Happy Micro-Thanksgiving on Ambergris Caye

Last year, for Thanksgiving, we had a full house at the camp.  3 strapping Brits and a Canadian couple who knew very little about the American Holiday but were VERY ready to embrace the turkey, stuffing, rice and beans with gravy and pie.  For seconds and thirds.

Thanksgiving is an American holiday but it is interesting to note that there were only three domesticated animals in North America before the Europeans arrived – ducks, turkeys and dogs.  The Maya – the original inhabitants of Belize, it is thought, farmed, and ate turkey.

Here’s an ocellated turkey that I spotted at the HUGE Maya site of Tikal.

We made a pretty impressive feast (if I do say so myself) – ending with two huge pies – one apple and one pumpkin – that we purchased from Georgie the Pie Lady.

This year it will be a much smaller event.

I like the term “micro-Thanksgiving” – it sounds very cozy.

The camp is currently closed – and we are staying very close to home – and have been for the last 8…9…1000 months?   COVID rates are up in Belize – as they are in the states – and while a vaccine is on the near horizon – HIP HIP HIP HIP HOORAY – we are buckling down for the home stretch.

Monday – we put together our micro-Thanksgiving menu – for me, Jeff and our camp manager Andress.  And yesterday…we headed to town.

It was a beautiful day.  The epic rains are drying!

Turkey leg/thigh with a dry rub of allspice, brown sugar and some other stuff…confit and then crisped in the oven.

Here’s the preview…Jeff is working on it as I type.

Cornbread Stuffing, Gravy, Mashed potatoes, Cranberry (the kind that is translucent and shaped like the can) and Ina Garten’s Apple Crisp (a half recipe)

All made with EXTRA so we can make Thanksgiving Burritos on day 2.

We headed to town.  All the ingredients for Thanksgiving can NOT be found at one store.  No way.  Never.  Things like Cranberry or sage or even turkey require a specialty store…so here’s how it all went down.

And if you are NOT in the mood for all this scurrying around (we had to go to three stores to find butter…so critical for a proper Turkey dinner) – there are lots of restaurants doing a sit-in meal OR…you can get a takeaway plate.  Annie’s Pastries does a fun $15bzd Turkey dinner lunch.  Literally a scoop of about 13 different foods all in one container.

Make sure to pre-order!

From dumplings to dessert.

First – south of town to Caribbean Chicken.  They have turkey year-round but the best part?  They sell all sorts of turkey parts – just drumsticks or wings or leg and thighs.  We got a pack.

And a pack of necks for the gravy.

Next stop – Sausage Factory for one package of their very tasty Chardonnay-Apple Chicken Sausage for the stuffing.

The huge new resort – slated for 2021 completion – the Alaia.

I stopped in to chat with my friend Saul – because he has a DARLING puppy in his yard – one that is without a home.

A stray kitten was attacking the pup’s wagging tail.  (He/she has the most darling white tipped toes and a spotted chest…if you are looking for a holiday pup?)

When I went to grab my food bags about half an hour later…the kitten had made herself at home.

She got a bit feisty when I suggested she get off my groceries.

I wanted to take them both home.

Two more pictures from Central Park in town.  A Mennonite gentleman waiting for the water taxi.

The dock.

We stopped at Greenhouse for a few things like molasses and cloves – though no fresh sage this year!  At Caye Mart for apples and lemons and cornbread mix.  At Super Buy for cranberry sauce.  

And headed home.  Praying we didn’t forget anything – we are 30 minutes from town on a bumpy, muddy golf cart ride.

The view over the bridge.

And taking the dogs for a walk on the beach when we got home.

(It’s more like a gimpy limp on my part.  Let’s not dwell on it – it just involved a thorough stubbing and now a blackened baby toe)

Enjoy your Thanksgiving, smaller than usual though it might be.  May it be filled with lots of food, family and friends via zoom and romping dogs.

Oh…and I started making one of these things that my mother always made for the holidays.  I’ll be busy today sticking cloves in an orange because…it smells good.

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