We had to go to work on Thursday – it’s an international school, not an American one – but we had the day off Friday for mid-quarter. It was a fine day for cooking, visiting with friends, and generally being thankful that we were far, far away from any kind of Black Friday insanity.
Assembling the ingredients for a proper Thanksgiving dinner in Addis presented a few challenges. Mashed potatoes, carrots, and green beans were easy. In our shipment I’d packed a can of cranberry sauce, canned yams, some dried sage and thyme, and baking chocolate for Alekka’s favorite pie. I baked my own bread for the stuffing. Our friend Nella contributed a pumpkin pie she made from local squash. I brought whipping cream back from South Africa in an ice chest. I gave up on the idea of creamed onions, though – no little onions available, whatsoever.
But the trickiest part was finding a turkey. If you want to buy one from the United States commissary, you have to order it in the spring (we were living in Bosnia then and so missed that important step). Andreas thought he had a lead on a turkey farm outside of town, but then that fell through.
Luckily my friend Alex knew about the frozen French turkeys at the Greek grocery. She said if you don’t see them in the case, ask at the meat counter. Woo-hoo! Success. We bought two. Weighing in at eight pounds each (baby turkeys!) and a price of 1500 birr, that’s…. oh…. about $10 per pound. Hey, it’s tradition – who can put a price on that?