感恩节

I don’t even know where to start. There is so much to give thanks for.

This year’s thanksgiving was spent at Chris’ house and was really quite something. Justine and i went there on wednesday to start prep and we baked 6 pies. oh yes. i was just going to bring a strawberry tart over, and then we started making crusts and got a tad ambitious. There was cherry pie, chocolate pie, raspberry cream cheese pie, pecan pie, apple crumb pie, and pumpkin pie. Oo we also made coffee cake and pandan cake.. which failed to aerate and hence didn’t become chiffon as much as sponge. the only person there who knew what it was sposed to be like was jingyee and thankfully he didn’t let on. gotta love green cake. and we made poppadom! we were strolling about the international aisles in wegmans and chanced upon raw poppadom chips and bought them to show chris what indian keropok was like. frying them was SO cool! here’s a vid.

we didn’t start on the main courses until wed night since most of the afternoon was spent alternately baking and eating what we’d baked. like the poppadom and the chocolate pie. and we also cooked lunch and dinner (how can the chefs cook without sustenance?) for ourselves which took a bunch of time. turkey’s easy, you just sort of baste it and shove it in the oven, checking continuously with a meat thermometer. the corn casserole was easy too, just shoving a bunch of stuff into a casserole dish and then dumping it in the oven. squashes were mashed, so were potatoes, although i did a potato gratin this time (which was underbaked O_O although we’d left it in for ages already. gosh my oven at home must be really powerful i have to increase the baking temp/times for all my recipes here).

i met three of chris’s four brothers and they were all really cool! good for lots of laughs. john used to write for some comedy and came up with this amtrek website to do a startrek parody of the amtrak that dee loves so much. pete brought his usual cranberry sauce in a can, which kyle aptly put “made by someone who really cares.” how an eleven yr-old got so sarcastic i’ll never know. paul’s the one dabbling in robotics and we talked up a storm about his basketball robots and micromouse. the three kids were the same, we got a scrabble game going (with much persuasion from me) and here’s the real nadir of the afternoon: jingyee beat me! he got a Q on a double letter X triple word (=60) and so got 82 points with QUEST. and i had two all-vowel racks. T-T the game got interrupted in the middle by kyle breaking a lamp before i could make my stunning recovery so >< haha he was all excited about that but it didn't motivate him enough for a rematch bah.

i think it's funny and flattering how kyle regards me at the same level as him (i.e. just another eleven yr-old). he was the youngest there and wanted me to accompany him on the keyboard while he played certain hymns on the bass. he's been playing the bass for 3 years and isn't that fantastic yet. we were doing 'Jesus loves me' in Eb major and in the bass clef there are 3 flats, as you all know. he had to hit the higher Bb but he played a B and then i pointed out the Bb accidental in the key signature and he told me it was the wrong line, because that accidental is written an octave below the note he was supposed to play so it doesn't count for that note. lol. when i told him otherwise he was all "are you sure?" "how do you know it applies to ALL possible Bs?" and i was so amused. i haven't had anyone question/doubt my musical knowledge in a long, long, time so this childlike suspicion is frankly quite refreshing. and then later when i was helping him pack up i was folding the music stand and he was all
“you know how to keep the music stand??”
“yeah.”
“do you play in a band?”
“no.”
“then how do you know how to keep it?”
(something i’m stumped by. how do i know how to fold the music stand? it’s quite complex, for those who haven’t done it before.)
pete then hollered “it’s because she’s smart.”
and everyone laughed at kyle because of the oh-so subtly implied contrast.
and while we were playing scrabble he was like “can anyone here spell good?” and i didn’t know what to say so i didn’t say anything. and then he was like “oh great. we’re playing a word game when none of us knows how to spell.” and i was so tickled. i like being treated on the same level. i much prefer that someone identifies with me than regards me as some unapproachable, formalised person. which is probably why i never talk to anybody about math. haha. not that i could talk to kyle about math he’d probably stick his fingers in his ears and never talk to me again. it’s not like i’m hiding my smarts. it’s just that things are far more pleasant (/hilarious) if i don’t let on.

i’m really thankful for everyone’s presence yesterday. for the girls i was cooking with, all of whom are so able at culinary things. thankful for chris’s kitchen/freezer that is so well equipped with things like raspberry sherbet and peanut butter filled pretzel pillows (as jy says, you could be stuck in her basement in a war for like a month and not go hungry). and for jy, who actually came for dinner to accompany me and who had to leave his comfort zone to hang out with new people, even though neither new people nor hanging out is really his thing. at least the new people were cool (and v. unshy when it comes to putting guests to work). within 2 minutes of stepping into the house chris had assigned him a long list of tasks to do. i think it’s a great social skill (assigning guests tasks). makes people feel important and necessary, when you allow some things to fall apart if they were not around to fix them up and depend on them to get things done.

***my parents just called. haha i feel like such a prodigal daughter.
“your voice sounds very clear now. is your cough okay?”
“yeah.”
“do you know we were praying for you every day?”
“yeah.”
“do you pray for us?”
“no.”
haha. at least they took it easy and were v. chill/bemused about how indifferent i am.
“email us as often as you can okay!”
“ok. when i need you to send something i’ll email you.”
yeah i know i take them for granted. perhaps i shall email them now and remind them to send me something pretty for christmas. for the record i did think of them yesterday; when the pandan cake batter wasn’t anything like what i’d expected it to be i wanted to ring my mum and ask her what the deal was and how to fix it, like i always do in sg when something i’m baking looks/goes awry. but i couldn’t because ringing her is expensive (i assume), plus i didn’t really know how since i’ve never rung her from here before. haha.

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