Thanksgiving in Ireland - Where's the Turkey? 🦃
We are spending Thanksgiving in Ireland and decided to host my sister and her husband at our rental in Kinsale, County Cork. My wife put her menu together creating an Irish American blend from the New York Times and various Irish cookbooks. When shopping, we could find ingredients for roasted potatoes, Flowey Potatoes, New Potatoes. Kerr Pinks and a thousand other varieties. We eventually found the 4 sweet potatoes to make mash, green beans, and gravy. The stuffing looks a bit different, but we can doctor it up. No fresh cranberries, so a jar of relish will do. No pumpkin pie around so we’ve opted for a carrot cake mix and some caramel apple trifle with lots of Ice Cream - can’t go wrong with that. But the biggest surprise is not finding a turkey in any shops. While we are all quick to blame supply chain issues these days, we are told no - it is just a seasonal item at Christmas. What? NO TURKEYS? Apparently we are a bit early for turkeys! Who knew? Instead, we found a 2 pound turkey breast at the butcher shop. It looks so small, yet when the butcher asked how many we are serving, and I said four adults – he looked at me surprised and said you’ll be fine with 2 pounds. Americans – they like everything large! It’s not just a Texas thing I guess.
Speaking of things that are small here…we were making buckeye peanut butter balls, a family tradition back home, with our adult children and their grandmother in the US over Zoom last Sunday evening. The largest jar of peanut butter around Ireland is 250ml (yes, it’s in metric!) which is about 8 oz. And there’s no JIF. My wife asked what kids eat for lunch here and did I not grow up on peanut butter? No, not that I can remember. And the chocolate chips bag here I think holds about 8 chips – clearly Nestle Toll House has trained us all well back home that more chips are indeed a good thing! Nonetheless, the buckeyes were a success and it was great for Grammy to share her tradition and recipe with the next generations!
Beyond all the food, the meaning of Thanksgiving will not be lost on us. There is so much for which to be grateful this year – a year when we have all been reminded of what is truly important in our lives – our family, friends, and our health. We lost my brother in May this year from a sudden heart attack. We know many others have also lost loved ones in this tumultuous year. From our house in Kinsale to your homes this holiday weekend, a toast of Thanksgiving from John O’Donohue:
“May dawn find you awake and alert,
approaching your new day with dreams, possibilities, and promises;
May evening find you gracious and fulfilled;
May you go into the night blessed, sheltered, and protected;
May your soul calm, console and renew you.”
Happy Thanksgiving and we hope there’s plenty of turkey to go around!