Monday, November 26, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving from Madrid

I always thought that given the opportunity to cook my own Thanksgiving, I'd try all the healthy alternative recipes.  Although this quinoa stuffing that I made for dinner early last week was delicious, I ultimately decided that Luke probably gets his fill of quinoa, chick peas and meatless meals during our normal week night dinners, so I stocked up on butter and went all in.   Dressing from scratch using my Nana's fabulous recipe; homemade pie crust for a traditional pumpkin pie; hand whipped vanilla cream; creamy green bean casserole; candied yams; perfectly mashed potatoes (Luke's contribution); and finally spiced turkey and gravy; Our table was set and our plates full. 
After a hectic start including a rush thawing of our turkey in a sink full of ice water after realizing around 4 pm that I'd forgotten to take it out of the freezer, everything turned out tasty and warm at the same time. As evidenced by the "Before" and "After" of Luke's plate, my most important (and only) critic, I'd call it a success. 
Despite missing our classic family time during this holiday, we dressed up a bit, enjoyed a fabulous meal, Skyped with our families, filled our little refrigerator to capacity with leftovers and ended the night by putting up our tiny Charlie Brown Christmas tree while the Cowboys game was silently playing in the background. It was a homey, pleasant Thanksgiving. 
As Luke so perfectly put it in our pre-meal prayer last night, we have so much to be thankful for always, but this year especially. Our families who support us and love us enough that it reaches across an ocean. His job that, though stressful and challenging at times, allows us to do so much. The opportunity to be here in this new country, having once of a lifetime experiences and making precious, sweet memories. And finally, each other to share the best of times with and to support through the more difficult days.  If it weren't for me, Luke would be living in an empty apartment with an air mattress and cardboard box furniture. If it weren't for Luke, I wouldn't even be in Spain but somewhere else, maybe 5 lbs. lighter but on my couch eating blah grilled chicken and vegetables for a lonely dinner every night. Love you so very much, sweet Luke. I'm thankful that our shared life is better than our single lives and that I get to spend the rest of it with you, my very best friend.

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