The miracle of Facebook.  Let me explain: this was my first Thanksgiving abroad in a long, long time (since Paris, I think), and Myra’s first Thanksgiving away from her New Jersey hometown and her family since middle school.  Given the lack of ovens and spaceous kitchens in our neck of Shanghai, it would’ve been near impossible to prepare a full Thanksgiving feast in the grandeur that we were used to.  Fortunately, there was a little status update from Madison, a Western-restaurant here run by a jovial chef named Austin Hu, to which Myra and I had been for dinner once many months ago (the spicy hot chocolate there had been exceptional, of all things to remember).  Anyway, Chef Austin and team were cooking up to-go Thanksgiving packages, one with just turkey plus sauces and another with turkey plus the whole sack of sides.  Since our group was predominantly folks far from home, with the rest being first-time Thanksgiving celebrators, dinner turned out to be surprisingly true-to-tradition, the turkey quite flavorful and (importantly) not dry, and the sides plentiful and tasty.

The whole spread (note the slab of butter and the paper turkey, imported from America):

The sides and sauces:

We added our own homemade desserts – apple crumble and miniature pecan pies, plus Madison’s pumpkin pies.

I certainly had a lot to be thankful for, both for last night’s festivities, as well as this past year of exciting life changes, love rekindled, friends with senses of humor and voracious appetites, family to remind us that we always have a place in this world, restaurants visited and revisited, exercise postponed, waistbands stretched, bootleg movies watched, amazing places traveled, languages and words learned and relearned, and laughter shared until our cheeks hurt.

Happy post-Thanksgiving leftover binge, everybody!