Thanksgiving

We had a pretty good little Thanksgiving here. They don’t celebrate Thanksgiving in Malaysia (American holiday, after all), so Troy had to work. That was kinda nice because I was able to take the whole day to work on a surprise dinner for him. We’d been talking about the Thanksgiving dinner party that all his coworkers are doing this Saturday and he made the comment about how he’s not going to be able to eat a lot of it. I went through the dinner list and pretty much all he’s able to eat of it are the turkey, potatoes and vegetables. So, I decided I would make him his own little dinner of stuff he can eat. Took two days of researching recipes to find metric measurements with ingredients I either have or know where to get, but it was worth it. I never did find a turkey, but I probably could have if I’d asked around. My focus was more on the pies, bread and gravy, so I just stuck with chicken as our protein.

Making the food was interesting. There are tons of recipes out there for gluten-free rolls, gravy and pies, but a lot of them had ingredients that are common in the US, but hard to find here. They are also mostly in US measurements. I didn’t know until I got here that a US cup (240 mL) is smaller than a metric cup (250 mL). Well, I’m sure I learned that in school at some point, but I certainly didn’t remember it when I got here. So, all US measured recipes have to be converted and the conversions come out weird, so it’s a lot better to use metric measured recipes, which are not as easy to find as I thought they’d be. And most of the ones I did find, I didn’t have ingredients for and a lot of them I wasn’t sure where to find. If I’d done my research Monday, I could have gotten most of the stuff when I went with two of the girls to the mall where I find most of my gluten-free stuff, but Troy and I didn’t talk about the dinner until after that. Oh well. I was still able to find some good recipes that were fairly simple and turned out well.

The item I was the most excited to make was the apple pie. I’ve never made a pie before in my life (aside from pulling it out of a box and sticking it in the oven haha), so that was a learning experience. I never thought the first pie I’d ever make would be gluten-free. The recipe made a pretty small crust, so I stuck it in a bread dish. There wasn’t enough to make an entire pie top, but it covered about 90% of it. The filling recipe I got from my mom and it turned out great. Well, except for the fact that I didn’t put enough apples in it. lol. It was a bit soupy and the crust top dropped. It turned out really well, though, so I’m happy. The crust was crispy and tasted good and even though it was soupy, the filling tasted good, too. Troy doesn’t know it, but I’m going to make another one (doubling the crust recipe and adding lots more apples, of course) tomorrow to take to the dinner. He should be able to eat pie with everyone else.

The rest of what I made for dinner was fairly simple and straightforward. Well, except for the rolls. And I forgot to do the peas. They were in the kitchen, they just never made it to the table. lol. The rolls didn’t quite turn out as planned, or expected, so that was a learning experience. When I read the recipe that I found online, the lady said she put the dough in muffin tins, but didn’t say why. I just assumed she put it in there to make them cute and uniform. haha. Well, that wasn’t quite the reason. When I was at the store yesterday morning, I found a tiny muffin tin (I just went to the store down the street because I only needed a few things and didn’t want to go all the way to the mall for them), but didn’t want to get it because it was pretty small. I figured I’d just make the rolls like regular rolls: drop balls of dough on a pan. Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeell, turns out, she put the dough in muffin tins because the consistency of the dough is pretty darn close to creamed soup. Yeah, it’s that bad. lol. I had followed the recipe exactly, but it just looked off, so I added a bunch more flour. Doubled it, actually. It was still really runny, so I added more. Now the flour was tripled. I didn’t want to add too much flour and it was still runny, so I just nixed the rolls plan and stuck it in a cake dish. Aside from having a little bit of a floury taste, they turned out well. Add butter to the ‘rolls’ and you can’t taste the extra flour. I decided they were a success when Troy ate four pieces. 🙂 There’s still a half a pan left, so I’ll probably just take the leftovers with us tomorrow so he can have ‘rolls’ with his dinner like everyone else, too.

The gravy was a success, too. That one, I kinda winged it. The recipe I found was in US measurements, but the flour and butter ratio was 1:1, so I just measured out equal parts butter and flour and just threw in chicken stock until it was at a consistency and flavor I liked. Troy seemed to like it, too, because he put it on everything. He’s a sauce guy, so I guess that’s to be expected. lol. I’m definitely making more of this tomorrow, as well, because Thanksgiving dinner is just not the same without the gravy.

I’m really happy with how the little surprise Thanksgiving dinner turned out. There were a few glitches and things weren’t as I was expecting and it took a bit longer than I anticipated and planned, but it was all worth it. I almost started bawling at one point while I was cooking because I was so frustrated with the pie crust and the rolls and I was running out of time. I had planned on having it all setting out on the table when Troy got home and had calculated my time to make that happen, but things happen (aside from having to fix the roll recipe, I over boiled my potatoes and had to boil more to fix the soggy ones) and not all plans work accordingly. So, dinner wasn’t done until about 30 minutes after he got home and the kitchen was a complete disaster. He helped out by setting the table and then getting out of the way so I could finish stuff. lol. He also helped stir the gravy while I pulled things out of the oven, which was nice, because the gravy didn’t burn to the bottom of the pan at all. There wasn’t anything else left that he could do, so he went and relaxed with his video game while I finished dinner.

Even with being stressed out while making dinner (that’s normal, I’ve found), I’m really happy I did it. Troy isn’t a super emotive guy, but I could tell he was happy and enjoyed the food. He has this little smile he does when he’s pleased with something I’ve done for him and then completely inhaling the food was another indicator. There were leftovers of everything (a Thanksgiving requirement), so he was able to take a bunch of it to work today. I kinda wish I’d found a turkey because I love making turkey sandwiches the day after Thanksgiving, but that’s okay. If there is any turkey left over tomorrow, maybe I’ll ask if I can take a little home.

After dinner, we had a nice, relaxing evening. I watched Troy beat his video game and he explained all the different stuff about it. I’m still not really into video games, but it was nice to just sit and relax for a little bit and listen to him be all excited about it.

After he beat his game, he helped me clean up the dishes and the kitchen before we watched a movie. He’s gotten pretty good about taking the trash out, which I really like. haha. Taking out the trash is one of the things I’ve always hated. All I have to do is set the bag of trash next to the door in the morning and he takes it to the garbage when he leaves for work. If the trash is full after dinner, he’s pretty good about just running it out there if I ask him to. I’m really glad he’s so willing to help out around the house. Some days he doesn’t really want to, but you can’t really expect someone to be 100% willing to do stuff every time you ask. I have my days where I just don’t want to do the dishes or make dinner, so it’s only reasonable that he doesn’t always want to take out the trash. But he still does it, which makes me appreciate his help even more.

The movie we watched isn’t something I would traditionally watch on Thanksgiving, but it was still pretty good. We watched The Expendables 2. It was pretty good, if you ignored the not-so-great acting and the cheesy lines. Some things were just plain corny and there were quite a few predictable scenes. And some unrealistic stuff. I made a few comments at the first of the movie about that stuff and it turned into a game throughout the entire movie. I’d comment about whatever it was that was below par (graphics, believability, acting, script writing) and Troy would talk about how this is the best action movie ever made. It was fun. Especially once Chuck Norris showed up. Every time Chuck Norris came on the screen, Troy would point and say, “Look! It’s freakin Chuck Norris!” Every. Time. Even if he’d just been on the screen half a second ago. And then Troy started repeating his lines. We were definitely very entertained during that movie. lol.

I think Thanksgiving in Malaysia went very well. I called my parents in the morning and talked to them for a little over an hour. That was when I got the apple pie filling recipe from my mom. It was nice to be able to talk to them on Thanksgiving morning for me and again this morning, which is Thanksgiving evening for them. I’m really very fortunate to be in Malaysia during a time when it’s possible to call my parent’s home phone and cell phones for free from my computer. Used to be you could only email or call program to program (like Skype) for free or have a paid subscription with the program to call from your computer to a phone if you didn’t want to pay the crazy high international calling prices. Before that, your only option was either snail mail or paying the high phone prices for a not-so-great phone connection. And before THAT, it was snail mail or telegrams. We’ve come a really long way and I’m so thankful that I am living here during a time when I can call their phones whenever I want from my computer for free. It’s wonderful. I just have to remember the time difference. lol. I was having a rough day on Tuesday and called my mom when it was still 4am for her. I had swapped the pm to am, but had forgotten to subtract the extra three hours on top of that, so I was thinking it was 7am for her, and that’s usually when she wakes up. Well, I think she usually gets up around 6-6:30. But, it wasn’t, so I woke her up. She talked with me for about an hour though and was able to go back to sleep for a few hours since she didn’t have anything planned until the afternoon, so it all worked out.

Speaking of sleep, I think I’m going to take a nap. I’ve been super exhausted since we got back from Thailand, but I haven’t been letting myself take naps because I’ve had a lot to do and I’m worried if I sleep during the day I won’t be able to sleep at night. But things have calmed down and we’re going rock climbing (indoor gym) tonight, so I think extra rest would be beneficial today. I hope everyone had a restful and enjoyable Thanksgiving!