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A No-Oven Thanksgiving

Our No-Oven Thanksgiving Meal, from turkey, clockwise: pan “unroasted” turkey breast, gravy, mashed potatoes, faux-roasted stovetop cauliflower, string beans, offsite prepared biscuits, fresh homemade cranberry sauce. Photo courtesy of Scott Humm.

This has probably been the best week I’ve spent here in Taiwan!  And it was a big surprise to me, because I was concerned that I would be plagued by homesickness as my nostalgia for American holidays hit over Thanksgiving and Christmas.  But I’m starting to learn that loving American traditions and loving my life abroad are not mutually exclusive.  A little affectionate feeling for the homeland goes a long way, and this week it took the form of one particular Thanksgiving flavor: the fresh cranberry.

My Fulbright friend Veronica and I decided to cook up a Thanksgiving feast for our American friends in Taipei (with a few welcome British exceptions), and so we set about assembling all of the key components: turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, etc, etc.  This is also in addition to the lovely Thanksgiving Feast that the American Institute in Taipei served up for us Fulbrighters last weekend; in fact, the traditional food and wonderful company really fired us up to do our own cooking on the Turkey Day itself.  Both Veronica and I have spent the last few years cooking up Thanksgiving storms in our respective kitchens, so the fact that the only oven at our disposal was Veronica’s tiny convection oven/microwave combo left us unfazed.  We would do an ovenless Thanksgiving!

Perhaps we should have been a bit more fazed. But that’s how happy and fortuitous experiments occur, right? When you have no idea how hard something will be. Continue reading

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