A Sailor's Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving in Samana
Our first Thanksgiving as live aboard sailors was a memorable one! Although we weren’t on board our sailboat, we did get the chance to share it with other sailing couples. We were invited on a vacation from our sailing life to a beautiful luxury villa in Las Terrenas in Samana Dominincan Republic with 3 other sailing couples we have met along our journey.
Prior to leaving, we worked closely with Nick and Kelly of Sailing Satori to prepare a menu for a traditional Thanksgiving. We dug through our pantries to see what kind of ingredients we had kicking around and then decided on a menu of items. We were invited by Jon and Kach of Two Monkeys Sailing on this mini vacation and being from the UK and the Philippines they had never had a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. We made sure to pull out all the stops to make their first thanksgiving one they would never forget.
We arrived at the villa on Wednesday afternoon, and spent the rest of the afternoon marveling over the beauty of the place, and relaxing from the tiring 5 hour drive. WE then started thinking about our preparation. The house had a five burner stove, but only a small oven. We had the turkey to roast and a handful of other items that needed to be baked so we decided that preparation would need to start a day earlier.
Kelly and Nick worked on a cheese flan, that needed extended oven time, and I worked on making a homemade apple pie, which also needed close to an hour of cook time. It started getting late, so we decided that the flan was the priority and that the pie could cook while we were eating the dinner; which would mean it would be hot when served so it all worked out great.
Thursday morning we were up early to continue the preparations after a short workout. Our menu included: Roasted Turkey, Sage and Sausage stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, broccoli cheese casserole, cranberry sauce, rolls and some homemade gravy. We started with the stuffing, got that in the oven and then worked on dressing the turkey, which we got in around 10:30 hoping that it would take no longer than 5 hours (we weren’t counting on any time frame though as in my experience the timing can never be estimated; turkeys have a mind of their own). Not sure how long it would take, we prepared all of the other sides, so that when the turkey was done, they would just need a bit of reheating.
Around 3:00 the turkey popped; 30 minutes early according to our estimates! While the turkey cooled, we reheated all the sides and prepared a few appetizers. Kelly made an amazing Feta, cranberry pinwheel, and we also had some cheese and crackers. After appetizers it turkey carving time, Nick did the honors as he spent most of the day prepping it for roasting, and quite frankly I don’t think anyone else wanted the job 😆. We were finally ready for dinner around 5:00 and had an amazing spread of food! We all filled our plates and ate, as we always do on Thanksgiving, way too much! We truly had a feast, and I think it is safe to say Jon and Kach enjoyed their first thanksgiving.
Maybe it was the appetizers or the fact that we cooked tons of food, but we had so many leftovers. There may not be any leftovers as good as Thanksgiving leftovers so we ate thanksgiving breakfasts and lunches for the next few days! We even had some turkey left when we were scheduled to leave 4 days later! I guess the turkey just isn’t as tasty when you don’t have all of the delicious sides to go along with it.
I have to admit too that I have never cooked a Thanksgiving dinner, and overestimated the time and preparation that goes into it (thanks mom, I never realized how much work you actually do!). A big thank you Nick and Kelly of Sailing Satori, you really took on the brunt of the work, we would have never been able to make such a well prepared meal if it weren't for you!
We hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and are still counting their blessings, we sure are!