Happy Friendsgiving!

On Sunday, we had the pleasure of hosting the lovely new teachers at ISB (who are now my closest friends here in Brussels) for a Friendsgiving.

We’ll Tarantino it back for you all though and walk you up to the event. We had a small adventure procuring a turkey. I’ll start my telling you that turkey is not a common meat here in Belgium. There is a very, very small section in the meat department of our every day grocery store with usually 2-3 packages of breast and a few packages of “parts.” I leave that there… At any rate, it is rare to find it as a lunch meat, ground, whole for roasting, whatever. There is plenty of chicken, lots of beef, specialty meats like chorizo, proscuitto, salami, etc but just not a lot of turkey.

When we first moved and were talking about holidays, Alex said he was fine to skip all the American holidays and just try to slip seamlessly into the culture here. Well, call me the TRUE patriot in this partnership because I wouldn’t have any of that. However, I will mention that one of Alex’s redeeming qualities is that he is a true gentleman and he graciously passed on the opportunity to say, “I told you so” but I still saw it in his eyes.

A colleague at the school (who is not new) suggested a few places (2 places) I could place a special order for a large, whole turkey. He said it would be pricey but that it would be worth it if we wanted to have a traditional roast turkey for Thanksgiving. I placed the order with the butcher at the market he suggested and waited for a response.

We sent out invites to the tune of about 20 RSVPs. Oh wow… we need a really big turkey! I got in touch with the butcher and told her we would need around 6-7 kg (about 14-16lbs) of turkey, knowing that was on the small side but also knowing that everyone was bringing the typical sides and that we would have plenty of food. She placed the order and told me to pick it up the day before our feast.

Side story: 2 days before our feast, Alex and I traveled to the Best Buy equivalent here, Media Markt. We purchased our first big screen tv and arranged to have it delivered the next morning (shopping/errands day) before noon. We thought it would be fun to show the parade from last year and then possibly some American football later on in the evening. Something got lost in translation arranging the delivery(our French is not so good and sometimes the English of the salespeople is not so good) and our tv wasn’t delivered until about 3 hours after noon. After hauling the box upstairs and leaving it right in the middle of the living room, we rushed to catch a bus to the market (which closes at 18:00).

We had a 20 minute bus ride followed by a 10 minute walk on a (thankfully) beautiful day near a beautiful park. I was also so, SO thankful that Alex brought his backpack because the turkey actually turned out to be 8.24kg (18lbs). We had a few stares and few laughs but we paid our 120euros and made the trek back home. We managed to get out before the grocery store closed (at 6pm) also to stock up on wine and the aromatics for the bird.

Sunday went seamlessly; the bird roasted perfectly; our friends made great Thanksgiving company. It was a great day and really felt like family (cue the warm fuzzies here). I am so glad we did it and so glad we have another silly international memory for the books.