A Little Bit of Make Believe…[Of Roast Beast and Who-Hash.]

Cooking with Michelle. We may not have an oven, but our kitchen feels like one!

Fancy meeting you here.

 I know, it’s been a while. And you’ll have to forgive me, because on account of the malaria that was not, two hot plate Thanksgivings, the Great Electrical Fire of 2010, and an unfortunate incident in which we broke our toilet [LITERALLY knocked a gaping hole in the ceramic], …life in Senegal has been rather crazed as of late.

The good news is that Michelle and I are now “bon amis” with both the electrician and le plumbier, and there is enough left over macaroni and cheese sitting in the fridge to feed a small third world country.

 Speaking of hot plate Thanksgiving meals… there’s a SCENE in Hook that perfectly captures how I picture our Thanksgiving dinner. It’s priceless-with all of the pomp and circumstance of the procession of the royal guard, the lost boys proudly carry out carefully covered steaming pots and pans and with a gourmet flourish, gleefully set them on a roughly hewn table. Small, grubby hands are clasped together in eager, barely-checked anticipation as hungry eyes voraciously follow each pan as it passes by. They smack their lips and raise their little noses towards the intoxicating fragrance of favorite foods wafting tauntingly from the covered dishes. And then, like so many horses chomping at the bit, “grace” acts as a sort of gunshot, marking the commencement of their glorious feast.

They lunge at the pots with unabashed delight, ravenously ripping the lids off of…

…nothing. There’s nothing inside! And you’d never know it, because without hesitation, each of the lost boys reaches elatedly into each pot and pulls out fistfuls of imagination, which they promptly proceed to eat with an air of unadulterated bliss. You see kids meticulously gnawing corn on the cob, shoving gargantuan sandwiches into mouths that are much too small, double-fisting turkey legs…

Thanksgiving dinner. :)

Utter. Glorious. Make-believe-madness.

Except the magic of it all is that as they keep pretending, the food begins to materialize. Before you can say “hocus-pocus”, the wooden table is sagging under the overwhelming weight of the food that the lost boys had never doubted was there in the first place.

That’s how Thanksgiving dinner played out in my head. :) Not that our hot plate dinner wasn’t wildly creative [we even pulled off chocolate truffles!], but macaroni and cheese isn’t exactly the Butterball turkey and pumpkin pie that we grew up eating. But somehow, sitting around the kitchen table with my team, Thanksgiving dinner materialized. It was a little more on the “roast beast and who-hash” side of things-but if it was good enough for the Grinch, it’s most certainly good enough for me.

Apple cider and hot plate apple crisp.

I’m behind on the stories, I know-so stay tuned for tales of decking the halls [Merry Christmas Season!!], Thanksgiving parties with Muslim students,  ten chocolate macaroons, and why it’s going to be utterly impossible for me to sit still for the next 93 days. For now though, it’s time for cinnamon apple cider and Home Alone with my team. I’ve got us on a very strict Christmas movie schedule-after all, we’ve got to make sure we fit them all in! Does anyone else think that the house in Home Alone is just perfect for Christmastime?

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody. :)

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