Saturday, November 24, 2007

Thanksgiving Cooking

This year, we are actually attempting to cook a Thanksgiving meal. Never mind that we are doing it on Saturday instead of Thursday and that all the conversation during the acutal dinner, since we've invited our Swiss neighbor, will be in German. It will still be nice. I even got an orange pointsetta for the table.

So far, the cooking is actually going well despite a few desperate internet translations for strange German cooking words, figuring how much 200 grams of sugar really is, and doing the usual conversion of cups to grams to buy ingredients.

I am so advanced in my European cooking at this point that I don't even have to convert 400 degrees F to C because I already know the conversions. So right now as I write, the second of at least three pumpkin pies is baking in our microscopic oven at a well converted temperature.

Yes, at least 3 pumpkin pies will be made out of what is ingredients for one US pumpkin pie. This is because the Swiss don't eat pies, they only have tarts. So the only ready made crust I could find after looking in 4 stores is really a shallow crust meant for what else, to cook cheese in. So we'll see how it goes. My husband ran out to buy another shallow crust after I put in the second pie. We can't waste the precious US pumpkin mix!

Oh, and I can only cook one thin pie at a time due to the small oven. So baking what should be one pumpkin pie is a three-four hour process here as each pie takes about an hour. Thank goodness I made the cornbread yesterday.

Yesterday was actually the most difficult part--trying to find things like a ready-made pie crust and whipped cream. But I've learned to never expect to find what you are looking for in the packaging you expect it nor the place in the store you'd expect it. For example, the ready made crust can only be found in one store (Migros) out of the four I checked. And it's not in the freezer section (because the freezer section is actually a joke), it's refridgerated and near all the vegetables. And it's got a photo of cheese on it.

The whipped cream caused a lot of unnecessary pacing in an entirely different store (Coop). It was not with the chilled dairy products nor the butter, but near the bread section, high above a few boxes of warm milk. I had almost given up and bought a yogurt size container of double cream when I finally spotted it. Whew. It was a very tiring shopping experience yesterday--2 stores, 1 cart, 1 purse, 1 plant for the table, and me--with two hands! Not to mention I had to drag it all up two flights of stairs since our buildling isn't exactly handicapped accesible! No wonder the Swiss don't do actual gym work-outs, just shopping is more exercise than anyone should have to do in a day.

Anyhow, hopefully all will be worth it. I'll keep you posted!

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