Although Thanksgiving isn’t my favorite holiday (sorry, Christmas definitely has me wrapped around its finger), I will never pass up the opportunity to celebrate it, aka binge on delicious, delicious food. It was so comforting to be able to celebrate it with fellow Americans, because for some of us, it was our first holiday in Australia away from family and friends. Will’s employer graciously allowed us to celebrate Thanksgiving during their lunch hour, so Will and I cooked up our new favorite mac & cheese recipe and I brought it over. There were about 7 or 8 of us, and we all sat outside, baking in the hot Australian sun – which was definitely new for us, because we’re usually freezing and/or snowed in. There was food GALORE! Turkey, carrots, cornbread stuffing, sweet potatoes, more stuffing, cornbread, and other various veggies. For dessert, there was caramel apple pie and pumpkin pie! One of Will’s colleagues found pumpkin puree at a store nearby and I freaked out! I’m such a pumpkin-anything addict (yes, I admit it!) that I’m definitely heading out there to stock up for pumpkin cookies, pumpkin cupcakes, pumpkin EVERYTHING. Nom noms. Everything was soooo delicious, and of course, the post-turkey food coma quickly settled in ;-) again, it was so, so nice being around others who had also recently made the ‘big move’ over to Aus and understanding what it was like to not be around our families on the one day that is centered around family. We chatted about what typical Thanksgivings were like back home (typical dishes, crazy uncles, etc lol), and laughed when their Australian coworkers came out and said ‘Oh, those Americans and their Thanksgiving’ (*silently chants* USA! USA! USA!). Check out the spread! To my left in the first photo was everyone else snapping photos for Instagram of the food, LOL. I think Will took a photo of us taking a photo. Those are millennials for you, ha.
Something we all also laughed about was the fact that we didn’t have all the same ingredients as we did back in the U.S. for some dishes, such as cornmeal for the cornbread, premade pie crusts, shortening for biscuits, and the silky caramel they sell back home. When we first picked out our dish, I considered making biscuits, but due to the lack of shortening here, I had to skip it (waaah, I miss Pillsbury!) and opt for mac & cheese, which is easy to do worldwide, ha. Also, having to convert measurements is a whole task in itself – figuring out how many grams are in 1/2 cup of butter, or what 350 degrees is on the stove in celsius… and are the tablespoons and cup sizes the same here!? It’s definitely a learning process, and even after consistently cooking here for 4 months, I still find myself having to use the Google conversion tool!
Okay, so would you believe me if I said there was a round 2? Believe it, baby! On Sunday, Will’s colleague sweetly invited us to his house for another helping of amazing food. Everything was exceptional, from the turkey to the sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes & gravy, cornbread muffins, stuffing, dinner rolls, apple pie, peacan pie and peach cobbler (courtesy of Will and I ;)). I mean, I was as stuffed as a turkey… maybe even more so. It was so fun and a good mixture of Americans and Australians, chatting it up, enjoying the *gorgeous* hot weather (helllooo, summer!) and sipping on good drinks. Also, just to add to the fun, the Iron Bowl was on, aka the biggest game of the year in college football, and also the most important game of the season for Will and I (ROLL TIDE!). Of course, we won (ah, revenge is sweet), and that added to the awesome day :-)
Overall, it was a very fun and successful Thanksgiving – and was such a joy to be able to share it with family away from family – our Australian family! From the very beginning, Will and I have felt right at home here in Melbourne, and being able to share this special time of the year with so many awesome people and new friends made it feel even more like home. Thanks to everyone for the amazing memories!