How to Guarantee a Knockout Thanksgiving Dinner In Lebanon
If you’ve ever lived in the US or even visited during the month of November, you understand the enormity of Thanksgiving. It would not be brash to compare it to the ranks of Christmas, as virtually everyone in the country drops everything and heads home for an extended four-day weekend.
Thanksgiving’s origins are rooted in the first harvest reaped by the pilgrims after their arrival to the New World in 1621. Today, nearly 400 years later, the holiday continues to be about the two words forming its name: giving thanks for one’s blessings; focusing on the haves, not the have-nots; and spreading generosity to those less fortunate.
It is perhaps those altruistic, heartwarming aspects of Thanksgiving that make it so treasurable in the hearts of all Americans, regardless of religion, race, creed, or age. Trust me when I say, American expats enjoy a magnified fondness of the holiday in their adopted communities around the world, to the extent that Thanksgiving is celebrated anywhere you could bump into an American.
Heck, even when I lived in Paris, my company cafeteria offered a special Thanksgiving lunch of glazed ham, string beans, and sweet potato in observance of the day. And that’s in spite of Parisian’s deep contempt for loud Americans!
Here in Lebanon, the American expat community is considerable, and no doubt next Thursday will bear witness to many a Thanksgiving gathering. If you’re lucky enough to be hosting a dinner, or if you’re even luckier to snatch up an invitation to one, you’re going to need the holiday essentials, because no way am I letting you settle for some tacky, pseudo-Thanksgiving feast gone wrong with local knock-off substitutes.
|Pumpkins are the icon of autumn and Thanksgiving|
So listen up, and listen well.
There’s only one store I’m signing off on as your one-stop shop, and you’ve probably already guessed it. Indeed, Wesley’s Wholesale has just received a container full of all the holiday must-haves to make your dinner party a raving success.
First up, condiments for the turkey. Cranberry sauce is the traditional topper, and I promise you won’t find anything fancier, tastier, or healthier than Colonial Cranberry Sauce’s 3-ingredient wonder. Not even jam is this clean. With nothing but real cranberries, sugar, and water in this mash-up, your turkey will be howling with delight at how much tanginess this dressing imparts to its characteristically dry flesh. Plus, this product hails from New England, where the pilgrims originally settled. So you can kind of intuit a mystical transcendence there.
|Colonial Cranberry Sauce|
|Nutrition facts: three little ingredients|
On any other day, French fries would be acceptable. On Thanksgiving, mashed potatoes take center stage, but don't leave them bare and bland. Might I recommend Heinz HomeStyle Gravy for Roasted Turkey? Literally, all you have to do is heat this blend, derived from real turkey stock and light spices, and serve as a topping alongside the mashed potatoes: they’ll instantly transform into a luxurious treat.
|Heinz HomeStyle Gravy, Roasted Turkey flavor|
If you were thinking of proffering pita (or worse, “khebbez franjeh”), get out of my house, er, blog! I will not have it. I don’t care how pressed you are for time, you can always snag a box of Krusteaz Honey Cornbread & Muffin Mix, which is easier to whip up and bake than cake in a mug. Plus, it’s devilishly good, moist with hints of buttermilk and honey. Wesley's also carries the mix in gluten-free form. So no excuses.
|Krusteaz Honey Cornbread|
We all know that pumpkin pie is to Thanksgiving what marron glacé is to Noel: indispensable. Thanksgiving dinner doesn’t stand a chance without the promise of the custard-like spiced pie to end the binge fest. If you’ve never baked it before, it really only requires a few key products to assemble. For a no-frills graham cracker crust, try Honey Maid’s, which comes in an oven-safe aluminum mold.
|Honey Maid Graham Cracker Pie Crust|
You can readily buy organic pumpkin purée by Pacific Foods, but if you’re wondering what will give it that cinnamon-ginger-nutmeg-brown sugar lift to awesome pie status, it’s all in a little canister called McCormick’s Pumpkin Pie Spice. Any simpler and we’ll start having flashbacks from 7th grade Home Ec.
|McCormick's Pumpkin Pie Spice|
That should have you squared away. Now if you’ll please let me get back to my kitchen duties, I have a turkey to baste. What, you didn’t possibly think I’d get it right from the first shot, did you? Gobble, gobble!
Blvd. Camille Chamoun
Antoine Gharios Center
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Beirutista has joined forces with Wesley’s Wholesale as Brand Ambassador. What exactly does that mean? Well, if you liked this post, you can look forward to similar ones every month or so. I’ll also be blogging about a variety of exciting new projects Wesley’s has underway, in addition to sneak peeks and product leaks! Expect cool new product giveaways from time to time, and if you’re a real Wesley’s obsessive like I am, I’ll gladly hook you up with 10% off your next visit. Just shoot me a message at any of my contact coordinates listed here.