An International Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is by far my favorite holiday. What could be better than a holiday centered around family, friends, and delicious food?

Since I couldn’t go home for the holiday, I decided to bring it to Germany 🙂
I invited six friends, and they all helped me throughout the entire process- with the shopping, baking, and cooking. One of them even let me use her oven to bake the turkeys (yes turkeys) and babysat them while I prepared everything else at my apartment. There are some things my little toaster isn’t capable of…
My Taiwanese friend came over Wednesday to help me prep the desserts. I decided on homemade apple pie pockets and a pumpkin pecan brownie “pie” because I don’t really like real pie and neither does my other american friend who was going to be there.
Homemade apple pie pockets:

inspiration found here and here

Dough:

1 1/2c. white whole wheat flour
1c. spelt flour
1tsp salt
1tsp sugar
1 cup butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
1/4c to 1/2 c. ice water

Filling:
2 apples (I used pink lady, any would do)
1 T. spelt flour (any would do)
1T. lemon juice
1-2 tsp milk
1/2 cup sucanat
pinch of sea salt
For the top:
1 egg, lightly beaten
raw sugar
For the dough:
Combine flours, salt, and sugar in a medium bowl. Cut in butter until it resembles course meal (can also use a food processor for this). Add ice water 1T at a time until the dough comes together. Form into a ball and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight.
The next day, peel and slice your apples. Combine with other ingredients and set aside. Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
Roll out dough. If you are a poor student like me and don’t feel like buying a rolling pin, use a roll of plastic wrap- it works wonders 🙂
Cut dough into squares and fill with 1-2 T of the apple mixture.
Pull all 4 corners together and brush with egg. Sprinkle sugar on top. Bake for 30 minutes at 350ºF or until lightly browned.
For the pumpkin pecan brownie “pie”, I followed the recipe found here exactly
Because Thanksgiving was a bit hectic, I didn’t get to take that many pictures, but here’s the menu:
Turkey
stuffing
gravy
cranberry sauce
green bean casserole

pumpkin knots
mashed potatoes
Glühwein (mulled wine)
the two desserts I previously mentioned

The Recipes:

Stuffing:

4T butter
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 small onions, finely chopped
1 1/2-2c chicken broth
15 stale rolls, cut into cubes
1 egg
sage, rosemary, salt, pepper to season

Saute celery and onions in butter until soft, about 5 minutes. Season with herbs, salt and pepper. Add to bread crumbs and stir. Stir in broth slowly until just combined (you don’t want it too soggy). Add egg and combine.  Put inside your turkey. I put the rest in silicone muffin liners and baked at 350º for about 15 minutes, but a casserole dish would also work.

Gravy
2c pan drippings
1tsp boullon powder
salt and pepper
1/4c- 1/2c flour
1/4c water

Add pan drippings and bouillon powder to pan. Combine water and 1/4c flour and stir until there are no lumps. Add to drippings and whisk, whisk, whisk. Bring to a boil. If the gravy is not thick enough, repeat 1T at a time. Whisk until desired thickness. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Cranberry sauce:

500g cranberries, washed
1/3c orange juice
2/3c water
1/2-1c sugar, depending on taste
1tsp orange rind
1/2tsp powdered ginger

Combine water, juice and sugar in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Add cranberries and cook until they are soft, 10-15 minutes. Add orange rind and ginger. Mixture will thicken even more upon cooling.

Green Bean Casserole
adapted from here

1T olive oil

1 pound button mushrooms, sliced
3 small onions, chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1/2c heavy cream
1/2c milk
1 cup chicken stock
Salt and black pepper
3 cans green beans
1c French’s fried onions (Röstzwiebeln)

In a food processor, combine half the mushrooms and onions. Puree to form a paste and set aside. Meanwhile, saute olive oil, onions, and mushrooms in a large saucepan until soft.

Add garlic and thyme as well as mushroom-onion paste. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add cream and stock and season with salt and pepper. Combine with the green beans and 1/2c fried onions.

Bake at 375ºF for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with the other 1/2c of fried onions and bake for another 5 minutes or until crispy.

This is muuuuch better than when made with the Campbell’ss cream of mushroom soup not to mention the fact that I know exactly what was put into it and can pronounce all of the ingredients 🙂 Maybe next year I’ll even fry my own onions…

Pumpkin Knots:
recipe adapted from here

1/2c very warm water
2tsp active dry yeast
1T maple syrup
1/4c pumpkin puree
1T olive oil
3/4tsp kosher salt*
1tsp dried rosemary
1 3/4c unbleached bread flour (German type 405)

Add the yeast to the water and let sit for about 10-15 minutes until foamy. Add maple syrup, pumpkin, and olive oil.

Combine flour, salt, and rosemary in a large bowl and and the wet ingredients. Knead until dough forms, about 10-15 minutes. Spray another bowl with oil and let dough rise for about two hours.

Punch down dough and tie into knots. Bake at 450º for 11-15 minutes, until brown.

Glühwein
2l red wine
1 orange, washed and sliced
2t. whole cloves
2t. cinnamon
1t. nutmeg
1/2-1c sugar, to taste
Stick the cloves into one end of the orange (this is only so you don’t end up drinking a whole clove, but you can skip this step). Combine all ingredients and cook until flavors develop. Taste and add more spices/sugar if necessary.
That was an epic post, but I guess thanksgiving is sort of an epic holiday. I had a great time celebrating with new friends 🙂 Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoy!
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One thought on “An International Thanksgiving

  1. Pingback: International Thanksgiving- Take 2! | Hungry Ami

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