Next week, Gui and I are hosting a Thanksgiving dinner, and I've been going crazy trying to prepare for the big meal. I've never even roasted a chicken before, but I've decided I'm going to tackle an 8 kilogram (read: 17 lbs) turkey, cornbread stuffing, gravy, greenbean casserole and possibly mashed potatoes. Am I out of my mind? Quite possibly. Besides the fact that our apartment has never catered a full meal to more than five people at a time, I've actually never cooked even a regular meal for more than five people. My poor mom has been inundated with crazy emails from me, begging for recipes and helpful hints on how to give a proper Thanksgiving meal to a houseful of hungry expats. This weekend, I'm planning on doing a "trial run" with a roasted chicken and a small batch of stuffing to get myself into the spirit and make sure I don't forget anything for the big day. I am really excited, though. I LOVE Thanksgiving - the food, the people, the music!
It's true that finding all the tools and foodstuffs necessary to replicate the traditional November meal is quite the challenge in Paris, but I've been pretty lucky to find almost everything I need. We had to special order a turkey since "turkey season" in Paris doesn't start until mid-December (who knew?). I'm crossing my fingers that the big bird will be able to fit into our French-sized oven, which, it seems, is measured by volume and not linearly (because it's important to know how much liquid can fit into an oven, apparently). I plan on subbing (or recreating) a few things as well because as much as I'd like the convenience of poultry seasoning and pumpkin spice, I'm not really so keen on paying 9 euros for a 0.65-ounce canister. If there's a lesson to be learned by living far away from the (culinary) comforts of home, it's definitely how to be innovative.
Gui and I are also trying to reorganize our living room to better accommodate our guests. The thing about living in a Parisian-sized apartment, it's that's it's all about the arrangement of furniture (and the placement of walls, which we unfortunately can't change as renters). We've got a lot to do and plan this weekend, and with the unfortunate schedule that I inherited for my French integration formations next week, I've got even more reason to make the most of this weekend's time.