A Friendsgiving For the Rest of Us

Preface: You’d be surprised how a person can ruin Thanksgiving. Or maybe I’m just miraculously gifted in doing so. Take the year I spent T-giving with a frozen turkey dinner and college essays. I had mistakenly told my mom I would be spending the holiday with my dad, and told my dad I was spending the day with my mom. I’m usually not too good at making plans, but even this err exceeded my normal incapacities. Since I ended up spending the day in an empty house, I decided to be productive por lo menos and took a crack at finishing my college essays {…at least that result worked out in my favor}.

But it’s not just me –apparently screwing up Turkey Day runs in the gene pool. One year, my mom made oatmeal cookies….with cooked oats. Apparently…{SUPPOSEDLY}….she didn’t realize you could add raw oats to cookie dough. And thus cooked them into a goopy porridge before adding them in to the batter. Thus producing even goopier, ungodly cookies. 

But enough with living in the past, let’s get to the delicious present……

A plus to me being thousands of miles away from home is that I am no longer able to screw up the good ol’ traditional Thanksgiving festivities. And since Thanksgiving doesn’t exist here, I decided I could re-create my own, and no matter HOW it turned out I’d be safe allright because this would be my personal re-invention of the holiday.

And thus, FRIENDSGIVING in Buenos Aires was born!!!! Didn’t receive your invite? Well thank goodness I’ve posted a copy below then! The more the merrier, so should your family happen to be prone to cranberry sauce-flinging fights or conversations loaded with jabs at your religion/political views/lack of a boyfriend {I, thank goodness, do not come from such a lineage}, book your ticket NOW so you’ll get here in time for supper.

FRIENDSGIVINGyo!

What’s on the menu, you ask? So far I’ve heard a turkey WILL be present {God bless Meredith}, along with a baked pasta dish from a South African, papas a la crema from our Argentinian, apple crisp from a lovely German, cheesy cauliflower from the Italian, etc. etc. etc. All except 3 are foreign to this “Thanksgiving” we speak of, so I’m excited to {kind of} show them what it’s all about.

For those of you still looking for quick Turkey day fixes, I provide you with my easy-peasy but delicioussss dishes. Tomorrow I’ll be dishing out a traditional green bean casserole, a calabasa rice pilaf, and my famous {erhm..Toll House’s famous…} chocolate chip cookies.

Interesting fact: calabasa here refers to squash –not pumpkin– and so I’ll be making this calabasa rice pilaf with butternut squash, and not the usual Jack. In fact, pumpkins are a pretty rare site here! I saw a Jack-O-Lantern on my way home today, and tried to buy it off the produce grocer whose son had decorated it. I figured I could try my hand at making pumpkin pie. Well, the grocer eventually agreed to sell it…..but it’d cost me. Already holding an armful of groceries and feeling the ever-present hole in my pocket widening, I continued on my sad, pathetic, pumpkin-less way….

I found a great recipe on Smitten Kitchen for a green bean casserole that I could make partially ahead of time. Upon informing my friends they’d be eating my kind-of traditional attempt at Thanksgiving, they all immediately inquired about “this green bean casserole” cosita Americans are always eating on Turkey Day. So obviously, I had to make it. I figured it’d be easy…I had seen tons of Campbell’s soup ads before showing all you do is add cream of mushroom soup to canned grean beans, stir in some funion-looking thingies and BAM, there you have it! LADIES & GENTLEMEN,  I PRESENT THANKSGIVING!! Well…no such luck. None of these prepared things exist here. My friend suggested I purchase the fried onions they litter on top of panchos but I couldn’t find them in stores…and unless I wanted to find a hot dog stand and buy them off of the vendor {which I was not in the mood to do}, I’d have to make my own. Although I’ve only first started the process, and will assemble the finished product mañana, it’s lookin’ pretty darn rico.

DSC03003DSC03009{the ingredients}

DSC03017{Cooking the mushrooms & garlic –emitting one of the best smells in this world}

DSC03018{the finished mushroom cream sauce and cooked green beans}

DSC03021{add the two together and YUM!}

Tomorrow I’ll be making the fried onions and the calabasa rice pilaf.

Now onto the cookies. Remember the infamous chocolate chip cookies I made a few weeks ago? Ya, yeaaaa, that’s right…that time when Toll House lied to me…remember? Well I sure do. And with some minor adjustments to the recipe {refridgerating the dough before baking, less butter, and actually using baking powder —polvo para hornear– this time} the cookies have turned out magnificent! Now the trick will be to hide them from the roommates before the supper.

DSC02993DSC03002DSC03026

That’s all the mouth-watering madness I have going on in la cocina de Raqui at the moment, but more to come tomorrow when there will be FOUR kooks in the kitchen to prep for the meal. The actual dinner will be taking place at a friend’s departamento in Palermo {she has a pool….so she wins}, and all in attendance will be bringing their own interpretation of a Thanksgiving dish to share.

I sincerely wish you the best this Thanksgiving –whether you nationally celebrate the holiday or not. I hope you each take a bit of time to reflect on all you have to be thankful for, and pray/chant/raindance {whatever it is you do} for those less fortunate.

So, happy November 28th everyone! I hope it’s a good one

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