Friday, November 25, 2011

week 62_Thanksgiving in Taipei

Now that my adventures here have come full circle, this week I celebrated my second Thanksgiving in Taipei. Let's face it, Thanksgiving is probably the most American holiday next to the 4th of July (not exactly adopted by the locals...). Nonetheless, there must be some demand by expats to celebrate because this fall 2011 provided plenty of opportunities to enjoy turkey & all the fixins!

Not surprisingly, in these global times, Taipei residents who want to celebrate Thanksgiving should have no problem finding a feast. Let's face it - the world is a lot smaller than it used to be. Not only can I talk to people on the other side of the globe face to face, but I can also enjoy turkey & cranberries at home in Asia. I can't speak for the other cities in Taiwan, but in Taipei there were numerous vendors offering turkey dinners of all levels - frozen/fresh foods to prepare, carry out dinners to take home, or steaming hot buffets and set menus served to your table by gracious waitstaff. One of the English newspapers runs a full listing of Thanksgiving offerings each year - that seems to be the best place to get your information. This year I had a sampling of each. :)

Thursday was a typical work day (which of course felt a bit strange), so I worked steadily to ensure I would be able to bolt at quittin' time and make it to my dinner date! For lunch my co-workers suggested we check out IKEA, in case they might have a Thanksgiving meal. Of course --- being a bit dim-witted, it didn't sink in until we arrived that of course they wouldn't celebrate Thanksgiving. Western does not equal American... but I did get mashed potatoes, gravy, and cranberry sauce with my meatball lunch ~ so that almost counts, right? 

IKEA Taipei Lunch:
10 Meatballs with Gravy,
Mashed Potatoes, & Cranberry Sauce

For Thanksgiving evening I joined some American friends at their home to enjoy a bountiful feast of delicious home-cooked food! I must say, it is terribly convenient to have great friends who offered to cook the entire meal, so all I had to do was show up and eat! Even still, I look forward to future Thanksgivings when I may have an oven again to cook my own turkey. :)

Delicious Thanksgiving dinner with friends!
Turkey, Stuffing, Mashed Potatoes, Brown Gravy, Glazed Carrots, Green Bean Casserole, & Cranberry Sauce
My plate ~~~ Yum!
+ Pumpkin Pie for dessert!

The dinner was fabulous. I am lucky to have friends in Taipei who took time off work to make the holiday memorable and fix a delicious dinner! Even Ginger was there to keep me company...

Ginger keeping watch, hoping we might drop some turkey!

Nothing beats a great home-cooked meal to really usher in the holiday season. However, my honey was unable to get off work this Thanksgiving (remember - it's not a holiday here!). So on Friday when he did have the day off, we set out to try one of the Thanksgiving set menus at a western restaurant in Taipei: Carnegie's. Neither of us had been there before, though we have heard of it on numerous occasions. It was really nice to get to enjoy the evening together. He even dressed up nice so I had a hot date to show off for the evening ;)

Sadly, the Carnegie's Thanksgiving set menu left a lot to be desired! The best part of the meal was definitely the turkey! Some of the other items were very 'wanna be' dishes... they wanted to be authentic American food... but seemed to sort of miss the mark in menu selection and flavor...

Carnegie's Thanksgiving Turkey Dinner:
Salad with fresh fruit garnish and strawberry dressing or Clam Chowder (not pictured)
Turkey piled with (???) giblets, roll, 'creamed' vegetables,
White gravy, Roasted Potatoes, Cranberry Sauce
Pumpkin Cheesecake with Coffee or Tea for dessert

Regardless, we are SO THANKFUL for each other ~ we had a splendid time. :)

Aside from the two Thanksgiving feasts above, we also had leftovers from both this week. I've been on a real cook-at-home kick since we moved into the new apartment, and I am loving it! The dinner with friends leftovers were delicious re-heated, but the Carnegie's leftovers I turned into a turkey and vegetable soup.

Soup anyone?

After the second turkey dinner, we strolled a little in town and did some window shopping. No Black Friday shopping for us, and no four day weekend, but it is my favorite season in Taipei and I am loving every minute of it!

View from our balcony. A perfect Sunday evening.


  1. Taking Turkey Dinners to the max. Lizzie you had three turkey celebrations! Good for you. So glad Jason had some turkey too. It does make you sleepy. Just a little turkey left and possibly a turning into an enchilada dinner.
    Can't wait to see you!

  2. Hello fellow Texans. Just moved here 2 months ago from Houston. Stumbled on your blog - googled Christmas decorations in Taipei and yours was one of the hits. This thanksgiving, my problem was not having an oven (found a great place w/ one) but finding a turkey to cook in it. Any tips as get closer to Christmas on where to find a bird in this town?

  3. Hello fellow Texan :)

    Check out this article from this year's Thanksgiving season (2011):

    If you are looking for a turkey at Christmas, I would suggest to check with these places first. You may have better luck finding a Ham during the Christmas season --- I'm not sure.

    Also, a Costco membership here costs around $40 US for the year I think... and they are known for having Western foods available, especially around the holidays. Or for example, they have the Diet Cokes (not Coke Zero) that I like... You might want to look into a membership!

    Wherever you find your feast, you will likely need to order/reserve your turkey in advance so now is the time!