How Do You Cook a Turkey in a Toaster Oven? or, Thanksgiving in China


Short answer: You don’t.

Long answer: You boil it instead.

Even longer answer: Don’t buy a turkey in China. They’re too expensive.

Yes, that’s right. For Thanksgiving, we didn’t eat turkey. We had chicken instead. And it was boiled chicken.

Now, before you throw up your hands and gasp in horror at the un-Americanness of our Thanksgiving, we did have all the other trappings. Stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, rolls–we had no worries of starvation.

We did, however, feel slightly (only slightly? make that very) crazy at attempting to have fifteen people over to our small apartment and our table that seats six or so. For lack of a better option, we turned to plundering. The spoils from our neighbor’s apartment included another toaster oven, serving dishes, another table, chairs, and some pots and pans for less crazy cooking. I could feel my Viking heritage coming through strongly! (Disclaimer–all the things we used for Thanksgiving were borrowed WITH consent!)

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Setting up the tables

So while Jared set things up (didn’t he do a nice job?), I baked sweet potatoes and squashes, boiled chickens, made pies, and tried to figure out how to make a second pie when you only have one pie pan. (Our plundering failed to reveal that little detail. )

Note–our tables were in the other room, so all my cooking had to be done on our coffee table. Let’s just say I’d have back problems if I had to do anything on that for more than the two hours before Thanksgiving.

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That, folks, was nearly the extent of my counter space. 

Then Jared was put in charge of making sure the sweet potatoes got thoroughly marshmallowed and were sweet enough.

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Attacking his task with vigor. Don’t faint–he washed his hands first.

So by the time students showed up, they only had to roll out the bread (which they were thrilled by) and help mash the potatoes and put everything on the table. They loved watching the bread bake and puff up, since in China they only ever steam their bread.

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All the food. Wasn’t that a feast?

One thing I didn’t get a picture of was my first ever pecan (actually walnut) pie. It turned out deliciously, for not having any corn syrup or pecans. Everyone loved it.

We did go slightly non-traditional and eat with chopsticks because we had more of those than forks and knives. I think our Chinese friends felt more comfortable with that anyways!

Happy Thanksgiving from China! (I was behind the camera).

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All the people! Apparently two fingers is a Chinese thing?

What did you do for Thanksgiving? Was it as crazy as trying to fit 16 people into a tiny apartment for a feast

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6 thoughts on “How Do You Cook a Turkey in a Toaster Oven? or, Thanksgiving in China

  1. Pingback: 12 Photos (plus a few) from 2014 | Milk and Pickles

  2. Our Thanksgiving was pretty crazy… The oven caught on fire! Thankfully, it didn’t spread, but it was interesting having two big firetrucks in front of the house.
    Your friends at Grace Church miss you! Happy Thanksgiving!

  3. Carson

    Now you’re cooking! Frederick especially enjoyed the photo of Jared and the sweet potatos. I liked what appeared to be the giant marshmallows IN the sweet potatos! Everyone looks very happy (and thankful). Congratulations!

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