A Malaysian Thanksgiving

28 Nov

Happy belated Thanksgiving! As you might expect, Thanksgiving isn’t really celebrated in Malaysia (though I’m sure Malaysians would love a holiday that’s primarily about food), but Tom and I wanted to mark our first Thanksgiving overseas. Thanks to the large number of expats in KL, it was pretty easy to find all the fixin’s for a traditional feast. (They even have turkeys, although we opted for chicken due to size constraints.) Even better, I was able to figure out how to work the oven. (Not only is it in Celsius — thanks, Google conversions — but it has about five different settings, and you have to push some combination of buttons to get the thing to turn on.)

A little taste of home

I only had a day for shopping and cooking, so I kept it pretty simple: roast chicken, mushrooms with sour cream (aged tequila standing in for sherry), apple and sausage stuffing, roasted potatoes with rosemary and garlic, sauteed long beans and baby corn, and for the first time in many, many years, canned cranberry sauce. I can’t remember the last time I didn’t make cranberry sauce, but fresh cranberries are pretty hard to come by in the tropics.

And the pièce de resistance, at least in my opinion:


What’s Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie? Since the raw materials were easy to find (pumpkin is widely consumed in SE Asia…who knew?), I made this one completely from scratch, and was especially pleased that the crust turned out. I couldn’t find shortening, and didn’t feel up to rendering lard, so I went with the notoriously hard-to-handle all-butter crust. Thank goodness I brought the food processor, because otherwise it would have been a overworked, non-flaky mess. As it was, I underworked the pastry, so I had a hard time getting it to stick together. In the end, I rolled out little strips of pie crust and stuck them together, and crossed my fingers. Next time, I’ll use palm sugar in place of the regular sugar to give it that molasses-y flavor.

It’s not quite the same as celebrating with family and friends, but it still felt like a little bit of home. I hope all the SOK readers out there were able to celebrate too, wherever they might have been.


One Response to “A Malaysian Thanksgiving”

  1. Nicole December 1, 2010 at 8:57 pm #

    Looks delicious Rachell and it looks like you made the best of it over there!

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