I cannot believe it is already December!! Where has the time gone? I guess that's a sign of just how adapted we've become. It has been an interesting few weeks here in Beijing, as we have now celebrated 2 holidays back-to-back and managed to make them special and unique, China-style.
Adam already posted about Thanksgiving, but he did not write anything about how my kindergarten celebrated (ps: I love that I was completely left out of the Thanksgiving celebration planning...as the only foreigner, let alone American...I will never understand my principal's logic). For the kids, they combined the November birthdays birthday party with Thanksgiving. This meant that every class had some sort of paper good to put onto hooks attached to a massive card...
...and then sang "Happy Birsday" to the birsday kids.
For the teachers, Thanksgiving means a gift exchange and singing a "gan en ge" (Thanksgiving song). The principal and head teacher spoke for a while when suddenly Bobby (side note: I found out yesterday that her name is actually BARBIE but it sounds like "Bobby-eh" when pronounced with a Chinese accent) stood up and lead the entire staff in a song/dance about giving thanks. I tried my best to keep a straight face! Then we had the gift exchange, where I received a piece of brown plastic in a baggie. Turns out that when you rub the plastic against your skin, it is healing. I'm slightly skeptical, as the person who told me this also told me that eating chicken skin will make your skin glow. Thoughts?
I also want to quickly add to Adam's post: he did a fantastic job with his first turkey carving! Doesn't this turkey (the one holding the knife) look delicious?
(Liz, that joke was for you!) We had quite the spread at Sarah's. I am impressed with how everyone adjusted their family's recipes according to what can be found in China. For example, I successfully replicated my mom's sweet potato casserole by using Digestives (British cookies) instead of graham crackers, yogurt and baking soda instead of baking powder, vanilla powder (with added water), and home-made applesauce. It was yummy, and I was so proud of myself!
(Sweet potatoes are to the far left) - doesn't this look great?!
Adam and I decided that for Hanukkah, we will make it special by doing fun things instead of exchanging gifts. This weekend, we are headed to Pingyao with Sarah (see Adam's post), and next week, we are going out to dinner at a French restaurant. But tonight, I made sweet potato latkes and cinnamon applesauce, both from scratch!
(Can you tell that I'm quite proud of my cooking?! Haha). We enjoyed this delicious Hanukkah treat while watching our menorah candles burn on the windowsill:
Adam and I thought it might be cool to get a Chinese menorah, but the only ones we could find were actually American. Thus, we improvised with tea candles (thanks for the idea, Mom!)!
Happy Hanukkah and December! (don't worry, December 1st turns out to be a great day!)