Last year we celebrated Thanksgiving early to accommodate my son's big fall vacation. This year we did it again, again at the service of transcontinental travel -- but with a different twist. My brother and his family, who live in Australia, were visiting, and I had the brainstorm to cook a Thanksgiving dinner for our big get-together.
I know that they like to celebrate the holiday on its actual date with other US expats, but have a hard time finding the wherewithal to do so. Turkey is not a popular food in Australia. It's available in winter, but in summertime, people aren't all that thrilled about having the oven on all day for a traditional roast, even at Christmas. To get a whole turkey in late November requires a special order and you can pay $10 a pound or more.
So we did the full Monty with a 24-pound turkey (so big it almost overflowed my huge industrial-strength roasting pan), stuffing, mashed potatoes, eight cups of gravy, cranberry sauce, green beans, and of course zucchetta and fresh tomatoes, not often seen on Thanksgiving menus. For dessert, a choice of mincemeat pie or watermelon.
And for days afterward, turkey sandwiches. They got on the plane satisfied. And we get to do it again in just a few months!