Sunday, November 30, 2014

Thanksgiving in Japan

     Just a short post about Thanksgiving. They say the hardest time being away from your home country is during the holiday season, especially if the country you live in doesn't celebrate said holiday. It is also one of the things I get asked about the most "What do you do for holidays?!?!" I'll be the first to admit I love food--all of it, in every form, at any time and any holiday that is celebrated purely by eating is alright in my book. First off the idea of stretchy, eating pants does not exist in Japan. They eat to nourish themselves here, not to gorge themselves on 18,000 calories in one sitting. I knew sitting at home not celebrating just wouldn't do. I remembered the teachers from Iowa that I had met at County Fair so I messaged one, Bethany, and she invited me to spend the Saturday after Thanksgiving with her and some other teachers that were celebrating. I couldn't get off work for Thursday, but it was the next best thing.

     Have you ever tried to go shopping for specific ingredients when you can't read the language. I feel like this is now something I should be able to put on a resume. I wanted to contribute something to the meal since everyone was nice enough to take pity on me. After a trip to the grocery store, where I took a wild guess that the vinegar I chose from the twelve different varieties was the correct one, and a trip to the foreign import store on a hunt for nuts and cheese, I had a three different dishes to make. The broccoli salad went off without a hitch. The cranberry, feta, walnut salad needed to be improvised. Soo--walnuts pretty much don't exist in this country and the only feta cheese I found was in a snack pack with olives and swimming in olive oil. I figured it just added to the flavor profile, right? Alas, the Japanese pumpkin, or kabocha aka one of my favorite Japanese veggies, dish I wanted to make did not come to fruition. Who would have thought that you might need to make sure something is ripe before you buy it? Such a crazy idea.

All in all it was a great night with new friends and lots of wine and Uno. Now everyone can rest assured I am taken care of during the holidays!

Home cooked American meal--chicken, mashed potatoes and corn courtesy of KFC.

Teachers in Kofu--all from Iowa, so it was just like being at home in the Midwest. 
First holiday away from America. 
Until next time, 


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