Thanksgiving is one of the most beloved holidays in the United States. On the last Thursday of November, Americans of all creeds and ethnicities gather to feast on a plethora of delicious foods and reflect on what they are thankful for. Last Thursday U.S. Import Carolyn Swords brought a little bit of this iconic American tradition to Sydney. With the help of fellow American teammate Joslyn Tinkle, Carolyn hosted a “Matesgiving” with her Flames teammates. Carolyn provided us with a recap of the evening – take a look below!
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To be abroad as Thanksgiving approaches can be a bit odd for an American. While the rest of the world smoothly transitions from Halloween to Christmas, Americans spend weeks preparing for the perfect Thanksgiving feast. It is difficult to be away from family and friends for the holidays, but in the Thanksgiving spirit, Joslyn and I decided we would like to gather the Flames and show our teammates that we are thankful for them…
The next few days were spent preparing for the dinner, little by little, with a number of calls and emails to mum back home. One day I pureed the pumpkin and make the pie crusts, the next I made the pies and washed veggies. Wednesday and Thursday ended up being the big baking days. Wednesday I was able to make the polenta and sausage stuffing and finish the desserts. Katie and Hayley came over and helped put the pies together. They chopped and spiced the apples for the apple pie, and whipped up the filling for the pumpkin pie like professionals, while I carefully rolled out my pie crusts. Thank goodness they came over to help, otherwise I would have been baking through the night!
Joslyn came over early Thursday morning for our final push to the feast! We peeled, mashed, measured, weighed, sautéed, chopped, and whisked the dishes into existence over the course of the day. Jos made a dreamy sweet-potato casserole and a divine spinach soufflé, which were both big hits at the dinner. We worked efficiently and laughed our way through the morning, growing more and more excited for the evening. Thanksgiving seemed to become more real with every completed dish we pulled from the oven or from off the stove.
The time had come for the turkey. In the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving, it seems like everyone is talking about is the turkey. All media sources, from food blogs to The New York Times will publish their guides, tips, and tricks to turkey success. The most popular image surrounding Thanksgiving is that perfectly golden turkey. Have you seen that Norman Rockwell painting? That turkey sets a high standard for the rest of us.
Thankfully, my master chef mum who has pulled off many a delicious thanksgiving feast, gave me her simple yet sure-fire way to a beautiful bird… Between her guidance, a great, fresh turkey from the butcher, and quite possibly a little luck, we all enjoyed a delicious turkey after a first course (or two!) of our other dishes. What a relief!
The night was filled with a lot of food and even more laughter. We ended the evening with three pies: apple, pumpkin, and chocolate pecan. We discussed different holiday traditions and all the different ways one can pronounce pecan (I think we have 3 or 4 different pronunciations among us all). An NBL game was on in the background, taking the place of America’s beloved football on Thanksgiving. It felt just like the holidays! It was a big project to plan and cook all of that food, but the opportunity to share a little America with our teammates and be festive was incredibly special. It reminds me how lucky I am to travel the world and meet such lovely people. Our “matesgiving” was a success!