Hello, Lindsay here.
Well we did it. We celebrated Thanksgiving in Korea with a complete North American feast: roasted turkey, pumpkin pies, stuffing, salads, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, apple sauce. It was a meal I never though feasible in Korea. And it certainly wasn’t easy.
Thanks to the help of my good friend Hanna and her very hospitable parents, we were able to use their oven (which I was told mostly was just used for decoration in their home.) Despite the fact we never knew what temperature the oven was at, it worked perfectly.
We started at 10 a.m. on Saturday. Four hours later, the turkey finally thawed. (It had been thawing for three days…but I guess it was extra frozen since it was imported from who-knows-where.
We were thankful we had our friend Zaid there, who has cooked a turkey or two in his day. He taught us all about the ins and outs of the turkey. I’m sure you can imagine some of those lovely conversations.
In the meantime, Whit and I cooked pumpkin pies–from scratch, including the crust–and Dad’s sweet potato casserole while our friends cooked the best twice-backed mac and cheese ever; mashed potatoes with corn and bacon; and numerous other dishes.
We were supposed to meet around 4:30 with our food at our friends Sam and Rik’s apartment. We arrived at approximately 8:20 with a golden delicious turkey that was carried over in two taxis with a few extra tables, silverware (chopsticks), and side dishes.
Whit rode over on the motorbike with the last of the food. (I would have loved to have seen this foreigner’s parade of food from the eyes of a Korean!)
On the way over to the dinner, our Korean friend Young-mi translated what the cab driver was saying.
“Ohhhh, smells delicious!! What is it?!?” he asks, pointing to the strange aluminum foil-wrapped mass on my lap.
“Ahhhh, Thanksgiving. Like Korean Chusoeok?”
We all agree because we understand this little bit of Korean. We start talking about the food in our quick native English and the cab driver says something else, shaking his head.
“He says he wishes he had studied English so he could understand,” Young-mi said.
A few minutes later, all 12 of us sat down on the floor around Korean-style tables with a North American meal and said thanks for good food, good friends and good travels.