All the photos on this post were taken on my iPod Touch with VSCO Cam.
When you marry someone from another country with different holidays and celebrations, it means that you marry into your partner’s holidays, celebrations and family traditions as well. I’m more of an old fashion person. I take it as my responsibility in my family to keep our family traditions going especially for my children. I would like our children to have happy memories from their childhood and hopefully when they are older, they will say that they want to come home to me and my husband for the home cooking.
I adopted Thanksgiving holiday as my holiday through my marriage. I used to not like the autumn season in Tokyo because days start to get shorter, it rains a lot in the fall in Tokyo, it gets darker earlier and colder day by day, and it feels lonely. On the other hand, cheerful fall season filled with lovely sweet spice aroma in the U.S. made me fall in love with the fall season and happy holidays like Thanksgiving makes it even more fun. It feels warm to have the fall in the U.S.
Being raised by my Japanese parents in Japan, I did not grow up celebrating Thanksgiving. For someone like me who used to be so foreign to Thanksgiving celebration, cooking for Thanksgiving for American friends used to be very intimidating. I used to get nervous weeks before the Thanksgiving day. Roasting turkey was so much pressure. It either goes well or wrong. If it goes wrong, it’s very hard or impossible to fix it.
However, there are two things that lifted a lot of heavy weight from my shoulders.
Here they are.
1. Martha Stewart’s Thanksgiving Planner
It is one of the Holiday Checklists on Martha Stewart website. It’s the best list to get organized and make the holiday preparation easier. You can access Martha Stewart Thanksgiving Planner HERE. I highly recommend this Thanksgiving Planner. It has been my life saver.
2. Simply Recipes by Elise
I have used all of Simply Recipes recipes for serving Thanksgiving meal in the past several years. Elise’s step by step how to recipes have beautiful photos and are easy to follow. Here are the recipes I use.
You will love this recipe. I have always received compliments on the turkey I cooked using this recipe in the past. The recipe you will access with the link above shows that it was posted in November 2014, but the recipe was there before.
Green Beans with Almonds & Thyme
Holiday Spiced Sweet Potatoes (Yams)
I made the sweet potato dish for the first time this year and I added marshmallows on top and baked it for about 25 minutes in the oven with 350 F or until golden. Since you can’t find yams in Mumbai, I used Indian sweet potatoes which are very different from yams. Indian sweet potatoes are similar to Japanese sweet potatoes. I followed the recipe using Indian sweet potatoes, but the texture felt dry. I added about 1/4 cup of water to make it a bit more moist and loose so that the potatoes don’t get too dry in the oven.
Perfect Mashed Potatoes Recipe
These recipes above taste great and easy to make. I absolutely love them all and I will keep using them year after year, I’m sure.
A salad recipe for Thanksgiving is the only recipe I found on a different website called Life’s Ambrosia. I love how easy it is to make this salad and it’s very colorful and flavorful.
On the day of Thanksgiving I wore Pipa & Bella bracelet. You might find it silly, but I felt that gold would give me some good energy (qi). Sometimes I focus on what I wear to cheer myself up. I thought getting some positive vibe from the local jewelry from Mumbai by Pipa & Bella would help me with getting excited about making Thanksgiving meal in Mumbai, India.
By the way I learned about Pipa & Bella at ANZBI Melbourne Cup event in Mumbai (it was so much fun!!). Pip & Bella jewelry is gorgeous and so reasonably priced. I normally don’t wear gold. I had not been attracted to gold and had never worn gold until I came to India. Even though I don’t think I look great in gold, looking at some jewelry you find in India makes you want to wear gold. Pipa & Bella is definitely one of the brands that tempts me to wear gold.
I started preparing for the Thanksgiving dinner 4 days prior to it based on Martha Stewart’s Thanksgiving Planner. I’m still learning. Every year after I finish Thanksgiving, I feel more confident. After all, you can actually make the same dishes for Thanksgiving every year. There are many recipes out there, so you can also try variations once you become more confident, but I’m pretty happy with the traditional recipes by Simply Recipes. Even a Japanese like me, Thanksgiving has become a lot the more manageable. The more experiences you get by making the Thanksgiving dishes, the easier it gets. Practice makes your cooking better, doesn’t it?
Believe it or not, I was able to go out for lunch at Suzette with my family on Thanksgiving day. If I was preparing for Thanksgiving in the U.S. or Japan, I would have not been able to do this because I would be stuck in the kitchen all day. Thanks to my lovely helpers which is a standard benefit you get for living in India as an expat, this was possible. I love living in Mumbai. Speaking the obvious?