Thursday, November 24, 2011

Shanghai Thanksgiving

It's been a stressful magazine proofing week, plus I have a freelance project that's driving me nuts. So this morning as I was headed out the door and roommate Sam said "well we should at least all eat dinner together," I figured we'd fish leftovers out of the fridge and make something edible.

Then around 1pm this afternoon I decided I wanted pumpkin pie. Really badly. Acquiring a pumpkin pie isn't exactly as easy as popping over to the grocery store. But for all the trouble and stress this week has brought on, I decided it didn't matter what it cost or what I had to do, I was going to have my pie, goddamit.

I called around until I found an American restaurant in the French Concession that was doing a T-day buffet and agreed to hold a pie for me. I biked over after work, hadn't exactly thought about how I was going to bike home with a pie...but the chef gave me some plastic ribbon (like the kind you wrap presents with) and I managed to secure it to my bike rack.

Then when I walked in the door, I found Sam and James in the kitchen mashing potatoes, deviling eggs and preparing the stove for fried chicken, recipe courtesy of Paula Deen. I found an expired can of cranberry sauce in the pantry (something I bought back before I owned a can opener...) and we made instant gravy with some store-bought pellets that looked distinctly like cat litter, but tasted rather okay.

Everything turned out great (though we all agreed next time we'll fry chicken with about 1/3 the salt Paula calls for), we even said a little grace. It's nice that at the end of a not-so-awesome day, I was given occasion to remember that I have a job that I like, more money than I need, and wonderful friends and family, near and far. 

Tonight the magazine goes to print and tomorrow I'm taking the day to go to Jiangsu Province to eat hairy crabs on Yancheng Lake at a farmer's house. Bring on the Christmas season!

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