After many weeks of anticipation, Joe and I headed downtown to a JET friend's house last Sunday for a proper Thanksgiving feast.
Turkeys are hard to come by in Japan, but our friend Aaron managed to obtain one through an online meat shop based in Nagoya. For the right price, this ex-pat can provide you with a wide variety of meat shipped from Nebraska. A 10-pound bird set Aaron back 60 bucks with shipping. His frozen turkey arrived in the mail. How 'bout that!
Now, even those who are able to get their hands on a turkey this time of year still face another challenge: how to cook it. Most of us apartment dwellers have no oven. It's just not a standard appliance in Japan. But luckily, Aaron just got married to a lovely Japanese woman named Tomoko, and her parents live nearby and they have an oven. So he carted it over to their house and cooked it and brought it back.
Joe and I came bearing big bowls of mashed potatoes and salad, as well as canned cranberry sauce from the import food store. A few other friends contributed stuffing, wine, chips and dip and some sort of French style apple pie. Once we'd made gravy from the drippings, we were all set.
There are no words to describe how good it was. The turkey was magnificent — perfectly cooked. And the dinner itself was so comforting. It was really nice to have those traditional foods from back home. Way better than last year, when Joe's mom initially told us she planned to video tape her family's Thanksgiving spread so we could feel part of the holiday (and perhaps feel the urge to come home to visit, I imagine). I was horrified. The last thing I wanted was to see all the mouth-watering food we were missing. Well this year, we didn't miss the good stuff. God bless Aaron and Tomoko!