Embracing my expat self- I have almost always hosted a Thanksgiving dinner, no matter where I have lived. Germany was a bit challenging to get a whole turkey, (“…are you sure you don’t want us to cut it up for you? …will it even fit in your oven?”). In the UK I just had to find a place to get an ‘early’ turkey since it is standard for an English Christmas feast, and the same for France, just a matter of ordering in time.
I am finally (after oh, nearly 20 years of living as an expat) coming to terms with the whole expat thing. My initial feelings were integrate integrate integrate and avoid leaning in too much to the expat community. Through time I have realised expat is part of who I am and I have a great opportunity know to be part of multiple communities, expat and French. So, I not so guiltily fall back on quesadillas as my emergency fast food, but tend to eat more ‘French’ on a day to day basis.
This year Thanksgiving was a bit of a nod to that with a fusion menu.
- Roast Turkey
- Gravy (pimped with dried ceps, just trust me,do it!)
- Mashed potatoes (a la Joël Robuchon, with more butter than I would admit to)
- Poule ‘verte’ (a French stuffed cabbage, recipe from the inspiring Kate Hill)
- Roast Parsnips (my husband is English)
- Basque Christmas chutney (red wine-soaked prunes, figs and raisins, recipe from Marti Buckley’s beautiful Basque Country, delicious!)
This year’s pudding was provided by my lovely English expat friend Jo, a maple pumpkin cheesecake with maple ice cream and salted caramel (as decadent and delicious as you think).
And a final flourish with some pumpkin spice canelés (adapted from the fab Saveur basic canelé recipe)
I am now fully launched into feasting season… bring on the turkey, pumpkin, sweet potatoes and brussels sprouts…and foie gras, truffles, oysters and Mont d’Or cheese!