Friday, November 27, 2009

Happy Late Thanksgiving!

We hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!!! For the last 4 years we have been away from our families during Thanksgiving, but we were with our Vanderbilt family so that was still great. This year was a little different. Obviously we were in a different country, and since nobody here celebrates Thanksgiving we had to make some plans of our own. We had the day off which was great! We slept in and then went to lunch at our usual place. After that, we went to the grocery store and picked up some things that we needed in order to cook or own Thanksgiving meal. We borrowed some pots and pans from a teammate so that our cooking would go a little faster.

I (Tina) started off cooking the green bean casserole. That is definitely one of my favorite Thanksgiving foods so that was one thing we had to have. Jen was in charge of the mashed potatoes, and I must say she did a fantastic job. After those two things were taken care of, I got the corn cooking and then turned my attention to the gravy. Jen and I both love gravy, and we agree that it is one of the most important parts of a successful Thanksgiving meal. Well, let me just say that we were pretty darn close to having an unsuccessful meal if we were basing it off of our gravy! I must have looked up 15 different recipes before settling on the one that sounded the best. Granted, we didn’t have a turkey (we ate chicken instead) so that meant we didn’t have any drippings or anything. I started making the gravy using some flour, olive oil, beef broth, and some other ingredients. It hadn’t been cooking for 2 minutes before the flour completely decided to take over and form the chunkiest, lumpiest “gravy” I have ever seen. We added water, more broth, more oil, and whatever other liquids we could find to try to make that lump resemble something similar to gravy, but that flour had a mind of its own. Failed attempt #1. We decided to try again. At this point, the rest of our food is pretty much getting cold, but oh well. The meal would not be complete without gravy. We tried again using much less flour and much more broth. The flour immediately clumped together and just started floating around in the broth. After trying to break it apart, we decided to just scoop it out and try to at least save the broth. Failed attempt #2. I decided to look up another recipe completely. This one called for ½ cup of flour, but we only ended up using about 2 tablespoons…we had already seen what happened with the other two attempts…we didn’t want to make that mistake again. I have to say, this gravy didn’t exactly taste like gravy, but it was a liquid so we were happy about that, and we decided to just go with it. We cooked the chicken, heated up the rest of the food that was now cold, and then sat down for our feast. DELICIOUS! In spite of the gravy fiasco, our meal was a success! And to be honest, once the gravy was mixed with some mashed potatoes and chicken, it wasn’t half bad. We topped off our feast with a little sparkling cider (another Thanksgiving necessity, in my opinion). It’s always tough to be away from your family and friends during the holidays, but I am just so thankful that I can be with my best friend sharing all of these fun experiences!

I love Thanksgiving, and I’m so happy that Jen and I were able to find ways to celebrate. We have so much to be thankful! I know I speak for both of us when I say that we are thankful for our families, our friends, all of the amazing opportunities we have been given, and most of all for Jesus who died for us and who shows His love to us every day.

Now that Thanksgiving is over and Christmas is just around the corner, I can’t wait to start getting in the Christmas spirit! I will be making a CD of Christmas songs very soon, and I’m sure we will start watching some of our favorite Christmas movies in the next couple of days! Oh, and we are going home in 24 days! Starting the countdown…

Until next time,
Jen and Tina

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” -James 1:17

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