Friday, November 23, 2007
Prepping for Thanksgiving
I was all excited to download my pictures and post one for the blog today. I whipped open my camera case and was sorely disappointed to discover I'd left my camera at Eric's. So I will be posting that at a later date to the blog. However, yesterday was a FULL day. I got up early (ok, ok but 9:30 is early for me) and threw a load of towels in on my way to the supermarket. It was a quick trip and I was soon back in my kitchen peeling away at apples. I hate peeling apples...but about 12 cups later, I had enough for my two pies (one in a large tart pan and another about 7 inch "container" thingy). After realizing I had to double the pie crust, things went a little awry, I realized I'd doubled the flour, but not the crisco (substitute) after I added water, so I kinda just flung some more crisco and flour in until it felt ok. Surprisingly, it turned out wonderful - really easy to roll and didn't stick. I got lucky - somewhere the saint of pie decided to smile on me.
The stuffing was a bit more of a challenge. I think I added a bit too much water, but it still turned out great, but somehow not as good as my grandma can make it. Some of her magic grandma-ness must rub off when she cooks - I have no other theory.
Everything was finished around 3:30, so I wound up at Eric's door at 4 to help with anything or everything that he needed a hand with. I must say that "Ted" was all Eric and that it was a good, tender Turkey that actually fell to pieces as Eric tried to lift it onto the platter (Ted is in the picture...he was a hefty 6 kilos...). It did, however, solve the debate on who got/had to carve Ted. Christine and I teamed up on the cranberries (apparently only a recent popular import) and we peeled way to many (but just enough) potatoes and carrots. So we had mashed potatoes, turkey, graving, pork stuffing, apple pies, cabbage, glazed carrots, peas, rolls (cheated on those), and some cheese and crackers. All our German guests were punctual, while the other exchange students walked in only 5 minutes late, so the food was still plenty hot. In all there were 11 people: Eric, Christine, Claudia, Tom (Eric and Christine's other apt mate), Regina (Claudia's apt mate), Constantina (A German friend of Christine), Max (England), Vaso (Greece), Niamh (Ireland), Carol (France) and myself.
Everyone had questions about what a "true" Thanksgiving was like. Perhaps some people have elaborate traditions but we essentially told them it was about spending time with family (or friends), eating a meal together, and fighting...erm "discussing". In the spirit of agreeableness we soon had hilarious conversation flowing (Max brought up the topic of "Weirdest thing you've ever had thrown in your face"). This led to many stories about Eric getting a hockey puck to the face "Weren't you wearing a face mask?" to other such stories of woe and abuse-ment by siblings. Christine was also very gracious and allowed me to talk to my family on SKYPE (the internet at my building was crashed all of yesterday) on her computer. So all in all, it was a very decent Thanksgiving although I did miss pumpkin pie.
As many of you know, on December 4th there is a vote concerning a levy to support WHA High School. Without it, WHA will surely sink down to a depth of depressingly low -quality education. With all the cuts that will have to be made to academic (not to mention sports) WHA could very well be facing a crisis that would take years to reverse, if it can be. Obviously I feel quite strongly on the issue, so I set about (with a lot of my mom's help) registering as a voter and applying for an absentee ballot. I received the ballot in the mail on Tuesday, and hit my first brick wall...While reading the instructions, I was surprised to learn that I would need a 'witness'. Not a big deal, right? Well, the criteria for the position was rather depressing. I needed either a public official (would German count? And if it did, where on Earth would I find one?!?!) or a registered MN voter. Essentially, if Eric wasn't a MN voter, I could count myself out.
Thankfully, Eric "of Course!" is a MN registered voter and I thought I was in the clear (after having to go home again to look at my passport number) to send it out. Apparently not. My mom had said that Marcy (i?) would send me a return envelope, postage paid, that would be first class back to America (like the ones they send to the troops). Well, it was postage paid, but only within the continental US. This meant a trip to the post office. There, I find out, that because of the ridiculously large size of the envelope (keep in mind the ballot is smaller than 4x4 inches and you can fold it) I had to pay 3 euros to send it. I mean, it's worth it, but definitely depressing when you consider that it was supposed to be postage-paid and I'd already had to send 2 previous letters to get registered and request the absentee ballot. I know that sounded a bit whiny, but really, shouldn't we be able to do this online yet?
Anyhow, my ballot should make it there in time and after this voting really should never seem like a big deal, so no excuses...
I hope that everyone had a great Thanksgiving, and I look forward to seeing everyone at Christmas!