Butterball turkey. (And as we discovered, Butterball turkeys are as coveted here in Albania as well; mention turkey to an Albanian and they say it is good, tell them it is a Butterball and their level of excitement skyrockets). Currently we are fortunate that we not only have access to fresh turkeys on a seasonal basis but we also have the ability to import Butterball turkeys from American military bases located here in Europe. So this year, there is plenty of turkey to go around.
Because we love Thanksgiving and (now) have a ready stash of Butterball turkeys in our freezer I am excited to once again be hosting a dinner today for some of our closest Albanian friends. I'm even going out on a limb for the first time and following the advice of a good friend, am roasting my turkey from the frozen state. Yes, you read that right, I plopped the entire frozen bird in the oven this morning and as I type, it is roasting away and smelling very much like a turkey. (The complete story will surely be a future blog post!). We haven't even sat down to eat the bird yet and Glenn is already talking about the turkey sandwich he will make with the leftovers.
But this is not our first Thanksgiving of the year. Last month we hosted a mock Thanksgiving dinner that was profiled in an Albanian lifestyle magazine. We ate the 30 pound turkey for more meals than I want to remember and only finished up the last of the frozen leftovers last week ---just in time for us to stock up on more turkey leftovers. Last night, Americans from our Embassy were the guests of the President of Albania at a very large, American style Thanksgiving dinner. Attending a dinner the night before our own big dinner had been the last place that I wanted to be, but off we went. (And unlike our holiday travels back in the U.S., this dinner only required a three minute drive to get there). Served in the Palace of Brigades, which is one of Albania's more impressive buildings, the multi-course meal blended both American and Albanian customs and foods with turkey being the centerpiece of the meal. And just in case we haven't had our fill of turkey and all of the accompanying sides, tomorrow we will be eating our fourth Thanksgiving feast when we join friends from the Embassy who are hosting their own holiday dinner. I'm guessing that by the time Monday rolls around I will be very tired of turkey. So much so that I'm already planning a Christmas dinner that includes beef rather than, you guessed it......turkey.
Gobble, gobble. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!