Celebrating Thanksgiving in Korea

Happy Thanksgiving to all my Canadian readers out there. Today, Monday the 14th, is Thanksgiving day in Canada and this weekend we hosted an epic Thanksgiving dinner for our Canadian co-workers.

It all started two weeks ago, after we got back from our trip to the Philippines. Glenn and I decided to have a Thanksgiving dinner for the Canadians at EV since I enjoyed hosting Thanksgiving last year but didn’t want to do it this year for the American Thanksgiving (there are way too many Americans here to comfortably fit everyone in our apartment). So, I ordered the hard-to-find-in-Korea items from a website called iherb.com, and since Glenn had told everyone we were making ALL of the food without asking me (because he didn’t want to “trouble” anyone with having to cook), I had to go to Costco to pick up the rest of what I needed last week. So much for the potluck-style Thanksgiving I hosted last year.

I spent most of Saturday cleaning our apartment from top to bottom (it had been a while since spring cleaning), and then spent 4 hours cooking in the cooking building since we don’t have an oven in our apartment (that’s pretty typical here; Koreans don’t bake, which is why it’s rare to find an oven in a Korean home and baking supplies in stores). I went home at 1:00am Sunday morning because I was tired, but hadn’t finished making everything, so I woke up at 7:30am to decorate, finish setting up, and cook the last of the food. Glenn put the turkey in the oven.

Our guests arrived around 7pm. Of the 12 people we invited, 8 of them were able to come. Including Glenn, there were 5 Canadians. One of them is dating an Irishman, so he came too, plus one of our Korean co-workers who had never experienced a Thanksgiving dinner before, and her American boyfriend. Two of the Edutainers (the actors who work at EV), who are American, came by just to say hi on their way into Seoul because Glenn and I had invited them Friday night when we were hanging out with them in Seoul. It was a fun group of people and we all enjoyed eating, socializing, and listening to a playlist of Canadian music Glenn had found on Youtube.

My Grandma La Russo has trained me well. From scratch, I made stuffing and greenbean casserole. From mixes, I made cornbread muffings, brownies, mashed potatoes, and gravy. We also had vegetables with dip and, of course, turkey. For dessert, there were brownies, pumpkin pie, apple pie, vanilla ice cream, 4 kinds of fruit, and maple syrup (for the Canadians). It doesn’t sound like a lot, but it took me a full 8 hours, including baking time, to make everything (the stuffing and greenbean casserole were time-consuming). Even with all of that, it was barely half the amount of food that my Grandma makes every year for Thanksgiving (and not even half as delicious!).

Our last guest left at 11:30pm, so Glenn helped me wash the dishes and clean up. We went to bed at 1:00am Monday morning and Glenn got up at 7:00am to Skype with his family, who were having their own Thanksgiving dinner at that point. I was overly exhausted and opted to sleep in another hour.

I woke up with a lump in my throat. Luckily, since I renewed my contract last week, I have a whole new set of sick days now and I was able to take off the afternoon. I fell asleep around 1:30pm and didn’t wake up until Glenn came home from work at 6:00pm. I made an appointment at a clinic for Wednesday morning (I’ll be off that day because I exchanged shifts with one of my co-workers who works on the weekend, so she’ll work for me this Wednesday and I’ll work for her next Saturday). I decided to go to a different health clinic because the hospital I’ve been going to for the past year clearly doesn’t care to run any tests or seriously consider what might be going on in my throat. They just keep throwing pills at me that don’t do a thing for me. It’s time to get a fresh opinion, and from Western doctors who will do more than give me prescription after prescription of drugs they think MIGHT work.

I’ll keep you all posted. Happy Thanksgiving!
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4 Responses to Celebrating Thanksgiving in Korea

  1. Marian LaRusso says:

    Wow! Thank you so much. Actually, one of the best parts of Thanksgiving is
    having a granddaughter like you. Love you so much, Gma

  2. Iny says:

    Rachel – thanks so much for giving Glenn such a wonderful Thanksgiving. I can’t wait to hear what he does for you next month!! Love to you both, Iny

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