Being in Japan, the holiday season is completely different. For example, they don’t celebrate Thanksgiving! WHAAAAT?! (Please note: I’m joking) Because we have some of our own favorite holidays, we do our best to celebrate them as a reminder of home and our loved ones.
First off, we made our own Thanksgiving that same weekend, on Saturday. We moved the day since I was still working, (remember, no Thanksgiving so no Thanksgiving break) so we decided it would be better if we got a chance to cook together.
We made the traditional Bryant recipes which we have made a tradition of eating as well as two pies the night before (which follows with the traditions we had back in the States. We made one traditional apple pie and one tart apple pie (the tart one was flavored with lemon juice, tangerine juice, some tamarind concentrate, and some apricot jam; I think it turned out pretty awesome).
When we went to get started on brining the chicken (which we had purchased the day before) we got for the occasion, as bit of a smell was emanating from the bird. Sam is more sensitive to this sort of thing, so he said he didn’t like the look or smell of it. We decided that, for obvious health reasons, we needed to go to the store and exchange the bird. We still don’t know what happened, but our local Aeon was very kind in obliging us. However, this event set our meal time back so we were eating really late.
Here are some pictures of the food we made and the bird. Sam did the brunt of the work after a certain extent, and I’ll explain that in the following bit about our Hanukkah celebration:
Tonight is the first night of Hanukkah, so חג שמח y’all. I’m pretty serious about celebrating Hanukkah, mainly due to the good memories I have associated with it from my childhood. I think I tend to block out the yearly Latkah party we had, since I don’t like parties much (sorry, mom). Anyway, so Hanukkah!
Sam and I bought each other some gifts, which we don’t traditionally do (this tradition has only taken hold in recent years due to our inability to celebrate with my family. Sam was sweet enough to fill that role for me, which makes me much less homesick), and we lit the candles on the dinosaur hanukkiah my parents gave us during their visit last year.
The hanukkiah did a great job, until some of it melted and caught fire. Sam stopped that in time (I was shopping for some ingredients) and I was able to fix it up again. Afterwards, I remember my mom warning me to use tin foil… I’m gonna do that tomorrow. Anyway, every dinosaur needs battle scars, right?
For our first night of gifts, I got Sam some Millerighe pasta (very hard to find weird shaped pasta, which is Sam’s preference) and he got me some socks with those treads on the bottom so I won’t slip. Our floors are super slippery hard wood, so I have almost fallen down a few times, during Thanksgiving week, one near fall resulted in the muscles in my back seizing and causing me extreme pain for a few days. Because of that, I was slightly incapacitated during some of Thanksgiving prep, which sucked. I asked Sam for some of those socks, but it turns out he had already bought me some for Hanukkah and they are super cute!
Here is the pic of our gifts from tonight! I gave Sam the pasta tonight since we were planning to have some for dinner. We made an excellent pasta alla arrabiata, which we used the linked Mario Batali recipe as a starting off point (we added bell peppers and garlic).