A Canadian Thanksgiving in Costa Rica – 2 Part Story
Happy thanksgiving Canadian friends and family!
A ‘simple’ plan was birthed within our small Canadian posse – Kelly (team member to Caracas, Bill & Nancy (fellow C&MAers to Mexico City) and Gerry and Barb (friends heading to Guatemala – the ones whose house flooded and stayed with us for a few days). The plan: lets get together, find a few other Canadians, find some turkey, and celebrate thanksgiving. Little did we know there were so many Canadians around here . . .
The boys were looking forward to it all week. Everyone who planned to come were preparing their favorite foods. Understand that most food you find at a Canadian thanksgiving meal cannot easily be found here. One friend went on a spectacular hunt for canned pumpkin (who is going to pay $20 US for a pumpkin the size of a grapefruit?). Barb scored some Stove Top stuffing. Angela made pumpkin squares but instead of pumpkin, she used ayote sazón (I’ll tell you now that they were delicious!). There were more stories like that.
I went with Angela to find a turkey. I am proud of her. She did it, but not without some effort. I thought her holding up a whole chicken to the person behind the counter but saying ‘pavo’ (the Spanish word for turkey) was brilliant. I can only imagine what the girl behind the counter thought though – why is this crazy woman calling a chicken a turkey? Thankfully, another young man understood and led us to the only two Butterball turkeys in the store, and maybe all of San Jose. $60 US later, we were on our way home with the bird. Don’t worry, everyone chipped in to pay for it.
Saturday, a few people had been in and out of our place the whole day getting ready but the guests began to arrive around 1pm. Mackenzie shrieked with joy every time the doorbell rang. He excitedly greeted all our guests. By 3:30 or so, all 37 of us were tucked into our humble abode. Yes, there were 37 of us but believe it or not, we had a seat for everyone and there was lots of room for the kids to play.
Barb & Gerry brought some games (Who am I - the Canadian Celebrity edition and pictionary – bonus points if you could guess the Spanish word) and we all had a great time with the games.
I had a hard time believing that we would have enough food but was I ever wrong! I saw many heaping plates, including mine, and we had quite a bit left over. It was an amazing meal!
It was an awesome day, really. It was so much fun to host a party, hang out with people, get to know some people I hadn’t met yet, laugh and joke about our Spanish skills or lack there of, and of course celebrate thanksgiving as Canadians.
Sunday, Curtis picked Bill & Nancy, Kelly & us up after church to take us to Murray & Michelle Derksen’s in Santa Ana. I miss car rides so the 45 minute ride was a welcome change.
Once there, we instantly relaxed. Murray & Michelle have a peaceful home and we love being with them and their girls.
This thanksgiving meal was cooked exclusively on the Bar-B-Que! A power pole near their home had been knocked out the night before leaving them with no power. But the lack of power can’t stop Canadians from eating turkey, no way! So, like I said, on the BBQ everything went.
While the food was cooking, I was able to visit with the guys, the boys were able to play outside with the girls, and Angela was able to relax and chat with the ladies.
The dinner was amazing! I ate way more than I should have. I could barely finish the pumpkin pie but the coffee from the sundried beans of Murray and Michele’s neighbors washed it down. I have never had finer coffee than I have had here in Costa Rica.
More play time for the boys, more relax time for the adults, some exploring of the grounds (ants amaze me – I want to blog about them in the future), and then back home.
Can life get any better than this? We are thankful.
*photos from Sunday are from Curtis Doell