Thursday, November 25, 2004

My Thanksgiving Dinner

My Thanksgiving Dinner

In Japan, November 23rd is Labor Thanksgiving Day. (Its origin is explained
here.) Unfortunately, the fact is that most of us do not know how it started and do not really do anything to thank the labor of all Japanese workers. There’s no special food to celebrate this holiday, except that recently a Japanese food company started a TV commercial saying “Let’s cook curry for dad on labor thanksgiving day to thank him for his labor” or something along that line.

Well, I’m the most deviant Japanese who cooked American-type Thanksgiving dinner on the 23rd (because I knew I was going to be busy on Wed and Thu) and posted about it on the 25th. ;P

Now, finding a turkey around here is out of question, and even one whole chicken is hard to find. So I was very happy when I found a recipe of
roasted chicken breasts on the net last year. Of course I needed to downsize it and make some changes, but basically I’m very happy with this recipe.

The chicken turned out v-e-r-y good :D

This year I added some chestnuts and quite a lot of thyme from my balcony garden to the filling, and it worked wonderfully.

I only used red wine for the sauce, but still it was OK. To be honest, the cornbread wasn’t such a great success this year, because I threw in some leftover sour cream and it made the bread quite heavy.

But the dessert, Apple pie with vanilla ice cream

was not bad at all. (Yes, I made the apple pie myself.) The warm apple pie and vanilla ice cream! What a heavenly combination!

Thanksgiving does give me a perfect opportunity (excuse?) to stuff myself with food, but that’s not the only reason why I keep that custom here. I do so to re-visit the good memories America gave me while I was there. It’s like thanking that country for giving me so many experiences, both good and bad, that I couldn’t have had in Japan.

Unfortunately, I have no one here to share my nostalgia for American Thanksgiving. Looks like some people I know here see me as a too-Americanized woman showing off her experiences in another country. So I learned that it’s safer to celebrate it alone at least until I find someone here who shares the same kind of nostalgia. This year, it’s different, though. I have bunch of my blogmates to share this experience with, and it really makes me happy!!


ting-aling said...

Happy Thanksgiving Obachan. You're not alone. My you really indulged huh!

Ziz said...

Great post Obachan! I'm glad you appreciate both the good and the bad experiences you had in America. I so rarely read anything positive about America and while its hard for me to understand other countries attitude towards the USA since I've was born and raised here, I appreciate someone who has first had experienced good and bad, and still appreciates the experience. Good for you! I think too many people turn their nose up at the USA because they think we are all a certain way, when in reality we are just like everyone else, and our country has its good and its bad, just like every other country. :D Happy Thanksgiving!!!

JMom said...

Hi Obachan, I think it's great you celebrated Thanksgiving in Japan! Your dinner looks wonderful, too. You just take the best food pictures :) I will be coming looking for the purple sweet potato pie. Can't wait to see how it looks like.

obachan said...

> Jonny --- Oh, you had that kind of experience even in California? Gee, that makes me feel that I’m not alone. Thanks for being my blog-friend.

> ting-aling --- Hehe…. I sure did ;)

> alicat --- Thanks. It’s difficult to explain but what I really liked about America was that it treated me as “an individual”, not as some kind of “guest from a foreign country.” One part of me feels more at home in America than in Japan, but at the same time I never ever want Japan to be a downsized copy of America. Both countries are very special and important to me, and at the same time there are things I really hate about each of them. Maybe I’m not making sense at all…but I’m learning that living with such contradictions is not necessarily painful….

> JMom --- Oh, thank you. Gee, my photos are not really the best, but yeah, I guess I’m improving…And the purple sweet potato pie is ready now!

Unknown said...

this is the first chicken breast i met that i think i'll like --we're the dark meat kind of folks :).
"you can never go home again" was a saying that puzzled me. of course you can go home again!, i thought when i moved back to MNL after college in the US. then i realized what it meant when the people around me reacted differently, sometimes negatively just because i had been away.
happy thanksgiving, US and Japanese way!

obachan said...

Well, actually I’m a dark-meat person, too, but this chicken breast is an exception… It was so tender and moist (maybe because of the stuffing?) I love it.
I see what you mean about the saying. It’s encouraging to hear from someone who went through the same kind of thing…

Anonymous said...

Obachan tte sugoi ne! I grew up in Yamada, a stone's throw from you, and it's really fun to read your stuff. It's hard to imagine Thanksgiving food in Tosa. To bridge from the old men asking "Yappashi arekane, pan ka ne?" all the way to thyme and chesnuts in stuffing is quite something! My mom sometimes tried to do something for Thanksgiving--but most foods were impossible to find, so usually she just got a kabocha and made it into pumpkin pie--you know, the standard egg custard variety with enough cinnomon and nutmeg to choke a horse. Dad usually did the crust, since Mom's would turn out pretty tough.

obachan said...

Hi Joe,
So great to hear from someone who grew up in Yamada! Actually I’ve never been there before, but you’re right. It’s not too far from where I live now. The remark by the old men made me laugh. :D I guess someone asked you that question? It's still hard to find foreign ingredients here in Kochi, and I need to depend on Foreign Buyers Club and CUOCA a lot. Anyway, thanks for sharing your nice Thanksgiving memories. Both mom and dad working on a pumpkin pie… Such a heartwarming scene, isn’t it? :)

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