ExPat Thanksgiving

So, here we are in New Zealand, missing Thanksgiving with family and friends. What do we do? Make our own!

Can't do Thanksgiving without cranberries!

Tomorrow (we’re a day ahead of the US) will be our Thanksgiving. It will be Thursday, November 28 in New Zealand. Perhaps the experience will be a little different than when we’re in the US. We’ll be thankful for all the things we usually are. For being from the country that we are from (Congress, the Senate, etc notwithstanding) but also thankful for surviving our 1200 mile each way voyage to and from Fiji and deliverance from coral reefs, vicious squalls and other natural disasters during the sailing season. There is a wonderful relaxation being back here in our “home away from home” in Riverside Marina, Whangarei, New Zealand.

So, what do we do for our home away from home Thanksgiving?! Ann has organized (who else!?) a Thanksgiving feast among the local American cruisers here. Well, sort of. We also will have a couple from Zimbabwe (formerly Rhodesia) who were at our wedding and a local Kiwi who seems without immediate family and who we all adore, but who’s counting? It’s sort of a last minute deal when one of our dockmates said: “What are you doing for Tnaksgiving?”

Actually, I’m counting. I’m in charge of cooking the turkey. That’s probably the first mistake. Hopefully the only one for the day. You see, I’ve never cooked a turkey in my life. On the other hand until a mere six months ago I’d never overhauled a fuel injection pump either, so, whatever…

Anyway, Ann and I went to the “Aussie Butcher” to procure said turkey. Well, first off, they only have 7 pound turkeys here and 30 hours before we need to cook those suckers, they are frozen harder than a bowling ball! Ann not to be deterred: “Would you cut them in half?”. (We bought two, plus four extra legs – I don’t even want to think about the math of how they do that!)

So now we have a bunch of half turkeys so they will thaw faster. They are being brined as we speak in a large cooler full of salted, spiced water (sorry John and Lisa, we promise to clean the cooler out really well). But, having never cooked a whole turkey in my life, how the hell am I going to figure out how to cook a bunch of half turkeys!!?

Go ahead and Google a half turkey and see what YOU get! This might not be too pretty. Did I say, I’m doing it on the gas BBQ? At least I had the foresight to ask the marina manager to put out an extra tank of propane.

So, stay tuned to find out how this part goes. OK, so beyond that Linda from Bright Angel is bringing the mashed potatoes and gravy, Beth from Eagle’s Wings is bringing chocolate dessert, the Kiwi (his name is Gary) is bringing kumara, which is Kiwi for sweet potato, Dave and Mary are bringing (not sure yet) and we’ve assigned the Rhodesians to bring…(drum roll) pumpkin pie!

I’m pretty sure it will be a feast to be remembered. We’ll see what that means once we’re on the other side. At the very least, it will be a great time among friends even if the turkey goes up in flames, the pumpkin pie looks like fried wildebeast and we have to order pizza “to go” to complement all the wine we’ve bought.

Because at the end of the day, Thanksgiving is about being thankful for what you have and what we realize we are fortunate enough to have is lots of great family and friends! Both here in our travels and back at home. And we’re looking forward to seeing all our stateside friends as well very soon.

How lucky are we to have friends in so many places.

Thank You!

3 thoughts on “ExPat Thanksgiving

  1. Happy Thanksgiving to you two! It sounds like it will be fantastic! Thankful you have so many friends to share it with!! So thankful that you have found each other!! xxoo Joan

  2. Happy thanksgiving! Sounds like a wonderful feast there in NZ. We are having family and friends over and will be spending time in and around the kitchen. We are looking forward to your return in a couple of weeks.

  3. I barbque the turkey every year but have never tried just half a bird… I know it tasted great as long as you didn’t burn it! Happy Thanksgiving – can’t wait to see you at Christmas time!

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