Sunday, November 29, 2009

Thanksgiving Ladies Bingo Night!

Wow! What a fantastic time I had last night! It was such a good call to have catered my Thanksgiving dinner this way. There was a total of TEN ladies who showed up for the event. I had ordered the "main" dinner food, ie, [slowly smoked] turkey, turkey gravy, cornbread stuffing and a couple of pies from American venues in town.

I decided to make my own sides...the more "traditional" ones, of course. I made green bean casserole and a sweet potato dish, as well as regular mashed potatoes. I also cut up some pears and apples and filled them with pomegranate seeds and then threw in some cranberry sauce as a side as well. A couple of the ladies brought some side dishes and it was a significant feast for all! I was so bummed I couldn't partake of the wine selection and mint chocolate Bailey's! Agghh!!

We started the evening by sitting down together and completely stuffing the traditional Thanksgiving style. ;-) Once it was clear nobody had any room left in their stomachs, we pulled out the bingo game. Most of the women had never played bingo, so it was LOTS of fun teaching them! By the end of the night, many of the ladies had drinks and pieces of apple or pumpkin pie with ice cream and cool whip...and there was more than enough laughter to go around!! Almost everyone had won a prize. The two out of three who didn't were both American who had played before...myself included!! haha That's the way it goes! I'm glad it turned out that way, since it seems all of the women now have the bingo "bug." haha

I have gotten many messages today (the following day), insisting we set up another bingo night and how much fun one particular lady or another had the previous night. Music to my ears!! It's only taken 1.5 years to set up a bingo ladies night! haha

One woman friend, a German, had attended another American Thanksgiving dinner the night before mine. She made it very clear that I, specifically, had changed her mind on American Thanksgiving food. Apparently, the other dinner had sweet potatoes that made her stomach turn because they were too sweet and the green bean casserole AND the regular mashed potatoes both had blue cheese in it! haha She mentioned they were from California. Figures...they put blue cheese in everything! haha ;-) She was extremely complimentary about my own side dishes and repeatedly told me how yummy they were...even the next day! So, I'm SO glad my efforts weren't a waste! I had debated whether to even make them, since I wasn't sure anyone besides myself would even like Thanksgiving food! It turns out...they all did! I had very little leftovers. :-)

Anyway, the night was filled with good food, good friends and lots of laughter. I couldn't have asked for more on ANY Thanksgiving Day! It was great fun.

My boys had gone out for the evening, so mommy could have some girl time. However, since this event was a couple days after the "real" Thanksgiving Day, my own family was sure to have a plate of Thanksgiving food on the actual day together, at an American restaurant. So...nobody was left out of the Thanksgiving blessings!

On a side note...I have to say...I LOVED how my Thanksgiving table decorations turned out. I'm really getting used to the process of going to the local fabric market and buying meters of fabric and having a seamstress sew the edges more neatly. It is sooooo cheap to do this and the results were fantastic. To get the same look back in the States, it would have cost sooooo much more money. Mostly because we don't usually think to get raw pieces of fabric...we go out and buy formal tablecloths or decorative items. Here, I bought the fabric for a fraction of the cost and decorated the centers with fall colored confetti and leaves from outside. Then, I put candles and a couple of ceramics on there and VOILA! Beautiful! Also, the flower market is soooo cheap here and I put together a great centerpiece for the food table as well. These are the kinds of things I have begun to appreciate so much more than last year and I will miss these kinds of markets when I go home.

I hope all of your Thanksgivings were wonderful back home...filled with your own warm and special moments!

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