Posted by: lianadevine | 14 October 2007

Celebrating Thanksgiving

It may have been even-steven as Calvin, Huguette and I sat down to Thanksgiving Dinner on Monday October 8 with Americans Todd, Becky and Gary, but we were certainly in the minority looking for turkey in the days leading up to Canadian Thanksgiving.

Calvin and I “traditionally” have had our turkey dinners at someone else’s house – someone with a family who will kindly take us in. That’s what friends are for, right? In fact, I could count on two thumbs the number of times we’ve cooked a turkey ourselves. It was my idea to get a frozen turkey breast, rolled around some stuffing, like we’d done before. I’m sure I had picked that up in the local Wal-mart. But several grocery stores later, and a phonecall to Wal-mart proved me wrong. So, it was “Go big or go home” and we started to look for a whole turkey.

Fresh turkey was preferable, but just not available – yet. In three or so weeks, maybe, as American Thanksgiving approaches in November. Time was running out to even get a frozen turkey thawed in time, and then we met Jennie-O, who saved the day.

We had not seen such a product in Canada, but it fit the bill perfectly. Except, since we were to cook it from frozen, the stuffing had to be prepared “on the side” in a casserole dish. At least we saved some of the bird’s juices to moisten the stuffing mix; unfortunately Leanne forgot she was only making half the package and put too much liquid in – when it was too mushy, she quickly added the second part…oh well, at least I admit my mistakes! And even though the horseradish I borrowed from Becky was hot, HOT, H-O-T! the rest of the ingredients in the carrot casserole mellowed it out. We had mixed beans, roast potatoes and Calvin’s awesome gravy to round out the meal.

Sharing Canadian Thanksgiving Dinner

But the dessert!!! Ever the Dessert Queen, I was determined to cross off one more Decadent Dessert from my Company’s Coming Cookbook . Besides, it only being October, there was no eggnog in the stores yet either, so my famous “Pumpkin Praline Chiffon Pie” was out of the question. So, to give our American guests a taste of Canada, I made Pear Date Cake with Maple Syrup Sauce. It was a hit, and a close second to my favourite recipe from that cookbook, sticky ginger fig cake.

We entertained in Todd and Becky’s home, obviously more spacious than our bus. While Calvin and I trotted dishes in from the bus and finished off in the kitchen, Todd and Becky served drinks and chatted with Huguette and Gary, getting to know them a little. Dinner table talk revolved around the traditions surrounding Thanksgiving and how it differs between the two countries. It turned out to be Todd, Becky and Gary’s first Canadian Thanksgiving and Huguette was happy to celebrate another after nine years living in the US.

Calvin and I are grateful to our friends Todd and Becky for the hospitality they’ve shown us, generously opening their home and shop to us, allowing us access to their utilities, taking us shopping, sharing meals, keeping us entertained. Aside from the obvious distress we feel with our mechanical problems, we’ve been very happy parked in their yard, and really enjoy spending time with our “landlords”.

Likewise, it has been our pleasure to spend time with our friends Huguette and Gary, whom we don’t see often enough. Huguette is still the sweetie we knew from her days in Kamloops, and each time we meet Gary we are amazed with his quick wit.

As we celebrated Thanksgiving together, we gave thanks for our friendships; our friends near and far are always near and dear to us. If you who read this consider yourself a friend of ours, consider yourself hugged and know that we treasure your friendship.

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  1. I LOLed at the video and wished I had been there to enjoy your Thanksgiving with you and your friends (sans turkey), Reading about it was the next best thing though!

  2. What a story …all for a Canadian Thanksgiving.
    It sounds just like you two, always an adventure.
    Take care of that Bus..It is warm in Edmonton still
    but I just won’t hold my breath for too long.
    S and D

  3. Hi, Leanne and Calvin.

    I consider myself hugged!

    What a saga! This blog is going to be a wonderful collection of memories (it is already, actually) of your “Great Trek of 2007.”

    Like Nina L., I LOLed at the video–but I also agree with you, Leanne: Jennie-O saved the day.

    Serving the stuffing on the side was also interesting to me. In my family, we seldom had stuffing; instead, we had “dressing”–stuffing on the side. I normally make oyster dressing for U.S. Thanksgiving, and I sometimes make another kind, too.

    Calvin’s awesome gravy, eh? I like gravy and would be interested to know about his.

    Your decadent dessert (Pear Date Cake with Maple Syrup Sauce) sounds divine!

    It sounds as if your Canadian Thanksgiving 2007 was very special indeed. When you have wonderful food, special friends to share it with, and a special place in which to celebrate, what more do you need?

    Dennis in Phoenix

    P.S. I’m glad to hear that the tranny problems seem to be resolved and do hope we’ll be able to get together when you’re in Mesa. Don’t forget to stop at the Columbia River Gorge as you move toward Portland, OR:

  4. Happy Thanksgiving, Leanne & Calvin! Good luck & good travels! Next time swing this way & I’ll show you the quilt museum…

  5. Where to start? Just so jealous right now because it reminds me of my trip to Guadalajara last spring. Sure looks like your having lots of fun and meeting many new folks. That’s great. Met 3-4 Canadiens on to every American on my last trip.


    I have spoken with the fellow in Williams that fixed your tranny. He was going to fix my differential.


    If you’re ever in southern California near Palm Springs on hwy 10 please stop by and visit. I’ve got parking, hookups in my back yard.

    Hasta la vista!

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