Saturday, October 16, 2010

A month of Sundays

I am not totally sure what the idiom means, but it sounds nice. I'd like to think it has something to do with relaxation and laziness, and today is a quintessential Sunday in that respect (except it's Saturday). I went for a jog this morning and had a pretty incredible experience. At the very end, as I was walking through the little park by my apartment, the ground was blanketed with yellow-orange leaves, and the light reflecting off of them created this very vivid visual experience, where everything was illuminated and glowing (which can probably be attributed, in part, to the so-called runner's high).

Ah, so, I suppose it's time to address Canadian Thanksgiving, now that a week has passed. As previously mentioned, Canadian Thanksgiving also has a tradition of eating turkey on this day (due to thievery), so Katie and I set out to find a Turkey the day of, a big thanks to Dima who came early to drive us to the store and help us prepare. So, in the hypermarket of Aushan, we see there are turkey pieces (legs, wings, breasts) packaged, but no whole turkeys. We ask a few people, get sent to different freezers/refrigerators, then understand that there would be no whole turkey at that store. Given Moscow traffic and the rapidly-approaching party time, we had to choose: do we buy all of the pieces of a turkey, and tie them together like some sort of a Thanksgiving puzzle? Or do we settle for chickens? (we also briefly considered duck, but nothing really happened there) As comical as I thought (and still think) the turkey puzzle would have been, we settled on two little chickens (and I don't mean cornish gamehens) and called them baby turkeys.

In addition to the baby turkeys, we made some other Thanksgiving favorites: stuffing, gravy, a veggie ratatouille type dish, cranberry sauce (which I actually forgot to serve, and now have it all to myself!), sweet dinner rolls, mashed potatoes, and, of course, an apple pie. I made enough pie crusts to give one to Katie's roommate, who surprised us by offering to make a pumpkin pie from scratch for the event. For reasons unknown to me, I spent about an hour and a half fighting with the pie crusts in my attempt to fit them into the pie tins. Eventually I settled on a rectangular glass baking dish for my apple pie (which worked out perfectly) and somewhat crudely managed to get one pie tin properly lined with crust. I think part of what was so confusing about this being such a time-consuming ordeal is that last night I rolled out some dough and lined a pie tin in 15 minutes flat. Anyway, I gave her the pie tin and let her have at it. And I think I will spend the rest of my life wondering why that pie was so salty. Salty to the point of being inedible. But rumor has it that she was happy with the way it came out, and it has spent the last week in their fridge being slowly eaten, not unlike a gazelle carcass left on the Serengeti plains, I imagine. So confusing.

Other than that, the night was a huge success. Some people brought sides and desserts, which was awesome, a lot of people brought drinks (or a few people brought a lot of drinks), so there was enough to go around. I think about 22 people came in total, though there probably weren't that many there at any one point in time. I think 9 people spent the night, which was surprisingly comfortable, thanks to the numerous extra beds in Katie's apartment. The only uncomfortable part was the next morning, when everyone except for one Russian guy had left, and was just hanging around while we cleaned the apartment. I was washing dishes, and all the sudden realized he was just standing in the kitchen... and Katie was cleaning stuff up, and looked up, and he was just sitting alone in her room on the couch. Totally awkward.

Anyway, here are a few photos from the event, in no particular order:

Polly hanging out on my leg

Polly and Katie, hanging out in the kitchen

So happy...

Obviously thrilled to be fastening the cape around her.

Not sure what they're preparing, but they are happy to be doing it.

Making the gravy!!

Spiced pre-pie apples

The most delicious apple pie in the world.


  1. gazelle carcass!?!?!? AHAHAHAHA omg Rhea I love you!! It is *still* slowly getting picked at...

    and um, what thievary do you speak of? I looked up Thanksgiving on wikipedia and it said that the first Canadian thanksgiving was actually celebrated in 1578 in Newfoundland...and the first American thanksgiving, you may wonder? 1621, Plymouth Rock. So if anyone stole from anybody, I'd have to blame you yanks... ;)

  2. p.s. cuz wikipedia is THE most reliable source, obvs :)

  3. Last year an American colleague asked me "Why the hell does Canada have Thanksgiving? You guys didn't have the Mayflower and all that!" to which I replied "We were the same damned country until you guys got all pissy about taxes!" Of course, neither of us had gazelle carcasses...