The Turkey-less Thanksgiving Dinner

Happy Thanksgiving (to those who celebrate Thanksgiving)!!!

This is definitely one of those holidays that will probably never come into Japan, despite this country’s love for importing holidays, such as Halloween and Easter. For one, Japan never had any Native Americans that taught the pilgrims, that never came to Japan, how to grow corn and sat down together for a meal after a good harvest season. But more importantly, it’s almost impossible to roast a whole turkey in Japan’s tiny microwave ovens.

But I’v always loved this holiday from my childhood days growing up in Michigan and since my sister was heading over to my place for the weekend, I invited the girls over for an early Thanksgiving dinner, sans the turkey.

I was up and early, running back and forth to the supermarket, cooking and baking my butt off. It’s always fun putting a dinner together for family and friends, I get pretty excited about things like this. At the same time, I often get in over my head with ideas too difficult to execute by myself. This year though, I was surprisingly level headed throughout the whole process and had a great time in the kitchen, even though it was just me, my oven and reruns of Sherlock in the back ground.

The menu consisted of apple cranberry walnut salad, pumpkin soup, blooming onion bread, mashed potatoes, broccoli and macaroni casserole, green bean avocado fried rice, spinach balls, and bread stuffing. For dessert, there was pumpkin pie and apple pie, which I baked the day before.

When everyone came over, they helped set the table and then (after a quick photo session of the food, hehe) we all dug in! It was all SO GOOD!

I’ve learned that get-togethers like this are not really about the food. I mean, it kind of is…but it’s not. We could have had conbini bentos and it still would have tasted good, although not as Thanksgiving-y. For me, what makes the difference is that we were all enjoying this meal together. I personally miss my family the most around the holidays, so it was nice to have a full house (because my apartment is tiny, you know?) filled with chatter and laughter over dinner. The fact that we were all there enjoying the meal together is definitely what made it delicious!

I hope you’re enjoying time with friends and family this holiday season, too! x

Here are some photos:

Do you celebrate Thanksgiving? What is your favorite dish? x

6 thoughts on “The Turkey-less Thanksgiving Dinner”

  1. I always smile when US Thanksgiving is celebrated. To me it is always late. Maybe I told you that in Canada it is the 2nd Monday of October. We usually don't talk about pilgrims and such but we have turkey and such. I usually don't do anything special here. 😦

    Also, the real Thanksgiving was actually nothing like the story you mentioned. Yours is nice but the real story is shocking to say the least. Let's just say that people want to change the holiday or at least stop talking about the happy story and just be thankful. 🙂


  2. I always say that the Canadians were so smart to make their Thanksgiving in October, giving yourselves a break before the next big holiday! Thanksgiving and Christmas back-to-back was so hectic. Now that I don't really do anything for Christmas, I just enjoy Thanksgiving 😀

    Yes, the real Thanksgiving. Or should we just start with Columbus Day? Don't worry, I learned about the real Thanksgiving in social studies in grade school. Michigan education (or at least my school) was very big on American Indian studies, especially since our part of Michigan used to be home to the Potowatami in the early 1600s.


  3. “Excuse me. I’m just going over to the bookcases (do they still call them ‘color boxes’?) to get a second helping of the green bean avocado fried rice. It. Is. Sooo. Goood.”

    The woven apple pie crust is a work of art.

    Tongue-tantalizing and yummy tummy-warming pumpkin soup.

    The broccoli and macaroni casserole looks like it came out perfectly: the broccoli soft but not too mushy.

    I am so lazy these days I got a tub of fresh mashed potatoes at Whole Foods a couple weeks ago rather than make my own. But they also had a pretty good vegan mushroom gravy.

    Blooming onion bread = lip smacking.

    The persimmons remind me that the dried persimmon season will soon be upon you. I used to always get something like this at Natural House.

    Allow me to substitute for the turkey. Just looking at all this with so much pleasure, I’m stuffed.

    Whenever I see the word Potowatamie I think of the fictional Pottawatomie University from this 1940 movie with Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball. What a climax it had.


  4. Yup, I do enjoy that long break, but we have Remembrance Day, Veterans Day in the US. I do miss celebrating Christmas as I haven't done so in a traditional sense since I came here. Someday I will go back for Christmas and New Year's.

    The real Thanksgiving, as in the Pilgrims were about to die and the First Nations taught them how to survive as they were just annoying? Or the cannibalism story that my friend told me… … I'm just happy that we don't bother talking about Thanksgiving being about pilgrims in Canada at all. We just say it is a day for thanks, or a harvest day. Any reason to eat turkey is good for me though. 😀


  5. I think I've come to the point where if I don't watch any classic American holiday movies or talk to family, I don't even get sentimental over the holiday anymore. But I do both those things…so sentimental town, here I come. Haha.

    I'm thankful Thanksgiving has shifted to being about thankfulness and the harvest, too. Even if I don't eat turkey.


  6. You're poetic comment has me giggling! And yes, they still do call them color boxes, I think. Also, I am going to have to find the Lucille Ball movie, it sounds just silly enough for movie night! Thank you 😀


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