Our Globally Inspired Thanksgiving

Hi Friends!

This week we’re taking a break from our A-Z cooking Adventures for the week.

I’m not sure what to make of that. I feel sort of exposed.


Like I’m in one of those dreams in which I am not dressed appropriately for the situation. Like… at all.

At this point, 2 years into the Adventure, I feel like I should constantly be cooking something crazy wonderful for you to enjoy – for us to enjoy! But, here’s the thing… we have several important matters to attend to this week and I want to give each matter it’s proper due.


  • This is the big one! We’re coming up on our halfway mark! We’re rounding the corner to the downhill treck! It’s amazing and you’re amazing for being a part of this journey. I so appreciate you and your support.
  • We have a super-cute winning gingerbread house from Tulsa to celebrate (don’t worry, you can still enter for the big prizes!). I can’t say too much, but you are going to love, love, love it.
  • Holiday shopping. What would this week be without a little Black Friday, Global Table Edition? I’m putting together a list of my favorite global gifts for this holiday season.
  • Turns out many readers are curious what I’ll be making for Thanksgiving and if any of those items are from Global Table Adventure. My answer is yes, yes, yes…

Today we’re going to work on that last item. Tune in all week for the rest of the list!


1. Crazy potato goodness.

For the second year in a row I’ll be making the Argentinian wonder “Mashed Potato and Corn Casserole“, a.k.a Pastel de papa con eliote. This casserole of creamy mashed potatoes topped with a sweet corn puree was a huge hit last year.

Preparation was extra easy because I assembled it the day before Thanksgiving, adding a little extra milk to keep it moist. I refrigerated the casserole overnight and just popped it in the oven to bake until browned (step 4) with extra butter on top. It worked out great!

2. Tricky Turkey Time

I’m venturing into the world of the unknown.

I’m taking a popular technique for making Kuwaiti machboos and applying it to my Turkey. That is to say, I’ll be simmering my completely thawed 12 lb turkey in a large stock pot with loads of spices, salt, and herbs until done. This will flavor, brine, and cook the turkey, all while making a light stock for the gravy and the stuffing (and whatever else I need). Then I’ll move the drained, dripped-dry Turkey to a roasting pan, rub it all over with olive oil and herbs, then brown it.

I’ll be honest, I’m a little scared.

One of two things will happen. The Turkey will fall apart when I try to remove it from the pot, in which case we’ll all have Turkey soup. OR I’ll have the best darn Turkey in the world, thanks to Kuwait. Fingers are crossed for the latter.

3. The silly simple Baltic Cranberry Sauce

I’m making this super easy cranberry sauce today (!) and then placing the sweet-tart goodness in a sealed container and refrigerating until game day. The flavors will mingle and get happy all week long. I’m planning to go extra crazy and add a cinnamon stick to give the sauce a bit of earthy flavor as well. Even with this extra step, the recipe will be done in less than 15 minutes, start to finish. Awesome-sauce!

4. Italian Sweet for my Sweets.

Ever since I made Tiramisu for our Italian Global Table I’ve wanted an excuse to make it again. While it certainly isn’t traditional Thanksgiving fare, it won out for two reasons – 1) I can assemble the trifle the day before, refrigerate and be done with it (it’s so, so much better the next day). 2) It easily serves a happy, hungry crowd and is a great potluck-style dessert.

Oh yes, and it is the prettiest trifle I ever did see!

5. Pumpkin

For those of you looking for the pumpkin, have no fear. My mother-in-law is bringing the pie. If she weren’t, however, I’d totally make this Cuban pumpkin flan. It is pumpkiny, creamy and with a light caramel sauce, I believe you’ll find it’s absolutely the bees knees.

So those are my top recommendations for a Global Thanksgiving. Other fun ideas include wild rice from Canada, Red Red from Ghana, ratatouille from France, Congolese mushrooms with fresh lemon juice, Apple Empanadas from Ecuador, Whole Apples Simmered in Spiced Syrup and Red Wine Potatoes from Cyprus.


  1. Jessica Bennett says

    I’ll bet Keith is happy with your choice of dessert (so maybe that’s 3 reasons to make it). I hope you all have a wonderful holiday 🙂

    • Sasha Martin says

      Oh yeah – he really liked Tiramisu (which is weird, since he claims to hate/loathe/despise coffee!). Happy holidays to you, as well.

  2. Denise says

    Well good morning to you, Sasha. Here, in Vancouver, it’s jusr 6:45am & still dark outside. Husband still snoring. So, I thought I’d check out my favourite blog GAT (yes, I know about the “u”in favourite) but, your neighbours (heh. there’s another one) to the north of you, just like to make things a little more difficult than need be (my opinion)!
    I love the players in your Thanksgiving dinner; couldn’t be more perfect. I am sure you will be inundated with ideas on how to get your turkey out of the pot, in one piece, so I thought I’d get in first with mine.
    OK have ready the pan with the roasting rack (as shown in the photo). Now, with Keith on one side & you on the other, each grasp a handle, carry the pot over to the already placed rack & pan. So far, so good, eh? (we canucks seem to like the use of that “eh” quite a bit). NOW the important part is that you & Keith each begin to slowly pour the turkey & stock out at one end of the rack & pan, while slowly moving the said pot over to the other end. What you will see is just a 12lb naked bird coming out on a water slide – sloop & there it

  3. Denise says

    Sorry, I hit the send before finishing. OK, now the bird has gone sliding down on the water slide & you have a turkey on a rack with the stock below. Simply lift the rack, pour the stock out into another pot at the ready & lower the rack, with said bird, onto the counter. Proceed as usual for your browning stage.
    This really sounds amazing; just be sure you very slowly tip the bird out onto the rack (very close to the rack) or it could break somewhat. Good luck. I’m definitely trying the potato & corn dish. Good luck & looking forward to seeing your end result. Happy Thanksgiving. I am truly grateful to have your wnderful blog in my life.

    • Sasha Martin says

      Denise! You are a superstar 🙂 I hadn’t thought of slipping the bird out into the rack. I like it, with one change… I’d ladle out most of the stock before pouring it into the rack – I want to avoid scalding myself or Keith if at all possible. The real question is how long will it take to simmer and cook through? I have no idea ha ha… it’s all very interesting and hopefully will work out okay! If not, I’ll have a funny story from my first attempt at cooking a Turkey – how I couldn’t leave well enough alone. Anyway, thanks for being a superfan and I hope you enjoy the potatoes! Yum, yum.

  4. Caroline says

    My mom decided yesterday that we should probably include cranberry sauce to our menu to make it a little more traditional. She mentioned buying the canned stuff, but I showed her the Baltic cranberry sauce and she’s decided to make it! I’m very excited as this will be our/my first attempt at making one of your fabulous global recipes. I’ll keep you posted on how ours turns out 🙂

    • Sasha Martin says

      Hurrah! You’ll both love it – it’s so simple. And if you like it strained, it’ll yield a bit less but still be fantastic.

  5. I guess I started reading your blog after that casserole recipe went up because, man, I feel a hole in my life. I need a dish to contribute to Thanksgiving this year, and it may be the winner. Yum! And thanks!

    • Sasha Martin says

      Awesome, Brigid! I’m thrilled you’ll be trying it. Feel free to add your favorite seasonings to the potatoes, too. It’s an easy one to play around with. Just don’t compete too much with the corn 🙂 Happy Holidays.

  6. Merry Thanksgiving! Or is it happy Thanksgiving? To me this is the real proof of how global our world is. I never knew a thing about Thanksgiving before having a few American friends and reading American blogs – which is a bit the same. Now I am thinking of celebrating it on my own, just because! (because I love the food for one thing). On the other hand, I had a major shock when I realized the rest of the world actually works on Ferragosto (15 August). The first time I went to work on that day, I thought the wourld could well end, because a universal rule had just been broken.

    Keep us updated with your turkey experiment. It could be awesome.

    • Sasha Martin says

      Ha – while it’s normally happy, I’m good with a merry AND a happy Thanksgiving 🙂 Tell me more about Ferragosto…

  7. Katherine says

    So how did the turkey turn out? I’ve been waiting for you to tell us…..

    • Sasha Martin says

      Ok! So here’s how it worked out: I simmered the turkey in a mixture of sherry, water, apple, orange peel, rosemary, thyme, sage, parsley, mushroom stems, salt, pepper, and brown sugar. The broth was amazing. So, so good.

      It was at a barely simmer – took 30 minutes to come to a bubble. Then I cooked it 1 1/2 hours and then the temperature read 165. I poured the broth into a separate stock pot, then, with my husband’s help, slid the turkey onto the roasting rack. We poured out the little broth that dripped into the pan. I then let it steam dry for 15 minutes.

      I rubbed it all over with olive oil, salt and pepper and popped it in a 450F oven until brown (about 15-30 minutes).

      The flavor was very good and it browned up beautifully, but the turkey meat was a bit on the tough side. I think I should have simmered it longer (at barely a bubble) – long and slow – to tenderize the meat. I’m not sure, really. Either that or I used too much salt? It never “boiled” which I know can toughen meat, so that can’t be the problem.

      Anyway, it was pretty good and definitely worth another try to refine the system… and I plan on figuring out before next year 🙂

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