Thanksgiving abroad is a potluck affair, and I was responsible for all things cranberry. Liz and Drew (whose visit was wonderful, a cause for thanks giving if you’ll pardon the expression) brought a can of jellied stuff, but I found some fresh ones in the import market and decided to make my first go cooking up that North American wonder berry.
I found a marvelous and simple recipe and set to work. I boiled the water, added the sugar, washed the berries and put ’em in the pot. Pretty soon, they started bursting, making this underwater pop pop pop. It was marvelous. The music, the color, the tart-sweet smell, the thickening texture and (I did sneak some) the taste.
It turned out well. I made one batch with orange peel and one with blackberries and cinnamon, and if I didn’t have to pay for them to be imported all the way from Wisconsin, I would probably make enough to eat for breakfast every day I’m here.
I missed being home for Thanksgiving, as it’s probably my favorite holiday and always a good time spent with family. But we made it work over here, and I’ll see you all soon enough. Is that Christmas music I hear?
This is what I love about expat communities: an American from our professor’s church gave their family a bunch of cooking supplies—including a jar of tahini—before returning home to the States last week, and because our prof’s wife doesn’t like the texture of tahini, she gave it to me in turn. And now I’m enjoying some fantastic baba ghanoush, which I prepared using a submersion blender left in our dorm by a previous group of Calvin students. Ah, the joys of giving away what we cannot carry.
Really though, the baba ghanoush is great. Here’s the recipe, modified slightly from AllRecipes.com:
- 2 medium eggplant
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
- 2 cloves garlic, minced and roasted
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Lightly grease a baking sheet.
- Place eggplant on baking sheet, and make holes in the skin with a fork. Roast it for 30 to 40 minutes, turning occasionally, or until soft. Remove from oven, and place into a large bowl of cold water. Remove from water, and peel skin off.
- Place eggplant, lemon juice, tahini, sesame seeds, and garlic in an electric blender, and puree. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer eggplant mixture to a medium size mixing bowl, and slowly mix in olive oil. Refrigerate for 3 hours before serving.
Our oven doesn’t exactly have temperature settings (it’s this antique thing that needs to be lit with a match after we manually switch on the gas), just numbers 1-8, but the roasting turned out well, and the submersion blender worked wonderfully. So easy to clean! Wish I could say the same of the mess I made when I opened the fridge and the leftovers tumbled onto the kitchen floor.