Monday, November 30, 2009

Zhamballers Do It Again

I remember my first Thanksgiving in Kazakhstan. I was in a small village looking at an organization with no work. I went home and shyly asked my host mom if I could make mashed potatoes. I did. But she put in too much animal lard and runied the taste.

Then I was swept away to Taraz where we had a fabulous meal Saturday, met all of our new 'blasties, and entertained locals with the game of Cowboy, Bear, Indian. This year we (me, Jamie, and Jennie) felt like we had to live up to the expectations.

Although I had claimed the turkey responsiblities, Jennie was the one that came through. Apparently, Kulan is the turkey capital of Kazakhstan. She had no trouble finding and picking out a good-sized bird (4 kilos, about nine pounds). Our menu was elaborate and detailed. And then I was scheduled to work! A project we just started was launching and then the youth bank was having a crucial meeting. So I had to go in for most of the day. However, Jamie and Jennie was great in the kitchen.

We cooked for the whole day, and the newbies joined in as they arrived. Mark made great potatoes and Jessica handled the veggies. Courtney handled lagman. Laura and Chris came a little late but still brought apple sauce and squash. And then our local friends brought sushi, chips, and dessert. Overall, we had about 16 people (8 volunteers, 8 locals), and a menu of

Mashed Potatoes
Hotard Casserole
Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Glazed Carrots
Macoroni and Cheese
Sauteed corn
Fried lagman
Apple Pie
Pumpkin Pie
Pumpkin Bread
Spice Cake
World Famous Morris Rolls
Apple Sauce

We were all stuffed by the end of it, with the only problem maybe being a lack of leftovers.


Karen said...

Awesome! You even managed to get a turkey! Happy Thanksgiving, and good to hear from you.

Anonymous said...

The food looks yummy What is the hotard casserole. It sounds like ya'll had a great time.

Teresa said...

Happy Belated Thanksgiving...can't wait for you to cook for us! yes, what is the Hotard casserole? aunt t