Giving Thanks in Guyana

I may not have been able to go home for Thanksgiving, but I still managed to celebrate here in Guyana. Its strange not being home during the holidays. Ever since I can remember Thanksgiving has been at my house. I’ve always gotten up early to clean the house and decorate, more recently to help out with the cooking. (I usually make the pumpkin pie.) This is the first time that I haven’t been home for Thanksgiving. It also won’t be the last holiday that I miss in the next two years. The other volunteers in the country got together at various houses and celebrated like one giant Peace Corps family. I am not a fan of large group settings, other than family holidays, so I looked for an alternative… and that ended up being an amazing Friendsgiving with Haley. She lives in another region, so I had to travel… but she has an oven (which I do not) so it was worth it. You cannot celebrate Thanksgiving without pie. It’s probably illegal somewhere.

After going to the saturday market and meeting the nicest restaurant/shop owner on the way back to Haley’s house – we were finally ready to begin cooking our feast. (I’ll warn you, we didn’t do it in any logical order.. I just put the pictures in a normal progression to look like a regular meal.)

The appetizer was a nice cheese tray with crackers, pineapple, and apple slices. (We couldn’t cook on an empty stomach!) Dinner was roasted potatoes and carrots with dill, sauteed mushrooms, and corn. Dessert was apple crumble a la mode and pumpkin pie.

I knew the crust would take a while so we made that first, with the apple crumble-type dessert. Who said you needed to cook the regular food before dessert? As much as I love pie, I’m not sure if it beat the delicious simplicity of my plate of vegetables. (We were given mushrooms by a lovely local restaurant/shop owner. She also went in search of ice cream for us that wasn’t cherry orange swirl or something else strange, to top our pie. Who has apple pie without vanilla ice cream?) Honestly, I loved everything and it made for a wonderful Thanksgiving.

We had one small, shallow pie pan and the plan was to make half the pie pumpkin and the other half blueberry, but even cutting the recipe in half… we ended up with too much pumpkin pie mix for even the pan we had to hold and I decided to make tiny pies in the muffin pan. For the record, there is no such thing as too much pumpkin pie mix and must all be cooked. We didn’t end up making the blueberry pie, but I definitely plan to go back after Christmas to make all the other foods we didn’t get around to. (Blueberry pie, veggies and dip, mashed potatoes, etc.)

Breakfast was pumpkin pancakes, of course, with canned pumpkin, cinnamon, and nutmeg. I do not make pancakes any other way. On a whim, I decided to make a mickey shaped pancake and things spiraled out of control. Haley jokingly requested that I make Flounder, Ariel and numerous other characters next… and I did, with just the batter and a spoon. Some were adorable and some were terrible. But all were delicious.

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