I just wanna pull this out of my archives, seeing how Thanksgiving isn’t celebrated in Singapore. It is a big holiday in the US and it’s something I’m used to enjoying. I miss the gathering of close friends around my dinner table, drinking and eating, exchanging jokes, discussing Black Friday deals and swapping strategies. The weather was always cold outside and having people over for an intimate dinner party was very heartwarming.
For that year’s Thanksgiving, I hosted a seated, multi-course gourmet dinner party for a group of friends at mi casa. Every year during that time, we all got a really long weekend for Thanksgiving as it is always held on the last Thursday of November. The day before Thanksgiving, everyone generally leave work early to prepare for the feast which would be Thanksgiving Day itself, followed by Black Friday which as we know is a huge shopping event where you can snag really awesome deals. After that, the weekend would be spent cozying up at home with family. Once you hit Thanksgiving, there would be only three weeks left for Christmas so you can pretty much kick back and do your last minute online shopping for Christmas gifts while at work. Safe to say everyone including your bosses is in the holiday mood already, ready to ring in the new year.
Given that I didn’t live anywhere close to my family, year after year Thanksgiving was different for me. Sometimes I got invited to join a friend’s family dinner, sometimes I traveled. Many times I just stayed home alone, watched tv while cuddling MM and we were both wrapped together in fleece blanket. One year I made turkey (just because) but didn’t invite anyone over. In 2008, I thought it’d be nice to invite a group of longtime friends who were similarly ‘stranded’ without family or holiday travel plans. It was a warm cozy dinner party and I had a nice time preparing the food that year. Hosting dinner parties and preparing food is a gesture of love for me and I truly enjoy doing so despite the stress of wanting to make it perfect every time.
Thanksgiving is a yearly occasion to give thanks for all our blessings. I was immensely grateful to everyone who came by and it was a memorable dinner party for all of us. :)
I didn’t make turkey that year because I didn’t want to have leftovers alone for the days to follow. Besides I wanted to switch it up and try out new recipes using other seasonal ingredients. I found some fresh pomegranate at Trader Joe’s and was so intrigued by its beautiful gem-like colored seeds that I had to incorporate them into my menu somehow. My buddy Chia came by to help me with the assembly and plating of the food, since it was a multi-course dinner. I learned that it isn’t easy to do so many courses and I might have been a tad overly ambitious, because food had to be served warm in a timely manner, blablabla. I guess it’s always helpful to have an extra pair of hands in the kitchen to help out on an occasion like this. Thankfully, everything turned out great. Everyone enjoyed the food and went home well-fed. Phew!
Grape Tomatoes and Sweet Onion Tartlets
Three Mushrooms Beggar’s Pouch with Yuzu Butter
Chicken Apple Sausage Stuffing Bruschetta Bake
Seared Sea Scallops with Roasted Red Pepper Aioli and Parmesan Crisp
Pot Roast with Cabernet Pomegranate Sauce, on a bed of Sauteed Spinach