Friday, November 23, 2012

Gobble gobble gobble! (Thanksgiving 2012)

You know how I feel about keeping traditions alive, even on the other side of the world, so it's no surprise that we celebrated Turkey Day in Korea.  Talton did not have the day off work, but that was fine because I enjoyed making the meal for him and having him come home to enjoy it.  It was nice to spend the day with my mom and my boys too, and it definitely didn't hurt that it was absolutely gorgeous outside!  What a Thanksgiving!

Here's our 2012 Thanksgiving story...

The day before Thanksgiving consisted of thawing out the turkey (I didn't even think to put it in the fridge instead of the freezer prior to the day before Thanksgiving!  I guess that would be a dead giveaway that this was my first time cooking a turkey from beginning to end by myself....) and baking chocolate chip cookies.

We weren't sure how many pounds this turkey was because the label is in Korean, so....

... I used my trusty translator on my phone.  Love that thing!
my little helper: "I help you make cookies Mommy?"  Of course, handsome boy!

You've heard of a Christmas miracle, right?  Well here's my Thanksgiving miracle!  This was the first batch of cookies I've made since being in Korea that have worked out wonderfully and baked perfectly (and I've tried many, many times)!  Every single cookie in this batch was fabulous!  I think I may have that figured out FINALLY!

Thanksgiving day was spent prepping Tom the turkey (yes, we named him) and just hanging out counting our blessings.
I made these turkeys out of toilet paper rolls and had everyone write 8 things they're thankful for on the 8 feathers.  Adorable!  Thank you to Talton and Mom for going along with my craft.  :)

Talton's turkey:
family, friends, health, Kristi's sense of adventure, Connar's sense of humor, Parker's strength through his eye issues, the opportunity to live in a foreign country, NFL Game Pass so I can watch the Texans in Korea

Mom's turkey:
to spend the Endres' 1st Thanksgiving in Busan with them, for all our military who serve or have served, for the best kids EVER, my perfect son-in-law who loves his family so much, my grandsons who make life worth living, for Skype--without it all of our lives would be miserable, my faith in God who reminds me it's only because of him that I am so blessed, Joel who makes me laugh every single day and loves me as I am

Parker's turkey:
movies, Daddy/Mommy/Connar, dancing, juice, my bear, the playground, macaroni and cheese, tables to prop my feet up

my turkey:
my sweet hubby, the internet, Skype and Face Time, comfort food, my big family, mail & packages from home, friends near and far, hugs and kisses from my babies

Connar's turkey:
the park, movies, airplanes, dancing, Bella, Mommy/Daddy/Parker, dinosaurs, Happy Meals
Before I get to the turkey prepping pics, let me show you what my two little turkeys were up to in my bedroom when we weren't looking.  They decided to open the water bottle that was on my night stand, pour it on the floor, and have a stomping/dancing party.  Lovely.
Caught red handed with the water bottle still clenched in his fist!

introducing myself to Tom the turkey and thanking him for what he's about to do for us

a private moment with Tom

This is how I often cook....with kids between me, the counter, and my legs.  At least they were laughing and playing together and not fighting.  :)

This won't hurt a bit, Tom!

massaging Tom with butter
We decided to lay Tom on a bed of halved potatoes since I don't have a proper roasting rack and pan here in Korea.

While Tom cooked, we strolled down to Mickey D's on this gorgeous Thanksgiving day for some Happy Meals.
No proper turkey basters here, so we used a spoon throughout the process.  Oh well.... When you move to a foreign country and try to celebrate a holiday they don't observe, it's not surprising I couldn't find the turkey making tools I needed.  You know the saying: You get what you get and you don't throw a fit.  We made due with what we had.

The package of corn bread we bought here didn't work out so well.  In the trash it went.  Sorry, babe.  I know you were looking forward to it.  Trust me, I saved your tastebuds some heartache.

My little helper not only tossed the cut up potatoes into the pot for me, but he also took it upon himself to taste test a raw potato.  That face says it all.

The pot of mashed potatoes was bigger than it looks here....and thank goodness it was because it's not Thanksgiving without some delicious mashed potatoes!

Of course we had to make homemade macaroni and cheese (you can still see the chunks of Velveeta melting...)!

Come on now, you know brown gravy makes everything better at Thanksgiving!

Our first Thanksgiving in Korea!
And we're so lucky that our personal photographer is here to document this for us!  :)

cutting up the turkey (unfortunately it didn't cook all the way through due to some oven issues I'm still working out BUT we were able to eat parts that were cooked for sure)

Going around the table reading our feathers out loud so everyone knows what we're thankful for.

Thanksgiving 2012 -- party of 5!

feeding his turkey M&Ms for dessert

Mom, I'm so glad you were here to spend this holiday with us.  Having you here made it even more special, and we'll always have this memory of you giving up your holiday with everyone else back home to be with us.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!  I love you!
Our first Thanksgiving in Korea was a success!  It's too bad we didn't have the rest of our family here to celebrate with us too.  That would've been the icing on the cake, for sure.

Thank you to Talton for surprising me with a turkey last week (I didn't think we were going to be able to find one here and you had a Korean coworker call Costco to inquire about if/when they'd be selling them).  There's nothing like seeing you walk in the door with a big frozen bird.  That's love, I tell you.  Thank you for going with the flow when the entire turkey didn't cook today.  I know you were looking forward to it all day at work, and you took it in stride and assured me that the rest was good and even ate seconds.  You warmed my little Betty Crocker heart.  Thank you for not bursting my first turkey bubble.  It's because of that I'll give this turkey thing another shot another time.

Thank you to my mom for teaching me how to make my first turkey and showing me how to make due with what I had available here.  You continue to teach me so much all the time.  I hope I can be as giving, thoughtful, and patient a mom as you are.

Thank you to my precious little turkeys, Connar and Parker, for getting along today while Mommy cooked.  I thought I might have to chase you around with butter covered hands at some point, but I didn't.  You played so well together and even let me snuggle with you on the couch after nap time while the turkey continued to cook.

Thank you to everyone back home (Joel, brothers & sister, aunt/uncle, people that are like family to us, etc.) who spent their Thanksgiving without my mom and understood the importance of her coming here at this time with us.  You are all so selfless, and I love you all so much for that.

Oh, and I can't forget this.  A very special Thanksgiving thank you goes out to Connar for announcing to us while we were enjoying our delicious meal, "I tooted!"  :)

Now that our Thanksgiving is over and the other side of the world is just waking up to bake, cook, and watch football on this special holiday, I hope you all make your own Thanksgiving memories and just enjoy your time with those you love.  That's what it's all about.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!  Gobble gobble gobble!!!!  Christmas music, here I come!

1 comment:

  1. Kristi I love this picture of the two of us; it's one of my favorites. One thing I found odd about this turkey that Talton found to purchase was that there were no packaged turkey giblets inside. In the USA you find the neck and all the innards in a bag so that you can boil them and cut them up to make turkey gravy or dressing with. Soooo remember when you bake a turkey in the USA look for the giblet packages first.