You would have never known that we were in a country that doesn’t celebrate Thanksgiving based on the delicious foods that appeared on our table. We had a Thanksgiving potluck at our house, which was great because no one was responsible for the entire meal (although our friend Heidi practically brought an entire meal since she had already planned it and we ended up merging at the last minute. Not a bad plan, really, because she did end up with much more balanced leftovers than we did!) – which meant that instead of running around like a chicken with my head cut off doing things at the last minute, I had time to create this adorable little onesie for Jovelle at the last minute. (No, seriously, the last minute. People were arriving around 4 pm, and at 3 pm, I decided to make it.)
…Speaking of chickens with their heads cut off, check out the extras that were included in the chicken we ordered from the suya guy at Hillcrest.
…And he didn’t even charge me extra for them!
- Chicken aplenty! (Turkey is hard to find and expensive when you do find it – but we’ve heard it’s really gamey tasting here anyway.)
- Mashed potatoes and gravy
- Sweet potato casserole (with a delicious pecan/ brown sugar topping that I MIGHT have picked off when no one was looking. (Oh, wait, I mean – the casserole came with those big holes in them (lest anyone present at the dinner reads this.).)
- Sweet corn (frozen earlier this year by our friends, a real treat. We only know of one farmer in the somewhat-local area who grows sweet corn, and the harvest is twice a year. It’s only available for a few weeks each harvest.)
- Green bean casserole (Someone visiting from the States brought fried onions with them. Genius. The cream of mushroom soup was replaced with a homemade white sauce.
- Homemade French bread
- And for dessert…. Brownies, pumpkin pie, jello (though there was a debate about whether this should go on the dessert table or the main food/ salad table. In the end dessert won out because of room. And because jello is a dessert and not a salad, of course. 😉 ), Death by Chocolate pie, lemon meringue pie, these adorable autumn leaf cookies (What? Why yes, I did make them. And yes I was unnaturally proud of them.) and candy corn and pumpkin spice coffee from a package that our friends were kind enough to share.
…And by the way, this is the stack of utensils and plastic plates and cups that we got for dinner. Would you believe that it was essentially cheaper to buy these rather than paper plates??
(I know – my pictures aren’t great. I’m also embarrassed to post them, especially when I compare them to my best friend’s blog, on which her pictures of her food make me want to reach through the screen and grab them. I’m sure it has nothing to do with the fact that she is pursuing a masters in art right now and focusing on photography. So – Tammy – what’s wrong with my camera settings?! I think one of the kids messed with them!)
What? Back to that Death by Chocolate Pie, you say? Well, of course.
Death by Chocolate is a pie that my mom has been making for years, and it’s one of my favorites. It often graced the table at holidays and special events, so when I found a recipe for Oreo cookies, I knew just what I would make with it. Oh, Death by Chocolate, how I’ve missed you!
Death by Chocolate Pie, the American version
- 1-8 oz container Cool-Whip – add TBSP chocolate powder (Hershey’s powder or pkg of cocoa will work)
- 1-8 oz package cream cheese
- 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
- 1 large box instant chocolate pudding
- 3-4 crumbled Oreo cookies or chocolate bar shavings
- 1 chocolate pie crust or chocolate graham cracker crust
Combine cream cheese and confectioner’s sugar. Mix well. Add 1/2 container cool-whip; mix well. Spoon into pie crust. Follow directions on pudding box; mix well, and let it set for several minutes. Pour pudding on top of the cream cheese mixture. Let it set for several minutes. Spread remaining cool-whip to top of pudding. Sprinkle cookie crumbs or chocolate shavings on top of cool-whip. Chill several hours.
Death by Chocolate Pie, the Nigerian version
- Make yogurt at least two days before, allowing to sit 6-8 hours or overnight.
- Pour yogurt in a thin towel to drain, letting liquid whey drip into bowl. Think that you should use the whey to make smoothies or bake bread so you don’t waste it but let it sit on the counter for so long that it sours, making it useless for anything you would want to eat. Feel slightly guilty when you throw it away despite your best intentions.
- Check on the yogurt 6-8 hours later or the next day and be amazed that you have cream cheese! Keep looking at it to marvel at the fact that you actually did it. Show it to your husband several times, but never mind that he is not as impressed on the fifth Show and Tell as he was at the first one.
- Make Oreo pie crust. Read directions again and note that there are eggs in it: How did you not notice that the last time you made them when you were so excited that there weren’t eggs in it that you kept eating the raw dough?? Were you so excited about making the cookies that you absentmindedly added the eggs, or did you actually not put them in? Well, either way, thank God for His protection as you mix the batter and consider eating it again – after all, you didn’t get sick last time.
- Mix cream cheese with powdered sugar.
- Make chocolate pudding from scratch and contemplate why you don’t do it like this at home since it’s not that hard. Chase baby away from hot stove and come back to lumpy pudding. Oh, right – that’s why…. Because it needs constant attention that you don’t have.
- After pie crust is cool, spread cream cheese mixture on bottom of crust. Realize that if you skimp on the mixture you can make an extra pie to hide in the fridge to eat the next day after everyone is gone. Chide yourself for your greed and realize your fridge probably isn’t big enough to hold all the pies. Make it anyway.
- Spread pudding on the cream cheese mix. Lament lumpiness.
- Dig out that old packet of Dream Whip that someone gave you that you’ve been saving for such an occasion. Add cold milk to contents of packet and furiously whip to make whipped cream. Consider adding chocolate to the whipped cream like your mom does – after all, it is DEATH by Chocolate, and not having a chocolate topping probably only makes it severe injury by chocolate or something. Conclude that you can’t spend another minute on what used to be a really simple recipe when you were in the States and leave the topping un-chocolatey.
- Consider topping with chocolate shavings but realize you only have ½ chocolate bar left that someone brought you from Europe. Greedily Altruistically decide that there is enough chocolate in the pie and save it for later.
- Put it in the fridge and hope that there’s power so that when you serve it later that evening it is set in all its chocolate glory.
- There is. Whew.
- Serve at Thanksgiving dinner. When people comment, “Wow, that’s really good! It must have taken forever to make!” modestly smile and say, “Oh, just an old family recipe we threw together.” (By the way, it tasted WAY better the second day. Mental note: Make yogurt THREE days in advance.)