Moving to Germany, I knew I would still get to celebrate the big holidays (Easter, Christmas) German style, but I figured the strictly American holidays, like 4th of July and Thanksgiving, would pass over like normal days and I would quietly celebrate them all day long in my heart.
However, my boyfriend David’s family, although they are 100% German, lived in the States for several years. When they moved back, Thanksgiving was one of the American traditions they decided to keep alive. (I sure lucked out, huh!) So this year, I was invited to spend Thanksgiving with them. Since it is not a holiday in Germany, and everyone still has to work, we celebrated the weekend before.
Not only do they celebrate Thanksgiving, they even fry their turkey. This is VERY American, but I had actually never tried a fried turkey before! David is in charge of this and I had fun helping him and experiencing the turkey frying process. It has to be done outside (many house fires occur every year from turkey frying) and the turkey has to be completely dry, so there aren’t any explosions when it touches the grease. Once the grease in the pot is hot, you drop your seasoned turkey in, and let it sizzle and fry for the next 70 minutes (it was 10 minutes per kilo, and this turkey was 7 kilo, or 15 lbs). We were lucky that it wasn’t raining, snowing or windy, so although it was freezing cold outside, the conditions were great for frying. Exactly 70 minutes later, we pulled the turkey out and it was ready to be carved!
The fried turkey was delicious, still tender and juicy and with a yummy crust. Along with the bird, we had a beet soup, mashed potatoes, corn bread, red cabbage and cranberry sauce: almost exactly like my own family’s thanksgiving! They also had some family friends join, so we all sat around the table eating and talking all evening. The next day we ate leftover turkey sandwiches on fresh loaves of bread with Tabasco sauce… which, let’s be honest, leftover turkey sandwiches are the best part!
Thanksgiving is a day where we remember what we are thankful for. I feel like I am blessed beyond measure and there are so many wonderful things I am grateful for this year. Being so far from home and from my family can make the holidays hard, but this year I am mostly thankful for the people God has placed in my life in Germany who make this a little bit easier. I am simply thankful that I got to celebrate Thanksgiving, in Germany, with wonderful company.
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone in the States. I hope that, no matter what your circumstances are, you can find something to be thankful for today.
… and someone please watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade for me!
Photo dump of the turkey frying process: