A week has past and we have all settled down after the jump start we gave to the Ukrainian holiday season. The real holiday season doesn’t start for Ukrainians until St Nicholas Day on December 19th, but we thought we would throw in an American Thanksgiving for fun. It was a fellowship activity / invite new people event. Since our remodeling on the student center has not begun and therefore we do not have a working stove there, we decided to host the event in our home.
We went basic…appetizers: vegetables and ranch, main course: turkey, gravy, stuffing, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole and carrot cake for dessert. But you never want to run out of food on Thanksgiving, and with students you never actually know how many might show up, so we elected to go heavy on the turkey.
One of our students checked out the local grocery store for us, and found they did indeed carry large turkeys. We went to buy one and were brought one that weighed 14.5 kilograms – that’s over 30 lbs for those of you who don’t convert. We decided to go for it. It was tough making it home on public transportation with it AND everything else, but we made it (after David walked the last three blocks from the stop to our apartment).
David brined the turkey the night before (in our kitchen trashcan – it was the only thing big enough) using fruit juices and spices. Since our oven was only big enough for the turkey, everything else had to be made either the day before, on the stovetop or in the crockpot. Four girls arrived at 10am to help us cook, lunch was served at 2pm. It all turned out well.
There was the slight dilemma of the turkey fitting in the oven, but if you push hard enough, anything will fit in the oven. It was a little heavy for the one rack, which crashed to the bottom of the oven once we finally got the turkey in. So we built a pyramid of pans under the rack and it all worked out.
We had three entirely new people come with friends, and two come from English club, with a total of 27 people. We stuffed them full, then they laid all over our living room and watched a movie. It was a lot of fun and I would say a great success.