Pretty Damn Good Thanksgiving

After an epic fail attempt at dinner tonight, I thought, let’s recap on the good of Thanksgiving….relive those little hen memories.

I wanted to make a lot of food for thanksgiving because food is love. And that’s what a normal thanksgiving is, way too much food. And with E working all day, and the day after, and no family, well…it needed to feel like a normal thanksgiving. So regardless of if it was just E & I, my menu was set. Luckily my friend accepted an invite and we ended up having E’s coworker as well. All expats!

I decided against a turkey (even though I found where to pick out my own bird) because my oven is tiny and we fight a lot. So I went with a “Cornish Game Hen” recipe that my mother swears by. Well, here they just call em “Poussin” but thanks to google (hey, I took German my whole life) I found they were the same thing. It was funny when my mother asked the night before if they were defrosting already and I said they came fresh. Apparently in Northwest Indiana you must get your Poussin frozen. I probably saw these little buggers alive last week in driving to the garden center.

So the menu was:

  • Spinach Artichoke dip to start
  • Roast Cornish Hens with Bacon Walnut Stuffing and Wine Sauce
  • Green Bean Casserole
  • Corn Bread Casserole (Paula Dean’s but no cheese)
  • My mother’s cheese veggies (ended up poorly- not sure why when hers is great)
  • Jazzed up Cranberry sauce (thank you Wendy Williams for the recipe the morning of)
  • Mashed Cauliflower and Butternut Squash
  • Pumpkin Pie
  • Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies

And it actually turned out good! Okay, not perfect or like the best ever thanksgiving. As mentioned, cheesy veggies were undercooked and water. Green bean casserole was just kind of meh. But, corn bread casserole was great, jazzed up cranberry sauce was great, mashed stuff was good, cookies were good. What I was most concerned about- the hens and the pumpkin pie- both turned out amazing!

Me stuffing little hens.  Being super grossed out.

Me stuffing little hens. Being super grossed out.

I might even make them again. Which is saying a lot since I was mentally scared after I had to pluck the hens (okay, they came plucked, but not very well) and cut off toenails and toes! YES! I CUT OFF LITTLE TOES OF MY HENS. It was so gross. I think they were dewclaws or something? Do hens have dewclaws? I don’t know but I yelled oh my god with every pluck and hack of a finger.


It was actually a pretty good thanksgiving. I didn’t even get sad! Well, a little sad reading my great-great-grand uncle’s letter from the Civil War. It was this letter my dad had acquired and delighted in reading (to everyone’s dismay) every Thanksgiving. Well, if I’m starting my own thanksgivings….I’m bringing the letter with me. I think he’d be happy…although our guests seemed utterly confused and slightly weirded out. Maybe because the letter is pretty random, but it does talk about how shitty war was and how much he wanted to go home for some good food. Thus, we should be thankful our lives are not that shitty and we eat good food every day.

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Oh and E’s coworker brought an apple pie…which we later used to make apple pie milkshakes. Thanks (again) to Wendy Williams! They were pretty amazing- frozen apple pie, vanilla ice cream, milk, and some cinnamon. Do it, do it!


  1. Brett E.

    Things I Learned From This Post…

    1. Erik dresses up for Thanksgiving.
    2. You look like your mum while desecrating hens.

    1. Lauren (Post author)

      Looking like Sandra with my hand up a hen’s ass…could be worse. That’s E’s dressy t-shirt!

  2. Pam LeBlanc

    Loved reading this post, reminds me of all the good things from home 🙂

    1. Pam LeBlanc

      Ooops, that was supposed to post under your 30 things to be thankful for!!

      1. Lauren (Post author)

        No worries. Glad you could reminisce with it!

  3. Alexandra @ Team Starnes

    OMG! I’m loving the menu and everything looks very tasty!

    Hi! I’m Alexandra and my husband and I just moved up to Aberdeen from London (errr, like two weeks ago) and I know Abby Duerr. She mentioned you, and that you had a blog, so I figured I would reach out and say hey! It looks like we have a lot in common—just from what I’ve quickly read on your blog—so that means we should be friends!…right?! LOL. I’d love to meet up! I’m in the market for Aberdeen friends! Hope to hear from you! xx

    1. Lauren (Post author)

      Hi Alexandra! Did you just move to Scotland? Feel free to email me if you have any questions or need any help- I’m a newbie still but so far I feel quite resourceful!

  4. Stacey McRobb

    So after completely failing at making my own pumpkin puree…i have to ask where in Aberdeen can you find canned pumpkin puree? My pumpkin cheesecake is a complete disaster and this will be my 5th thanksgiving in Aberdeen without pumpkin pie…please help!

    Sad and pumpkin-less

    1. Lauren (Post author)

      Oh pumpkin can be in your hands ASAP! Best bets are the Tesco Extra (AB12 8HB) and Tesco on Lang Straat which both have American Food sections and generally carry it now in the fall/seasonal months. Additionally, you can always order it from (yes overpriced but tis the season:, sometimes Mains of Drum garden center carries it as well. Waitrose (which isn’t located in Aberdeen but you can order groceries from them to be delivered here) also carries Pumpkin Puree. Good luck- you should never be deprived of Pumpkin!


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