“Friends”-giving 2015

I know this is a little late to be posting about Thanksgiving, or a “Friends”-giving as we had, but oh well. 🙂

Since Jamie and I couldn’t be home for Thanksgiving, we hosted one at our house that weekend following for our international friends to come and enjoy!  We have 2 American friends here, as well, who helped prepare everything, so that was awesome (thanks Ross and Kelly!)

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The only turkeys in Johannesburg, I am pretty sure…

Do you know how hard it is to find a turkey in South Africa?
It’s not a common food here, can’t find it in any form throughout the year.  Apparently people do traditional English Christmas dinners here, with a turkey, so ONE market here had some frozen ones in November!
They were small, but we dealt with it and got 2.  I consider myself a cook, but I have never roasted a turkey in my life.  I have never roasted a CHICKEN in my life, now that I think about it.  Always have intentions to, but never happened.  Well now was my chance!  I was nervous.  There was a lot riding on this!  Our international friends were having their first glimpse into this American holiday!

I got up early Saturday morning, as you do on Thanksgiving, and IMG_3285started preparing everything.  I was making the turkeys, stuffing, creamed corn, mashed potatoes, gravy, deviled eggs, and chocolate pie while Kelly was making a squash casserole, mac n cheese, green bean casserole, rolls, peach cobbler and pumpkin pie!
Shout out to Kelly on the pumpkin pie: African markets don’t have canned pumpkin, which is a key American ingredient to pumpkin pie.  Kelly literally bought a pumpkin, cooked it down and made the pie with that! Haha!  Took her forever, but it was delish!  Needless to say, this was a lot for 2 gals to handle, but we did it!

IMG_3281Jamie made little flags for each person’s nationality and we wrapped them into the napkin/silverware rings and stuffed them into water goblets (mason jars because we are Southern).  Each person grabbed their appropriate goblet before going to the table.  It was so funny!

All of our friends didn’t make a peep while eating.  Our friend, Adam, didn’t speak for about 8 minutes flat then had to lie down.  I think he got the gist of Thanksgiving quickly! After dinner I was cleaning up and walked by the lounge.  I saw everyone in food comas, wrapped in our quilts watching TV!  Haha!

IMG_3292IMG_3291It was so heartwarming for me!  I love that our friends feel comfortable in our home.  After I got everything picked up and out of sight, we all casually strolled into the lounge, each person with a quilt.  We have a ton of quilts of various ages and made by various members of our family 🙂 Then we all watched Forrest Gump until about 10 pm!  I think everyone would have stayed the night if we had enough space!

This “Friends”-giving was the most joy I have felt since moving to Johannesburg.  It made my heart so full that in such a short time we have made such wonderful friends who feel comfortable and welcome in our home.  I am glad we got to share this holiday with them.  I think it will be a tradition for as long as we are here!  Thank you to all our friends for making that such a wonderful day!

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