This was my first Thanksgiving away from my family, and it wasn’t the same without the usual comfort foods that you have with your family. When you grow up in a Chinese household, there’s certain things that you grow up with that you don’t know is not the norm. For example, Thanksgiving stuffing. My whole life, I grew up thinking stuffing was made of sticky rice! Imagine my surprise when senior year of college rolls around and I’m having a Thanksgiving meal at my sorority house. I stop at the stuffing platter and say, “what’s this?” My friends gaped at me in disbelief and were like, “C, you’ve never had stuffing before?!?!” “Huh? This isn’t stuffing, stuffing is made of rice!” Side note: I also grew up thinking everyone put soy sauce on their hard boiled eggs or fried eggs for breakfast. Anyhow, I was missing “Lin style” Thanksgiving and it made me jealous to Skype with my brother and sister in New York where they were cooking up the usual feast. The past 5 years, my sister always came up from DC to New York to visit me and my brother for Thanksgiving. My poor mom was battling a cold, but she did end up making turkey and stuffing a few days late!
It hasn’t felt like Thanksgiving or holiday season here because it’s been so incredibly humid and hot; it feels like we’re in the dead heat of summer. Hard to get in the usual holiday mood. On actual Thanksgiving day, Mike and I went over the Heather and Griff’s apartment for some roast chicken. It was a last minute thing but so nice to celebrate with some friends we’ve gotten close to here. We had two roast chickens, butternut squash, (bread) stuffing, green beans, and corn. It certainly was a feast! It’s tough cooking here since the ovens are so small, so you really can only cook a couple things at a time. It was late by the time we finished, and of course no one has Thanksgiving off here! We were definitely groggy the next day.
Roast Chicken Instead of Roast Turkey
Me, Mike, Heather, and Griff with our Thanksgiving Spread on a Kanga Tablecloth
On Saturday, we had another Thanksgiving gathering at our friends Jacie and Dan’s house. Around 15 people were there and we each brought a few dishes. They ordered a 22 lb (!) turkey from a butcher here and it indeed was enormous. They roasted it for 6 hours. There was so much food that night as everyone had brought a ton. Turkey, mashed potatoes, homemade gravy, stuffing, cornbread muffins, salad, pasta, chili, cranberry sauce (from Nairobi since they don’t have cranberries here!), pumpkin pie, and more. Needless to say, we were stuffed.
Massive Counter of Food
Then we hooked up this guy’s laptop to the projector screen since he has NFL pass and watched the recorded game of Detroit vs. Houston. All the ladies were getting bored near the end so we switched on to Just Dance and played on the Wii for a bit. THAT was hilarious and we even got the guys to join in for a few rounds.
So I am thankful for this incredible adventure Mike and I are on, thankful for the good friends we’ve already made here, and thankful to be able to chat frequently with my family back home. It’s been a great two months so far, and we actually have more news to share! I recently accepted a job and we are going to relocate to Nairobi. Since Mike’s job is regional, he was able to get a transfer approved from his company. My job is in digital marketing with a large mobile carrier there, so I’m incredibly excited that I was able to get a good job here. We will miss Dar a LOT (especially the ocean), but we are looking forward to getting to know Nairobi as well. I start work next week after a 9 month hiatus! Will I remember how to do it?