Monday, January 26, 2015

Swiss Thanksgiving

I find Thanksgiving to be a good holiday to travel outside the U.S., especially if you can be gone that whole week around the holiday. Not that I don't enjoy spending the time with my family, but I think Christmas and Easter were generally the bigger holidays in our house growing up.

I got back to Geneva on Thanksgiving Eve but of course it isn't Thanksgiving there, so it's a normal week. My friend, Mary, went to work in the morning (after running an impromptu Turkey Trot she organized) and I slept in :). I met her and another friend from work (who I use to work with) for a late lunch. Funny enough, it's hard to have late lunch in Geneva. The restaurants stop serving at like 2 and they turn you out. We found somewhere though and it was good to catch up. 

This got me thinking...I didn't share a couple of my dining out stories from my earlier time in Geneva. We had lunch at this great little cafe and they really only speak French. I ordered some type of sandwich/crepe thing and a hot chocolate. Our food came, everyone's looked good. My sandwich/crepe was in line with my expectations. But no hot chocolate. We asked him about it and he seemed to assume I would want it after my meal. Like coffee maybe?? I said no, now please. Or at least someone at our table said that in French. A couple minutes go by, no hot chocolate. Ok fine. Whatever. I have my water, the hot chocolate wasn't really necessary. Then we're all about done and the waiter comes back to our table, I assume to say something about the hot chocolate I never got. Nope. 

Instead he delivers this in front of me........
Apparently I ordered a chocolate crepe and a huge one at that! And, yes, now it makes sense that he wouldn't serve it to me with my lunch. We all laughed. And then I proceeded to eat the entire crepe!! Well, maybe I shared a couple bites. It was AMAZING! The best misunderstanding ever. 

And what would Switzerland be without cheese fondue! Mary took me for dinner one night. It's soooo much cheese for only two. We did our best though. Apparently, the best stuff is the hard cheese caked onto the bottom of the pan, but we couldn't get that far. 

These are huge pretzels made into sandwiches and sold on the streets. The guy selling them was pretty fun and decided to shoot me a peace sign. 

Back to Thanksgiving now. Mary had some non-work friends who were throwing Thanksgiving dinner and extended the invitation to me as well. Everyone was bringing a dish and ours was green bean casserole. I was a little nervous when Mary informed me we would be making it from scratch. No cans involved. I cook with cans :). We got some fresh green beans, onions, mushrooms and milk (I think). Mary was the master at the stove and I just helped prep stuff on the table. We ended up with two dishes and I think they both turned out really well. We probably only needed to take one, but everyone finished one and started in on #2. So a success!

I didn't know anyone else at Thanksgiving besides Mary, so I opted not to flash my camera all over. There were some non-Americans celebrating with us as well. Everyone's shared dish was excellent as was the turkey! We had turkey, sweet potatoes, dressing/stuffing, homemade cranberry sauce (again no cans), kale salad, gravy and the green bean casserole. For dessert there was pumpkin and pecan pie (I believe) and tiny snickerdoodles. It was a great night and I got to meet a lot of new people.

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