Monday, November 30, 2009
Thanksgiving was wonderful. It was also my birthday, which made it extra special. In the morning at the daily school meeting, all 358 kids sang happy birthday to me in 4 languages. That was a pretty good start to the day! There were about 15 visitors from the United States here for the week, so we planned an incredible meal for them, the 9 volunteers, the 6 Moynihans, and about 20 of the staff members who live at the school. We had class that day, so the cooking happened in 2 kitchens all day long, and as people ran in and out to go to class, we’d basically tag team each other in and out of the cooking. The baking started at 9 and we sat down to eat at about 7:30 and throughout the cooking process we listened to Christmas music! At various points we didn’t have water in our kitchen and had to get water from one of the wells, and the electricity was out for a while too. These things are pretty normal around here, but definitely added a certain challenge to our Thanksgiving dinner prep!
Our menu included …
Sweet potato casserole
Green bean casserole
Garlic mashed potatoes
A salad with cashews, raisins, and so many tasty fresh veggies.
A fruit salad with mangos and bananas
Stuffing (from a bag … but who cares?)
Freshly baked dinner rolls
Turkey and gravy
A GIANT pot of rice and beans
Sweet Potato Toffee Pie – so delicious I almost died.
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Freshly squeezed Grenadien juice (maybe it’s guava? I’m not sure but I love it.)
Ice cold Coke.
It was wonderful. We had enough food for everyone to have seconds of dinner AND dessert (which is an amazing accomplishment around here.) We sat outside at 5 big tables and miraculously, there weren’t even any mosquitoes that night. The most surprising thing that we all kept commenting on was how much it really tasted like Thanksgiving … not a cheap imitation, but the real thing. Even the dessert leftovers that we enjoyed the next day tasted like the real thing. It was wonderful to share this favorite American tradition with so many other people – and to enjoy so many tastes of home!