Posted by: evedlewis | November 29, 2009

Thanksgiving In Korea 2009

After much planning and preparation by many hungry Americans and foreign teachers, we managed to have two FANTASTIC Thanksgiving Dinners in Korea on Saturday.  I must admit that I was feeling a little grumpy and frustrated during the week leading up to Thanksgiving, because I did not have the usual two days off from work for the holiday.  I realize that I’m in a country that doesn’t celebrate the Thanksgiving Holiday, but this fact did not comfort me.  I became even more frustrated as I searched the stores for the ingredients needed to prepare my beloved broccoli casserole dish.

Normally, I would be able to run up to my neighborhood Kroger and buy everything for Thanksgiving within 30 minutes.  Everything I needed would be there.  No problems, no worries, no concerns.  Well – silly me for thinking I could run up to my local E-mart or Lotte Mart and have the same luck and good fortune here.

Joy and I went to Lotte Mart on Wed. to get everything we needed to cook for Saturday.  Joy was making Mac. & Cheese, and I was making the casserole, so we both needed CHEESE – lots and lots of CHEESE!!!!!  We both also needed TWO casserole dishes, because we were attending two separate dinners.  Sooooo – we found the cheese.  Ummmm – they only had VERY SMALL blocks of cheese for $7.00.  We also need butter – which is $4.00 per pack.  They sell shredded cheese, but we have heard that it’s not tasty, so we stocked up on the small blocks of cheese.  The broccoli at the store was limp, so I decided to get fresh broccoli on Sat. 

Now – I had totally forgotten that “cream of mushroom soup” would NOT be an item that we could find in Korea.  We had NO LUCK in finding casserole dishes either.  Everything available was too small, or round.  We needed large, square cooking pans or dishes – WHY WERE THEY SO HARD TO FIND??!?!?!?!?  UGGGHHH!!!!  Maybe because Koreans cook Rice and Kimchi, NOT CASSEROLES!!!!!!! WHY>>!>!>>!!>!>!>!>?!?!?!?!!?!?

Fortunately, my neighbor Allison saved ALL of us, because she went to Costco on Friday to buy some things for her Thanksgiving dinner, and she offered to help others get what they needed.  So – Allison bought the cream of mushroom soup and the HUGE BLOCK of Real sharp cheddar cheese.  I thought she told me that she had found PANS – but it turns out that she said she was getting 12 CANS (of the soup).  UGGGHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!  So – I still needed to find PANS.  Allison also got the Turkey and the Pumpkin Pie for the second party we were attending.

On Friday night (after work – at 10pm), Allison and I went to two separate stores to get the final items for Thanksgiving.  We finally found the Pans at Home Plus!!!!!!!!!!!  Perfect cooking pans for only $15 and $20.  I was soooooo relieved.  I got some fresh Broccoli from E-mart, so we were good to go.  In the end, we went to 4 different stores – to get everything required  to make everything properly.  All of this time, money and effort – just to pig-out!!!!!!!! 😉 

Sidenote:  I also stocked up on some Close-up toothpaste, which is sometimes difficult to find here.  And – I checked the prices on deodorant while I was there.  They only had TWO VERY SMALL deodorant options.  One choice was $5.00 – the other was $7.00 – WTF??!?!?!?!?!?!?  WHY?!?!?!??!  In the states we have an entire SECTION of deodorant options and they are normally $2.00-$3.00 per container/tube – UGGGHHHHH!!!!!  I brought a few with me from home – but they are gone ALREADY!!!!!  Allison gave me one of her Dove deodorants until I get my own.  I need to check on-line to see if I can do better than this!!!!!!!!!  If not – I’ll be buying $5.00 deodorant from here on out – UGGGHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!

On Saturday, the plan was for me to prepare the dishes at home and then heat them up later.  The first dinner was being held at Alan’s English school, and they agreed to let him use the 4 ovens there.  So – Joy and I planned to get to the school by 3pm, so the dishes could heat up in the oven before the dinner started at 4pm.  Instead, Joy ended up going to Erica’s house to prepare her dishes, and she used her oven, which was way smaller than she imagined.  Joy also had to figure out how to convert the temp. from celsius to farenheit – HAAAAA!!!!!!!!!  So – we ended up getting to the school at around 4:30, and we started eating around 5pm instead of 4pm. 

My casseroles turned out very well, and so did Joy’s mac and cheese.  There was a wonderful crowd of our friends there at the first dinner.  We had a great time eating and conversing, and we even played a game of Thanksgiving Jeopardy, which was awesome!!!!

Joy and I went to the second dinner around 7pm, and we also had a great time there.  We met some new friends there, and I FINALLY got some pumpkin pie!!!!!!!!!!  YESSS!!!!!!!!!!  I didn’t get any sweet potato pie – but the pumpkin pie was really good.  I met a woman from Brazil who speaks fluent English, Portuguese and Spanish.  I need to stay in touch with her, because my plan is to teach in South America next year.  She has an uncle who owns a University in Brazil, and she recommended I teach in Costa Rica over Argentina if I don’t go to Brazil.  I would like to VISIT Brazil, but I don’t want to live and teach there.  I would prefer to be in a Spanish-speaking country, because I want to be fluent in Spanish.  I need to do more research on my own, but I was very glad to meet her.

So – my weekend is now coming to a close.  I stayed in the house and cleaned up today.  I ate up all my leftovers already!!!!!! YUMMMMM!!!! 😉  I also gave some leftovers to my Director and Esther earlier today.  

So – I can OFFICIALLY say that I was feeling homesick this week.  I missed everyone, and I really wanted to be at home for the holiday, but I still had a great time here.  We will be celebrating Kandace’s Birthday next weekend, so I need to rest up!!!!!! 😉 

And – I also need to decide what I’m doing for Christmas…………….

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