It's been a full year of us being in Kharkov, so this was our second time to celebrate Thanksgiving here in Ukraine. Of course, this year we are a little more experienced, so things went a little more smoothly this time around. For example:
Our Turkey - Last year, we didn't have a turkey because the only size we could find was HUGE (it wouldn't have gotten close to fitting in our oven!). Instead, we had a chicken. This year, we were familiar with the meat market and had our choice of freshly plucked turkeys from various farmers. We were prepared... or so we thought. Before Lucy and I went to the market on Saturday, I carefully measured my oven and checked our oven bags to make sure I would get a turkey that was the right size. We got our turkey home and... it didn't fit in our freezer. Lucy and I both have the largest freezers on the team, but the freezer has three drawers and the turkey just wouldn't fit in any of them. Oops. So, we cooked that turkey early in the week and froze the meat for later. Then Lucy and I went back to the market on Wednesday and picked out our turkey for Thanksgiving day. :)
Cranberries - Last year we couldn't find cranberries. This year, we knew the word for cranberries and had seen them all around the market, they're in season. So, we were set and had wonderful fresh cranberry sauce!
Spices - Last year, it took us so long to find all the spices we needed for stuffing. I think we found them all in the end, but it was a task for sure. This year, we went to the guy we always buy spices from at the market and he had all of them except for sage. Thankfully, he took us to another lady who supplied us with a big bag of sage (it was really a bag of dried sage plants, so we had to take the hard stalks out and use our blender to grind it all up, but it worked)!
French Friend Onion Rings - Last year, Denyce was sweet enough to make her own friend onion rings for the green bean casserole. They were good, but for me, nothing beats the real French's. This year, our sponsoring church sent some to us earlier in the year, so we put them away for Thanksgiving and they were so yummy! Thanks Legacy!
David and I prepared the turkey, dressing, gravy, pumpkin role, and peanut butter pie for the big day. The McDougles and Hindmans made more pies, cranberries, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, and rolls for the big feast. And our friends Eric and Lilia (he is American and she is Ukrainian) brought cooked pumpkin (which tasted a lot like sweet potatoes!) and a beet salad. The food was great and the company was even better.
After lunch we played Mexican Train dominoes and the Wii. David's friend, Nikita, also dropped by with a friend of his, Alina, to see how Americans celebrated Thanksgiving. She played dominoes with us and he played the Wii with whoever wasn't playing dominoes. When they showed up, our conversation changed to more Russian since she didn't understand English. It was a little more of a challenge, but we all did pretty good conversing and even explaining the rules of Mexican Train!
On Saturday we invited a bunch of our friends to come for pie. We planned to have a Bible study after, but our plans got changed, so we just had good conversation with them all. Hopefully we'll be able to have another opportunity soon to invite them back to study the Bible. We had 6 friends show up for that, plus a couple of their kids. It was great! We are so thankful for all our friends we've met over this whole year and grown to love and appreciate!
Hope your Thanksgiving was wonderful as well. We all, thanks to our Lord, have so much to be thankful for!!