Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

G'morning out there, Coffee Readers!  Happy Thanksgiving!

What are you doing up so late?  Cooking?  Yeah, me too.  But I'm not cooking the entire Thanksgiving dinner like you probably are.  I'm just making a dessert.  It's Carmelitas.  Be jealous.

Having trouble being jealous?  Here, let me help you.

But my excuse for cooking this at 3:00 am is that I worked on a research paper all day.

I didn't even shower because of that stupid paper.

(Ok, sorry, that's gross.  I promise, I'll shower soon.)  Good thing I didn't go into public today.

It was possibly the strangest paper I've ever written.  It was a research paper, but we were allowed to write a fictional story based on our research findings.  What professor is so awesome that they allow creativity??  Well, since I changed my major to Asian Studies (from a strictly creative major, I used to be Interior Design), I'll have to say this creative allowance is a first.  She might be my new favorite professor.

Too bad I still don't really like writing papers, but if I have to write a much better is it if you have net of creative flexibility?

Sounds like a good thing to be thankful for!  One term paper down, one more to go!

I hope everyone enjoys a wonderful Thanksgiving with family, lots of turkey and coffee.  And, if you're my age, enjoy all the old people telling the same old "funny" stories about you that they told last year...and if you're older, enjoy telling those "funny" stories!

Thanksgiving Dinner in China

I'll tell one great story (but it isn't one of those funny ones my grandma will probably tell later today).  As you all know (because I'm sure I talk about this way too much), I spend Thanksgiving in China last year!
Wow, what a difficult place to cook a Thanksgiving dinner!  I had no oven, no microwave, not enough dishes for all the food, and many (most) ingredients were hard to find or not sold there.  No oven was DEFINITELY the biggest challenge.  Through all the challenges, it was my first time to actually host a Thanksgiving dinner.  When you're 22, there is really not many reason's you don't go home and let your mom or grandma cook studying abroad was the first time I didn't get that.  I think it is a great way to have hosted my first Thanksgiving.

My Korean friend joined us for dinner, which was so much fun!  Candied Sweet Potatoes were the biggest hit at both Thanksgiving and Christmas from our international guests.

Because I hope some person studying abroad in an Asian country is searching for what to make, I'll describe what my roommate and I made:

  • Just Go Buy A Freakin' Roast Duck- Really...trying to cook a duck or turkey (you can buy them at Metro if you're lucky enough to have an oven) or chicken on your own is nutso if you don't have an oven.  They aren't that expensive, and they're really tasty.
  • Deviled Eggs- China has TONS of eggs, and mustard is not that expensive in specialty stores or at Carrefour.  I added cilantro to mine and left it at that.
  • Candied Sweet Potatoes- I already had all the ingredients for this one, and didn't need an oven.  I used maple syrup that I previously bought from Carrefour, sugar and maybe a tiny bit of water.  First I boiled the sweet potatoes in a pot of water until they were soft, drained the water, then added the syrup and sugar.  I didn't measure, but I just added enough syrup that would cover maybe 1/2 an inch of the bottom of my pot, and cooked extremely low and turned them every once in a while until they looked saturated.  It was sweet enough we didn't need marshmallows, but in specialty stores you can probably find marshmallows.
  • Potato Salad- You already have mustard for the deviled eggs, so you really might as well make this one too.  It is easy, and awesome because you naturally will cook it ahead of time so it can get cold.  If you're only working with two burners, no stove, and no want some cold dishes.
  • Green Bean Casserole- Ok, I didn't cook this one, but you can find some general recipes for this online, and if it calls for Cream of Mushroom, there are also recipes for making that online as well.
  • Cheese Ball-  At Christmas, I made a cheese ball with just cream cheese, chopped onion, walnuts, American cheese and I believe some cayenne pepper.  It was simple, but the second biggest hit after Candied Sweet Potatoes.  Most of these ingredients you can find at the internationally owned supermarket abroad.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Love with coffee, extra carmel (yum!) while I'm cracking pecans,

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