It’s Advent. Time for the Thanksgiving Post!

I wonder if up to this point, I’d have been the only American food blogger who’d completely failed to mention Thanksgiving. Probably not. There are surely others as lazy as I am. 😉

This year, we did celebrate Thanksgiving, on the following Sunday, because that’s how you roll when you’re an expat. Holidays from your home country are celebrated when it’s most convenient for you. So Sunday it was. I’d bought a turkey in a local grocery store, which surely had the turkeys on sale in order to lure the 22,000 Americans living in Norway to buy buy buy!  The thing is…turkey has slowly entered the Norwegian food consciousness (I’m told you couldn’t find turkeys in Norway back in the 70s and hardly so in the 80s), so it’s still a bit of an unknown quantity to them, it seems. A weird alternative to regular ol’ sheep ribs, pork ribs, or lutefisk. What do I mean?

It is possible to buy a whole turkey in Norway. It’s also possible to buy just a turkey breast. However, the turkey I bought was a turkey breast (on the bone) plus the wing, which I swear to Odin looked like a leg bone to me. So…it was a strange kind of cut. Additionally, it was coated with an oddball bunch of seasonings that had me sighing, shaking my head, and washing lil’ birdie before I rubbed my own blend over it. Here’s how the spices section of the ingredients label read: paprika, chili pepper, black pepper, garlic, rosemary, cardamom, and coriander. I put salt, pepper, and sage (and butter!) on it instead, popped it into a roasting bag, and put it in the over for about an hour and a half. When I took it out, poked it with my trusty meat thermometer and declared it “done!”, the roasting bag made it VERY easy to make turkey gravy from the drippings. The gravy saved the turkey from being too dry. Next year, I think I’ll try my hand at making a whole turkey and participating in this secret brining mass that occurs the day before Thanksgiving.

But we all know that the side dishes are what makes Thanksgiving especially yummy. I made Mashed Cauliflower, a green bean, broccoli, and cauliflower gratin made from two frozen bags of veg, roasted sweet potatoes, and pumpkin pie.

Now…there’s a story with the pumpkin pie. I used a recipe that I found, but I had to make some substitutions, so the pie ended up not being sweet enough. In my research earlier that day to find a good pumpkin pie recipe, I came across a recipe for Pumpkin Caramel bars that had lodged itself in my brain and popped up again when I realized that my pumpkin pie was lacking something. I ended up making the caramel part of the recipe (whizzed dates–yummy!) and spreading that over the pie. I was left with some extra “caramel,” so I skinned my already-roasted sweet potatoes, cut them up in big chunks, spooned the caramel-y date mixture over and around them, and baked them for a little while longer.

It was all delicious and got two thumbs-up from the two adults. The boy liked the turkey “best”, which means that he complained the least when he had to eat those bites. In my book, that’s success!

The only food pics I took of Thanksgiving dinner.

I’m not a food photographer, so it doesn’t look as good as it tasted!