Celebrating the holidays away from home

Probably THE MOST challenging thing about moving abroad is realizing that you will inevitably miss out on some big events back home. I’ve been living in Leipzig for only 5 months, and I’ve already missed out on countless weddings, birthdays, holidays, and reunions. This week I was due to miss out on one of my favorite American holidays, Thanksgiving.

For those of you who are unfamiliar, Thanksgiving is a secular holiday to gather together with family and express gratitude for what you have by stuffing your faces with a bountiful feast. While I did miss out on family time, and Craig had to work during the day, we were still able to celebrate in our own way by (me) preparing a mini-feast for a small gathering with friends.

Some of the classic Thanksgiving food items were hard to find in Germany, such as cranberry sauce (but who needs it anyway?), pecans (available, but ridiculously expensive), and canned pumpkin, but we made do with what was available and managed to pull off a hearty harvest-themed dinner.

What was on the menu? 

While whole turkeys were available for purchase (as well as chickens, ducks, and geese), this novice chef opted for a simpler, dark meat menu and prepped individual turkey legs for each of her guests.

These turkey legs were served along side a dried cranberry, walnut, and feta salad; cheddar and chive biscuits; mashed potatoes and gravy; steamed corn; and a large helping of sage stuffing.

But what stole the show was my pumpkin pie replacement dessert – apple crisp with homemade caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream. Mmmmmm!

AppleCrisp

(All recipes linked above!)

While a holiday away from “home” will never be quite as good, it was nice to know that while I was stuffing myself to the brim with delicious fall fare, my family members were doing the same thousands of miles away. And if I had to spend Thanksgiving away from my family, at least I was still able to celebrate with good company.

Thanksgiving2

Thanks for joining us, friends!


How do you celebrate the holidays away from home? 

 

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