So it’s Thanksgiving Eve in the United States and I’m here in China. In an attempt to celebrate my native country in true Amurrican style, I decided to host a traditional Thanksgiving meal tomorrow for 10-12 of my friends. The starting product? This 20 pound frozen bird.
The goal? This guy…
As I’ve never quite hosted a large dinner party before, let alone cooked any sort of meal involving more than 3 dishes, and certainly never attempted to broil a 20 lb bird…the whole endeavor is a bit challenging. But, the obvious fact that I’m living in Shanghai, China presents another hurdle all together. First, how does one exactly say “turkey” in Chinese?
“Oh, that’s simple,” my Mandarin speaking friend informs me, “The word for turkey is ‘Kong Long.'”
Perfect. Then Kong Long we shall have. However, the only thing is…”Kong Long” in the Mandarin language does not in fact indicate our tasty feathered friend. Oh no, Kong Long actually means “dinosaur”…and guess who was popping into various stores around Shanghai asking if they sold a “dinosaur” that could serve 10-12 people?
What a cute little prank my friend played on me! Perhaps I should reconsider his seat at my Thanksgiving table tomorrow 🙂
The second hurdle (once you know the appropriate word for turkey, which is “huo ji,” thank you very much) is actually finding the raw ingredients one needs for a traditional Thanksgiving meal. After swinging by 3 different grocery stores, I realized that this year’s feast might be just a tiny bit different.
Because, well….why buy turkey meat when you can have chicken feet? Considered a delicacy in China, my local mart offers a wide selection served elegantly on ice:
Or perhaps you are craving something of a more cold blooded variety. Well Tesco shopping mart has a great deal on some pretty languid looking frogs and slithery water snakes:
Despite the fact that my local grocer shop resembles a pet store, I was still able to score some traditional T-day ingredients for reasonable prices. The Kong Long turkey is…ahem, a different matter. At $135 USD a pop, there’s a lot riding on that bird, namely that I don’t manage to burn it black before the day is over.
It’s currently 3 minutes to T-day here and I’m already pooped from all the shopping, planning and perusing of live amphibians. Wish me luck tomorrow folks. An update to follow.
Oh, and Happy Kong Long Day! 🙂