It was a national holiday last Wednesday so we decided to celebrate Thanksgiving 1 day early. It was a good thing we had the day off because it took us all day to prepare the meal. There were 15 of us total. Everyone brought food.
My friend, Mac bought an 8 pound turkey from Costco in Osaka. Turkeys are hard to find in Japan and they are generally expensive. Our little 8 pound turkey is very big by Japanese standards. We don't have ovens in our apartments. Only stove tops and a very small fish grill/oven. I have a toaster oven, but it's pretty limiting. We didn’t know how to cook the turkey.
Julian came up with the idea to deep fry the turkey. Mac and Julian searched all day Monday for a pot big enough to fry the turkey in, but as far as they could tell there were none in Himeji. Tuesday, Julian continued his search and found a rather large pot. We purchased 9 liters of oil (over 2 gallons) and a food thermometer.
I bought a flimsy metal grill that Julian converted it into our turkey holder by adding coat hanger hooks, so we could lower the turkey into the oil. I was a bit nervous about fire and combustion, however our cool stove is magnetic so there’s no flame. I couldn’t watch I was so nervous. According to the directions on the internet, it takes 2 minutes per pound and would be completed within 15-20 minutes. However, we could not get the oil up to temperature so it took 40 minutes. When we pulled it out of the oil the turkey was a gorgeous golden color. Julian deep fried a couple of bulbs of garlic, potatoes and an onion.
The turkey was delicious! Moist and not greasy. I made stuffing and garlic mashed potatoes. The mashed potatoes were great, and the stuffing was okay except it’s better when it’s baked with the turkey. We even had cranberry sauce, fresh bread and pumpkin pie! I can’t believe we pulled it off with very little alteration. Next time we will buy 2-3 turkeys. We had chicken as well just in case we ran out of turkey.
I have even greater respect for our moms who always do most of the planning and preparation for Thanksgiving. It’s a lot of work!!!
I gave thanks this year (as I do every year) to our wonderful and supportive family and friends! I miss all of you and think about you often. I was a bit teary eyed this year. Even though I love Japan, I miss everyone a lot! I love you!
Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!