiving Eve that he only barely read it by answering, “Um…..” 4 out of 5 times to my questions of, “Did you get the ingredients for this?” He’s such a holidayfucker, I swear to god. Spoiler: IT TURNED OUT FINE! He was able to get the rest of what he needed at the Mexican grocery store down the street the next day.
- fufu and peanut soup (West African)
- Mamaliga (Romania)
- baked apple sauce (Dutch)
- Smolensk porridge (Russia)
- Street corn salad (Mexico)
- Sweet potato rolls (Portugal)
- Mashed potatoes (good ol’ Merica, made by Chooch)
- Vegan ham
- Bibingka (Philippines)
- Cherry pie (another American contribution by vanilla Chooch)
Pre-dinner, Chooch off-handedly mentioned that he wanted to try peppermint Schnappes after seeing Lily guzzle it on Dash + Lily so I was like OH WHAT THE HELL IT’S A HOLIDAY and let him have a sip.
Chooch’s cherry pie was the first thing that was done that day and proceeded to tempt us with its cloying aroma
I made bibingka all by myself! I lied! It was a box mix and Chooch had to help me because the directions were totally confusing. I was crying. But hot damn, this coconut milk cake was delicious. I learned about it from the book The Farm, which I did not like but at least it taught me about some delicious Filipino foods.
My apple sauce required the addition of speculaaskruiden which is a speculoos-y spice, I guess. Of course it was impossible to find but then I found a recipe with how to make it and it seemed easy until I sent it to Henry and he was like CARDAMOM PODS ARE $10, GRRRRR but he bought them and spent Wednesday night roasting, shelling, and grinding them lolololol. The next day, I was like, “WHEN DO I GET TO DO SOMETHING” and he was all, “Here, make your damn apple shit” and swept his arm toward a pile of apples and I was like, “OK, so do I just shove them in the oven?”
“No. You have to peel and cut them first.”
OH HAHAHA HELL NO. I was looking for something a bit less laborious, buddy. So he sent me away and then let me come back hours later after they had been baked and were ready for some mashing. I am good at mashing.
I did hurt my wrist though.
FAKE HAM. This was just from the store. Probably Whole Foods.
MY RUSSIAN PORRIDGE SHIT! It was really weird – fresh cranberry sauce (I MADE IT…wait, did I? No, I was supposed to I think but then Henry ended up doing it because I lost interest) poured over rice. This was our….amuse bouche? Maybe. Chooch HATED IT. I thought it was quite interesting and also good (a lot of people might think interesting means bad but NOT IN THIS CASE) and Henry was immediately coming up with ways to make it better, OK Boris.
Nope, not a fan.
Then we had our fufu course and you guys, I cannot stress enough HOW.GOOD.FUFU.IS. This is another food I learned about from a book and Henry first made it last spring at my request. The fufu is that yellow hunk floating in the soup, and it’s made from plantain and yucca (actually, there are variations of this depending on what region you’re looking at). Literally just those two things and water. It turns into a sticky dough that you then use an edible utensil for soup-spooning.
It is so insanely good with peanut soup. Holy shit, I think I want this to be our new Thanksgiving dinner tradition.
Romanian mamaliga is essentially polenta (Henry was like, “That’s exactly what it is, so…”) topped with a dollop of sour cream, and as a fan of polenta in general, I was not mad at all about this addition to our holiday menu.
This was another thing that Chooch DID NOT LIKE.
Our first time using the buffet!!
OH SHOOOOOT, these sweet potato rolls were bangin’. They were so dense and rich! I toasted one the next morning for breakfast and it was like a fucking gourmet English muffin. Henry added the recipe to his KEEPER pile.
Would I have liked to have invited my mom and Henry’s mom over for dinner? Absolutely. But it’s not worth risking their health (or worse: lives) just because we wanted it to feel “more like a holiday.” Maybe next year things will be safer and we can go all out, but for this year I was…thankful (ugh) to just share a nice dinner with these two goofs.
This is Chooch’s “I CAN HEAR YOU CHEWING” face.
Oh shit, and don’t forget the Korea representation!! Soju in the house! Wish we had makgeolli too but we would have had to travel to obtain that milky nectar of the motherland.
We had some vegan Sugar Spell pints too and that purple sweet potato casserole is a contender for my favorite flavor of theirs.
A little bit of e’er’thang.
My poor stomach felt like Stretch Armstrong after that smorgasbord.
To cap off the night, Chooch and I did the dishes and then indulged in our annual T-giving tradition of mocking birthday party videos on YouTube. I think we all got along all day, too?? COULD THIS BE TRUE?!!