Thanksgiving, Expat style

by Christina Geyer on November 25, 2007 · 11 comments

Our Thanksgiving party was a roaring success.  We had 24 guests, pretty evenly split between German speakers and English speakers.  Charlie was a hit with the kids and surprisingly well-behaved.  I’m not worried at all anymore about him interacting with Oliver when Oliver’s a little older.

Thanksgiving dinner

There were several expat bloggers in attendance, all of whom are great cooks.  O-Tay brought pumpkin soup, Sarah and Cliff brought the taters, Tammy brought a nut loaf, and Hezamarie came all the way from München with a delish corn cake.  Speaking of Hezamarie, she brought me this hydrangea (That’s what it’s called! ;-) ) and I love the colors.  Do any of my gardening readers know what kind of hydrangea this is? Cause I definitely want one of these in my garden.

Hydrangea

And now, the recipes:

Tropical fruit salsa with jalapeno and bell peppers- instead of jalapenos, I used a tablespoon of Srirachi sauce.
Spice butter- I rubbed this over the turkey before cooking.  I also accidentally used salted butter instead of unsalted, so it turned out a little (okay, a lot) on the salty side.
Bourbon cranberry sauce – instead of bourbon, I used cognac.  This was much better than last year’s fig-based sauce (especially once Lynn told me that figs are full of wasp eggs… BLECH!)
Apple, sausage, and parsnip stuffing with fresh sage- I couldn’t find parsnips (Pastinak, auf Deutsch), so I used parsley root.  Instead of Italian sausage, I used an Aoste Wurst with figs and a very spicy Hungarian Wurst (I forget the brand).  I also did not peel the apples.
Orange-flavored sweet potatoes with oatmeal cookie topping- I added 1/4 cup of cognac to the potatoes.  Our neighbor asked Rainer why these taste like Christmas.  It’s because I use German Christmas cookies instead of oatmeal cookies.  Last year it was a mix of Lebkuchenand Leibniz Vollkornkeks, this year it was a mix of Spekulatius (Speculaas) and Magenbrot (this year’s topping was better, I’d say).
Ultimate pumpkin pie – The Germans and Austrians seemed to be a little afraid to try the pumpkin pie.  I made two 9″ pies, keeping in mind that I had 26 mouths to fill.  At the end of the party, I had a pie and a half left.  But, this recipe rocks, so plenty of pie leftovers for ME!
Chunky Oatmeal Macadamia Cookies- these are great and super easy since they’re made with yellow cake mix.  I used Schmelzflocken for the quick cooking oatmeal, because that’s what Rainer got.

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