Monday, November 28, 2016

2nd Annual Russian Thanksgiving

On Saturday, I held my second Thanksgiving dinner in Russia. You can read last year's post here. While it was Elizabeth's and my umpteenth Thanksgiving, it was the first Thanksgiving dinner for all my friends. It was really exciting to be able to share the holiday with them, even though it wasn't much different than inviting them over for dinner. I was definitely pulling dinner vibes from my Grandma Albert. I really wish she was still alive because her dinners were the best! I hope she was proudly looking down on me because I can't cook a Thanksgiving dinner without thinking of her.

I made turkey chili and apple sauce again this year because they are easy to make. I also made a greek salad, so as you can tell there was no theme to this dinner. There are several reasons I went with chili. It is pretty American, and I haven't cooked "American" food for my friends yet. It's incredibly simple to make. All you need to do is throw everything in a pot and add your desired amount of spices. My oven is also old, so I don't trust myself to cook a bird in it. I think chili might be my new Thanksgiving tradition.

I told my friends I wanted to make the dinner potluck style, so I asked them all to bring something to share. I should learn my lesson that I always make way too much chili, and so there will be plenty of food for everyone. We had so much dessert. There was one dessert we didn't even touch because we were so full from everything else.

In Russia, it is common for the host to make your plate up and bring it to you. Since I'm lazy and a rude host I told everyone we were going to do it "American" style. I had everything set up in the kitchen, and they were to come in and scoop whatever they wanted. My friend, Tansulpan, kept saying, "This is such a great idea. I'm going to do this." I like being served, but with such a big assortment of food I just thought it would be better if everyone chose what they wanted themselves.
At dinner a few weeks ago, my friend, Fadwa, was telling us she had traditional clothing from her home country of Tunisia. She let me try on one of the outfits she would wear to a wedding. It was so beautiful. It was also really hot to wear. I was sweating just wearing it for five minutes. I love having friends who are from a different culture than me, and not just Russian culture. I already knew that Muslims don't eat pig, but I also learned that they eat halal meat, which is why I had to buy a special type of turkey for the chili. I was actually glad I asked Tansulpan earlier if they had any other food restrictions because I would have just bought any turkey meat. You learn something new every day!
It was a great Thanksgiving, and I really hope my friends all had a good time. I can't wait to be back in the states, though, and have Thanksgiving there. I love Russia, and if I could stay indefinitely I would, but I always get homesick around the holidays. Luckily, I'll see family later this week, and I cannot wait. Some of you may or may not know of my upcoming trip. I'm keeping it a secret if you don't, but wait for the blog posts or follow my Instagram later this week!
Did you celebrate Thanksgiving? How was your holiday?


  1. Aw, that looks like a fun Thanksgiving :D

    Happy travels to you!

  2. This looks like such a fun Thanksgiving meal!

    1. It was! I'm missing regular Thanksgiving food, though. :)


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