Friday, November 28, 2008

My Thanksgiving

This Thanksgiving was going to look different from the start. My parents are overseas at the moment with my little brother (at 6' and 17 years old, he's not really little though). My sister Cate is on the bottom of the South Island and as it is, she's not even coming home for Christmas, much less Thanksgiving (saving money for her wedding). Matt's parents are all [obviously] back in the US and that left me, Matt, Oceana, and my sister Havalah (19) to celebrate Thanksgiving on our own.

That just didn't seem right. 4 people? It'll just feel like a normal day... not all that exciting.

So I mentioned to Lori, the ship's purser (administrator, accountant - ish job), and invited the ship's crew to our house for Thanksgiving. We had been invited to join the ship for Canadian Thanksgiving at the beginning of October. That's when I made all those pies and did the video. But having a big celebration on the ship is only so interesting - it's in the mess hall (small, crowded, benches, and ... well ship-feeling). So It hought it might be nice to have Thanksgiving in a home.

Ever since I did it, I've been getting, "Where are you going to put them all?" People know our house is small - but thankfully Matt rearranged the furniture a few weeks ago - so it's a bit easier to have people over now.

When I first invite them, I expected 10 (in all, with us included). But as we talked more I realized I had forgotten quite a few people. And as we began to count, and invite someone's girlfriend, and the new girl, and the American chick at the office that I forgot (I AM SO SORRY PATTY!)... suddenly the list was 17 people long!

Ak! My house was feeling a bit bigger, but not that big!

But it was great! Here's a few pictures. I was sure I took more. And one of them is horrible, but at least you can see the outline of the food!

Lori, my partner in cooking-crime.
She's from Canada, and married to the ship's captain (see photo below).
They just got married in September, I think I wrote about helping out with their wedding...
We managed to make my Mom's old family recipe rolls and get them right on our own!
Andy & Emma (both from NZ) who were testing pumpkin pie. It's a foreign concept here. Pumpkin is for savoury foods and that's it!

Jeremy, the ship's captain (USA), reading what Thanksgiving's about for everyone who didn't understand this random reason for eating. Aam is sitting down to the side (USA).

You can at least see my table, extended to it's limit - and brimming with potato and kumara soup, mashed potatoes, green beans, stuffing, roasted chicken, cranberry sauce, black olives, Aunt Mary's Rolls, Waldorf Salad, and ... I don't remember what else. And I made pumpkin, apple, and peach pie. :) I was so proud.

The line up for countries looked like this:
USA - 9, Canada - 1, Fiji - 3, New Zealand - 2, Switzerland - 1, Germany - 1.

It was a really fun evening, topped off with Dilmah tea and Cookies & Cream French Press coffee.


  1. How many people can say that they had an international Thanksgiving event at their home??? Not me. I admire your selflessness.

  2. Sounds lovely, Susie. Some of our best Thankgivings were actually spent over in England & Germany. We'd invite the single airmen from my Hubby's work center (back loooonnng before he retired!) & I'd cook dinner. It was always so lovely to share w/ those who also missed home. I think I can understand how much love & peace were in your home.

    And the food sounds, well, YUMMY!

  3. What a great day! I bet they loved the American foods!

  4. sounds like such a wonderful day!


  5. What an awesome Thanksgiving Susie.
    Sounds like you had a wonderful day. Congratulations on the recipe for rolls I believe it was that you made that your mother normally makes. I understand the consept of "but mom, mine never comes out right. Yours taste MUCH better". And to think I used to use that so that she would cook it. :) Love you mom.

    Have a great weekend. Get some rest, you've been working a bit. I'm off to finish 120 beaded candy cane lapels and start on 120 mitten stockings. Wish me luck.

    God Bless


  6. Wish we could have joined in the celebration. Congratulations on the wonderful Thanksgiving you created in your home! Sounds wonderful! We have much to be thankful for...what a tremendous bittersweet year...what a faithful God who never leaves us nor forsakes us. Your parents will be back before you know it! Have fun and enjoy the holidays! Looking forward to Cate's wedding and the stories and pictures to follow!