We did it! We managed to cook our turkey in our half-sized oven and it was fabulous! Billy did a really good job. The Ticos (Costa Ricans) all said that they don’t like turkey because it is always tough and doesn’t have a good flavor, but they loved Billy’s turkey. Several came to the table and asked how to cook it… what is in it, what spices, etc. One Tico lady at our table asked him to teach her how to make one for Christmas! And one of the professors at school came into the kitchen at the end and asked to take some home to share, because she had never had good turkey before. Yea, Billy!!! And special thanks to Emeril for posting a great recipe on the internet that had relatively easy-to-find ingredients.
As for the rest of the dinner… the students from Mount Vernon College did a great job. They were each responsible for bringing a dish to the dinner. Mind you, this was EVERYONE’S first time cooking alone – this is usually Mom’s job (I heard that a lot today). We had scalloped potatoes, mashed potatoes, dressing (Ohio style, not cornbread dressing), corn, green beans, turkey, gravy, yeast rolls, and three kinds of pie – pumpkin, pecan, and apple. All of the kids invited their Costa Rican host families and their professors from the institute, so it was a big sharing of culture and food.
It was a big day for Lizbeth, too… we invited her to attend with our family and she hadn’t ever had turkey before – hadn’t even seen one. She spent the morning being amazed at the cooking process in our kitchen and saying, “Huele rico!” (Smells good!). She made a huge plate of food, bigger than anything I’ve ever seen her eat at lunch with us – she eats like a bird – and she ate all of it! She was stuffed and tired when she left. We explained to her that in The United States, you have to take a nap after eating Thanksgiving dinner… it’s a tradition. She laughed and said that sounded good to her!
I have to admit, I did miss my mom’s cornbread dressing, green bean casserole, corn casserole, and pink pineapple salad. But it was a very nice Thanksgiving, even without those traditional foods. We even managed to come home with leftover turkey and mashed potatoes and Ohio bread stuffing.
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone back home in the USA! Know that you are loved and missed and we are so thankful for you. Much love!