Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Giving Thanks

I did it!!

I successfully hosted a Thanksgiving dinner for 20 people!

I have been planning this for weeks - I sent out the Evite, I planned the menu, I tested some recipes for pies, checked in with Grandma Naylor about the best way to freeze pies, learned that freezing a pumpkin pie was not a good idea, and this weekend I cooked all the elements of a Thanksgiving dinner that I could given some of the Colombian limitations (no cranberries, no sweet potatoes).

The menu

  • Ham Rolls ups (family tradition) 
  • Crudité with two cream cheese dips (one with bacon and onion; the other with onion soup mix and red pepper)
  • Camembert cheese and crackers


  • Turkey  
  • Stuffing
  • Gravy - Thank you Tiffany!  She arrived just in time to help me with this difficult task but I think I could do it on my own now...maybe.
  • Vegetable Medley
  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Squash Casserole (mom's recipe)
  • Buttermilk Biscuits (tiffany's recipe)


 Everyone seemed very happy.  The turkey was so juicy and flavorful.  I've never seen my parents marinate the turkey for Thanksgiving but I decided to stick with recipe that I found and I think I'd recommend it for the future. Soooo tasty!  The most popular item was probably the pumpkin pie because it simply does not exist in Colombia - It was so fun to introduce so many of my friends to this delicious dessert.

The whole event was quite hectic...did I mention there were 20 people in my tiny apartment?!!  Still, I wanted to make sure we didn't completely forget the purpose of Thanksgiving so I made a poster for people to write the things for which they are thankful.  I think it came out well - and it definitely showed the variety of personalities that were visiting. 

Overall, such a great day!  Definitely an event I will want to repeat in the future. 

Saturday, November 10, 2012

The Baking Begins

Last year I struggled because I was lacking in close friends here in Bogotá.  Friends I could talk to about anything - friends that would dream with me and sit around a table and talk for hours about life and love.  Of course, some of this was due to my limited ability to speak Spanish, but still it was very lonely at times.  I found myself talking about this last night with folks that have become family and realized just how far I've come and how happy I now am because of the beautiful people in my life.

Thanksgiving is not a holiday in Colombia, but I've decided to bring it to Bogotá and to my friends here.  Thanksgiving is a day to be with friends and family and to reflect on all that you have to be thankful for.  I know how have friends with whom I can share this special day and that's just one of the many things I have to be thankful for.

I've planned the menu and have begun searching for the ingredients.  Today I baked my first pie ever!  It's an apple crisp.  I found the recipe online.  And I think it's going to be delicious!!!

There's something really special about taking the time to plan and prepare a meal for friends.  And I'm hoping that the sharing of the meal and time together will be just as special.