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Thanksgiving, our way (late!)

2008 December 14

(almost a month late) I know, I know. But thats how DST and AST work (Desi standard time and Arab standard time, respectively). Our Imam tells it the best: “This is how our timing works. Your friend is supposed to meet you and he says “Akhi, I will meet you at 4:00. If I am not there by 5, wait for me until 6, and then you can leave at 7.”

Three exams and a few papers later, I’m ready to start blogging again. I’ve almost forgotten how it works (doesn’t help that WordPress has a funky new system). But I’m back! Missed me? Aww. Thanks, I miss you guys too. I’ve got at least three posts to make, but let’s start chronologically, shall we?

In my family, we do things a little differently on Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is a relatively new holiday for us – we’ve only started making a turkey for the past three years or so. Before then, we’d just use it as an excuse to visit family and go shopping on Black Friday. Even now, we don’t see it as a holiday of any cultural or religious significance – it’s just an time to get family together and eat (which Desis and Arabs never need an excuse for, really). My uncle, aunt, and two cousins usually come up from Charleston, SC and my parents come down to Raleigh from Manassas, VA.

Turkey

Tandoori turkey, garnished the only way Desis know how – with dhaniya (cilantro). We served it with mint chutney *and* cranberry sauce

This time, my dad walked in on Wednesday evening carrying a huge turkey. “Uhh…Daddy Jaan,” I said, “It’s red.” “I know!” he exclaimed. “It’s tandoori masala!” And that’s how we came to have tandoori turkey for Thanksgiving.

Za'atar crescent rolls

Our meal was an eclectic mix of Desi, Arab, and traditional American foods. The lineup:
Tandoori turkey served with mint chutney *and* cranberry sauce
Kousa Mahshi – Zucchini stuffed with meat and baked in a tomato sauce
Sundried tomato and herb roasted potatoes
Jalapeno cornbread (as Maryam likes to say – “You know you’re at a desi’s house when there’s jalapenos on the cornbread.”)
Za’atar crescent rolls (you *have* to try these – mix za’atar and butter, spread onto crescent roll dough and roll. from oven to stomach in under 60 seconds.)
Garlic-herb-sundried tomato bread (can you tell we like carbs? there were three kinds of bread)
Asparagus
Sweet potato casserole (which I always, always make too much of)

Yums

Yay for multicultural families! And Alhamdulillah – Praise be to God for all the blessings He has given us – and may we be so fortunate as to be thankful to Him with every breath and heartbeat.

The Most Gracious! It is He Who has taught the Qur’an. He has created man: He has taught him speech (and intelligence). The sun and the moon follow courses (exactly) computed; And the herbs and the trees – both (alike) bow in adoration. And the Firmament has He raised high, and He has set up the Balance (of Justice), In order that ye may not transgress (due) balance. So establish weight with justice and fall not short in the balance. It is He Who has spread out the earth for (His) creatures: Therein is fruit and date-palms, producing dates; Also corn, with (its) leaves and stalk for fodder, and sweet-smelling plants. Then which of the favours of your Lord will ye deny? – Surat Ar-Rahman

3 Responses leave one →
  1. Abbuuuuuuuuuuuuuu permalink
    December 14, 2008

    Waoooooooooooooo!
    Did you look at my dinner plate???? It has all on it except crescent rolls. It was soooooooooooooooooooo much fun to have the family together for a wonderful meal and be thankful to Allah for all what he has given us —— especially you!!
    Love you my doll!!!
    Abbbbbbbbbuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu

  2. May 26, 2009

    Salamu 3alaikum! I love love loveee your blog! I’m going to try all of these recipes soon… right when I get back to the US.

    Could I request you post the recipe for sun-dried tomato and herb roasted potatoes, sweet potato salad and garlic herb sun-dried tomato bread? It sounds so delicious! :]

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