A German Thanksgiving

Last night, we had a lovely Thanksgiving here with four friends. It was difficult to find the ingredients that I wanted, and I felt a bit of pressure to provide an accurate Thanksgiving meal for our German and French guests. However, it was a great evening spent with friends. We enjoyed turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cinammon apple sauce, German beer and French wine. Mmmmm.

Before and After:

I’ve found more than a few blogs and posts about Americans in Germany searching for particular foods, especially around Thanksgiving. It’s possible that it’s easier to find ingredients in southern Germany or around cities that are larger than Bielefeld. Here’s my rundown:

Things I couldn’t find:

Yams – I got some SussKartofflen, mashed them up, and found out that they were green. I did this on Thanksgiving another year, too. When will I learn? Can anyone explain to me the proper names for these different kinds of potatoes?

Pre-made pie crust – Not a thing here. I made my own, though it was more suited for an apple pie than a pumpkin pie. It’s not as much work as everyone says, but there is more room for user error and a silly-looking pie.

Canned pumpkin – Pumpkin puree just isn’t available here. I found some bottled, cubed pumpkin at Real, but then ultimately decided to get a couple of “kurbis” from Jibi and roast them in the oven.

Pie plate – I caved and bought a springform pan. Whatevs.

Celery – Too healthy for Thanksgiving, anyway. Who needs it?

One thing I sort of found:

Cranberries – I found some cranberry jam/preserves from Ireland in the international section of Real – yum! Pretty accurate rendition of cranberry sauce, without all the work. I also found some Rewe-brand whole cranberries at Kartstadt, but those were less good. You could still slightly taste the “pure” cranberry flavor. Our friends, who had never had cranberries before, pointed out that the jar said it was “stark gezukert” (strongly-sugared). I told them that for a sour fruit like a cranberry, ‘stark-gezukert’ wouldn’t cut it.

Finally, our guests brought us an amazing German gift for the upcoming holidays. We’ve been instructed to light a candle for each Sunday leading up to Christmas.

5 responses to “A German Thanksgiving

  1. Sam,

    Glad you had a fun Thanksgiving with some traditional foods. My meal was all vegetarian and also delicious! I think what your guests gave you there is a variation on the Advent Wreath. It is very common to us Protestants! Aunt B.

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