Tag Archives: Thanksgiving

How to find a turkey in japan

Thanksgiving dinner pictures

We had our annual Thanksgiving potluck on Sunday and it was great. I made pumpkin pie, quick pickled beets and turkey with gravy. Our friends brought some salads, bread and cheese and desserts. Oh, and some champagne. The Keitaigoddess brought an amazing potato bake that may have been the star of the show. I will definitely be experimenting with this.

roast turkey

I roasted the turkey upside down so that all the juices trickle down into the breast and it stays moist. Upside down the turkey kind of looks like a duck.

potato bakeThis is the amazing potato bake.

Thanksgiving table in JapanThis is most of the food. It sort of trickled in over the course of an hour.

pumpkin kabocha pieThis is my pumpkin pie. You can find the recipe here. I’ve stopped adding sugar as I find that sweetened condensed milk.

pumkin cupcakesMore yumminess from the Keitaigoddess. Pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese icing.

turkey stockI didn’t have a Ziploc bag or container big enough to hold the carcass so I decided to make stock right away. I used the crockpot and had it going all night. I can’t wait to try it.

Everyone left full and happy and that makes me happy.


Thanksgiving Dinner

Since Canadian Thanksgiving is a month before American Thanksgiving and it’s Japanese counterpart (which isn’t really celebrated), I don’t get visual reminders in supermarkets and department stores.  I once again forgot about Thanksgiving until the middle of last week.  I don’t spend much time in central Tokyo anymore and thus don’t have ready access to turkeys so I decided that this Thanksgiving I would go for a chicken.  There are five essential parts of Thanksgiving (and Christmas) dinner for me: mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, turkey and pumpkin pie.  If I have those five dishes I am good to go.  This Thanksgiving I will have to settle for four out of five.  I’ll have to splurge on a fancy turkey for Christmas.

Thanksgiving Dinner

Our feast: mashed potatoes, roasted chicken, stuffing and green beans, broccoli and kabu (turnip) done in the tajine nabe.  Pumpkin pie for dessert, of course.


onion, diced finelyStuffing

carrot, diced finely

celery, diced finely

garlic, minced

melted butter or oil

salt, pepper, mustard powder, sage

chicken bullion cube(s) or cooked turkey juice

bread, torn – I always use stale bread that has been slowly accumulating in the freezer for this specific purpose

I hate onions that are not cooked so I always saute the onion, carrot, celery and garlic in some oil and butter.  While it is sauteing I tear the bread and put it in a large bowl.  I then add enough sauted vegetables to the bread to make it nice and moist.  Season with salt, pepper, mustard powder and sage.  You want it to smell somewhat strong but be careful with the sage.  melt some butter and mix it into the bread.  If you are cooking the chicken outside of the bird I recommend dissolving a chicken bullion cube into some water and pouring it over the stuffing and adjust seasoning.  Mix up and put in a casserole dish.  Let sit for a while for flavors to mix.  Bake at the same time as your turkey/chicken.  I baked it separately at 160C for about 40min, covered, due to a small oven issue.

Next is kabocha pie (this is a pumpkin pie recipe that uses kabocha instead).  I am not a big fan of nutmeg or allspice in pumpkin pie so I just use ginger and cinnamon.  Basically use 2 teaspoons of spices of your choice.

Pumpkin Pie

Alannah Leah (My grandmother)

Kabocha Pie3/4c brown sugar (if using a kabocha that is sweet you may need to reduce this)

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon ginger

1 1/4 cup pureed pumpkin (or kabocha)

1/3 cup orange juice

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup water (optional – I usually don’t add it)

2 well beaten eggs

1 cup canned milk (I used the sweetened condensed milk sold for strawberries in Japan and don’t add sugar)

Mix sugar and spices, then add pumpkin followed by liquid.  Whisk together until smooth.  Bake in your favorite pie crust for ten minutes at 220C and then turn the oven down to 160C and bake for 40-60 minutes more.  Cool before serving.

Note: The following day I baked the leftover pie filling in a silicon cake mold and it was brilliant – no crust needed.

Easy Pie Crust

Can’t remember where I found this

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

2 teaspoons white sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 tablespoons milk

Preheat the oven to 200C/400F.  Place all the ingredients into your pie pan and mix with a fork.  Pat the mixture up the bottoms and sides of the pan.  Bake for 15 minutes in preheated oven or until light brown.  I sometimes don’t pre-bake it because it sometimes burns.