Our Second German Thanksgiving

We learned our lesson the first time: plan well in advance. There is no such thing as a megastore with all of the ingredients that you need, and we wouldn’t have any way to carry them even if there were.

No kielbasa – just Schwein, all the way.

This year, there were sweet potatoes! Okay, there probably were last year as well, but we had just moved here and had no idea where to look for them. We also had no trouble finding a turkey, compared to last year when we were told “Sorry, no turkey til Thursday” at our regular grocery store. On Monday.

Pumpkin-y colors

Cupcakes to scare the international students in my German class

Another plus? We found a large enough turkey that we only needed to buy one. This meant that I only had to do one round of disgusting turkey-related tasks, including (but not limited to) neck removal and inappropriate massage. I used this method and roughly the same recipe, and it came out really tender.

Sorry for all that stuff I had to do to you, bird.

The turkey seems to be the gift that keeps on giving: I also made a large batch of stock from the bones and other fun bits, which is especially valuable here since I don’t believe they sell stock in the stores.

Now, how to get you all in the oven?

Eating time!

Hope other expat American readers had a great Thanksgiving, and that their foreign friends got to experience the traditional American pastime of marathon eating.


10 responses to “Our Second German Thanksgiving

  1. If you’re into sweet potatoes, you’ll find them at the markets (Wed/Fr Siegfriedplatz and Saturday on Kesselbrink), there’s a stand with a lot of different types of onions and potatoes, they alway have some. Edeka at Arndtstrasse stocks them, Karstadt (pedestrian zone for about 3 Euros/Kilo) and Rewe (August-Bebel-Strasse). Jaffna Store (Feilenstrasse) usually has them, too.

    • I did get some beautiful sweet potatoes at both the Siegfriedplatz market and Real. And some not-so-beautiful ones from a smaller store. They seemed to be everywhere this year – either they were really in season or I just know my way around Bielefeld much better a year later 🙂

  2. Ooh, the food looks delicious.

    My method of turkey making is similar, except I don’t completely cook it breast side down. It goes the right way up first, then I turn it over half way through and turn it over again 10-15 minutes before the end. That way it is nice and juicy, but the skin is crispy (looove crispy skin!).

    • I read about that method as well! They referenced having to flip over a turkey while it’s really hot and spitting burning grease. I’m sure it wouldn’t have been that bad, but I’m so disinterested in cooking turkey in general that I just figured I’d let it sit. Maybe next year I will be more adventurous and go for that crispy skin 🙂

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  4. Sounds like fun, I had my whole feast delivered which also worked pretty well. Maybe eventually I’ll be able to do it in China, but not this year.

    • It’s always a challenge to find the right ingredients when you’re cooking something that *needs* to be a certain way 🙂 Getting it delivered sounds like a good alternative!

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