However all expectations and hopes were greatly surpassed. The Baobab Center, which runs my program, put on an amazing meal of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, vegetables, macaroni and cheese, bread, cornbread, and other great things. Students also added to the meal by making bringing in additional food such as green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, WHITE GRAPE SALAD and pies. I was so impressed, not only with everyone’s baking and cooking but also with their ability to find all the ingredients and deal with cooking with limited utensils and cooking supplies.
A trip to the largest “Casino” (a French supermarket chain) felt like I was stepping back into the states. There was so much selection, a whole row devoted to toilet paper and another just to cereals. They also had a real deli counter, which was something I hadn’t seen in a while. In all of the things there I was able to find MARSHMELLOWS!! which meant that I would be able to make white grape salad. I was also able to pick up whole milk and whipping cream for mashed potatoes and white grape salad.
Amelia and I spent the morning peeling ten kilos of potatoes without the aid of a potato peeler. After that came the challenge of cooking them all. Surprisingly, it was relatively easy just cooking them in batches and combining them into one big bowl when we were done. However we were presented with the challenge of actually mashing them. Amelia was imaginative though and we used the mortar and pestle, leaving behind the base in favor of just shaming them in the bowl we already had. It was lot of work but we made it happy. We kept “sampling” them as we were working because we were so excited.
I also had to whip the cream by hand, without a beater or whisk, which was rather difficult, and therefore it kind of ended up like clotted cream rather than whipped cream. I didn’t mind though, because it still had the right taste.
In the end the white grape salad wasn’t a huge hit with people but that didn’t matter to me because I liked it a lot. The mashed potatoes were devoured however, which was good.
Funny enough one of the largest hits was the felt turkey head, which sits on top of a pineapple usually as the centerpiece each year. Everyone really enjoyed it and thought it was funny. Everyone really enjoyed the day and it was a great chance for us all to get an American meal in and chance to feel like we were back in the states. Overall the day was a success.
In the days to come I have several assignments due, and the days will be very action packed as the first group of students now leaves in only 3 weeks. It’s hard to believe that time is approaching as it always seemed so far away for all of us. For myself today’s starts the hundred-day countdown until I leave with Decmeber 7th marking the middle of my program. It’s hard to think that we’ve come this far. In less than a month I will be in Europe visiting friends in London, Aberdeen, Dublin and Paris for the next round of holidays. I hope you all had as great of a thanksgiving as I did, and as Steve said, “I am thankful to have great family and friends at home and abroad to miss.”