Thanksgiving in China

I love Thanksgiving. I love the turkey, the pies, the mashed potatoes, the leftovers for days. I love sitting around a dinner table with all my best friends or closest family and talking and laughing while reflecting on what I’m grateful for and eating incredible food. It’s like all the things I’m most grateful for all in one place!

Thanksgiving Turkey

Doing Thanksgiving in China is a real kick in the pants. ? For one thing, no one here has ovens. Which means all the foreigners buy giant toaster ovens and do their baking there. You get used to it, you know? So yesterday, after slathering our $100 turkey (yes, you read that right-kill me now) with butter and herbs, I popped that thing into our toaster oven that just barely fits a 9 x 13 pan. It took up all the space, but it worked!✊??


I’d made pumpkin pies the night before/earlier that morning. I have a deep and serious love for pumpkin pie. Terry does not (I know. Just–try not to judge. You’re not perfect either.). But being the good husband that he is, he didn’t bat an eye when I told him I wanted to buy two cans of packed pumpkin for $6 a piece. They have pumpkins here I could have roasted and pureed and used in the pie, which I’ve done before, but with the turkey and the baby and everything, I just wanted the easier route this once. Terry even helped make the pie crust. That’s a good man I’ve got there. ❤️


We were planning on carving the turkey and transporting it to our friends’ house that way, but once it was out I couldn’t resist dressing it up a little bit, and once it looked so pretty we basically had to take it over there in one piece. I mean, how could we not? Terry rigged some fancy transportation device involving a cutting board, the one cookie sheet we have, and the shelf of the rack that the toaster oven sits on. And voila! Turkey on the table!


And just like that, we were sitting down to a traditional American holiday dinner, across the world from our country and families.

And now for the requisite cheesiness that comes with any Thanksgiving post. We have so much to be grateful for. I try to notice it every day. But for me, what it comes down to in the end, is a never-ending gratitude for my sweet husband and baby. I love them to no end.


Sander, you may notice, is dressed in pajamas. ? That’s because we had to start dinner at 7pm because no one here has work off for this non-holiday in this country. So Sander mostly slept through his first Thanksgiving meal, which is a real shame, because it was super delicious. Oh, the potatoes! The turkey! The marshmallow yams! The graaaaavy!!


We had a wonderful time with some wonderful friends, and everyone went home full and happy. In fact, we all had such a good time we started thinking we should make this a weekly tradition. And theeeeeeen we all remembered how much work it had been all week long and how much the imported ingredients cost us and we thought better of that idea.


Happily, there are leftovers in my fridge, and my ayi is currently cleaning up the mess in the kitchen. I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy to be paying someone to clean my house as I am on this, the day after Thanksgiving.


Doubly so today, because I got word this morning that my friend here had her baby early this morning. She accidentally had the baby at home. ? Which, honestly, may have been better than having him in a Chinese hospital. ? Either way, she and the baby went to the hospital afterwards just to be sure, and since they don’t provide food in Chinese hospitals (or, like, half of the medical supplies you’d get in any other hospital), I was asked to make a hearty meal for her to eat while she’s staying at the hospital today. So on top of the Thanksgiving dishes, my ayi also gets to clean up casserole dishes. Thank you, ayi!



Tell me, how was your Thanksgiving? I hope you spent it with people you love, and food you love, in a place you love. I hope you thought of a few things you’re grateful for. I hope today you’re celebrating White Friday and enjoying some time at home. I hope you have leftovers. Thank you for reading this blog. It wouldn’t be anything without you. Happy Thanksgiving, from mine to yours!


Now . . . Christmas music, anyone? ???