Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Thanksgiving in New Zealand

While Jess and I were certainly sad to miss out on Thanksgiving back in the US with family and friends, we did our best to bring Thanksgiving to New Zealand. As it turns out all of our flatmates, remember primarily German and Austrian, had heard of but never celebrated Thanksgiving and were excited to join in with us. (It's worth noting that knowledge of Thanksgiving is limited in these parts, one of Jess' coworkers asked if American Thanksgiving was the same as New Zealand Christmas). So, we set about organizing a Cargill Street Thanksgiving feast.

After a numerous trips to the grocery store and the discovery that turkey here is very expensive (and I mean very expensive, we bought a 13 pound turkey for $85 dollars....on sale) Jess and I spent most of Thanksgiving day cooking a giant meal for the entire flat (With big assists from our roommates Sandra, who helped us throughout the day in the kitchen, and Amy, who made a delicious stuffing). We were a little nervous, as we'd never cooked a full turkey before or a meal for so many people. The meal turned out great though, and the turkey in particular was delicious. All and all it was a great Thanksgiving. To keep from going on and on about how much we ate though, I thought I would fill the rest of the post with pictures. Hope you enjoy!

Two Americans and a Turkey, in New Zealand

Bird is the word

Jess and Sandra working on the Turkey

A non-native flightless bird of New Zealand

Our Thanksgiving table
Fancy Napkins!

Carving the turkey

These guys are excited for Thanksgiving

The whole Cargill crew

The aftermath

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Update 11/11

Hello again from Dunedin! First of all, thanks again for visiting the blog hopefully that last philosophy post didn't turn too many people off. Second of all, happy birthday to my wonderful Mom, Terri Darcy. I hope that this blog post can serve as a birthday treat. It has been a while since we've posted pictures of our adventures over here, the main reason being we haven't had too many adventures as of late. We are saving our money for a big trip this summer (February to be precise). We've rented a camper van and are going to spend ten or so days trekking around the North Island. It's gonna be pretty fantastic, so we are pretty excited. Despite a recent lack of travel though, things are still pretty exciting here in our neck of the woods.

The biggest event in the past month or so was Oktoberfest. A number of our roommates are either German or Austrian, and one is actually from Bavaria, so celebrating Oktoberfest was a must. It was a blast and Jess and I learned quite a bit about the holiday. For instance, one tradition is to wear giant heart shaped gingerbread cookies around your neck (you give them out in the same way you would a Valentine) which was quite festive and also delicious. We had a lot of really good food, the highlight being homemade pretzels. We also did some dancing, this song was a particular favorite It was stuck in both Jess and my heads for days afterwards. Here are some pictures!

Jess and Lisa making pretzels

My department mate Paul and I enjoying some Burgers
Not sure what's over there...

Jess and our Bavarian roomie Sandra
Just me and our landlord Dale

Enjoying our first Oktoberfest

There was dancing...

...and eating

Jess and the roommates

All and all Oktoberfest was lots of fun, the only downside was the nasty weather. Dunedin is not exactly known for its wonderful weather. That being said, we have gotten quite a few nice days since we've arrived. When it is nice a good way to spend the day is down at the Uni by the Leith River.

The park area by the river

The Clocktower Building

Enjoying the sun by the Leith River

We also keep busy with visits to the Dunedin farmer's market, which runs year round. The other week we found some rhubarb that we'll be using for pie (once the strawberry prices go down) and some really delicious pizza dough.  
Farmers Market goods
There has also been a fair amount of baking going on around here. For instance we made and decorated (and by we made and decorated I mean Jess made and I helped decorate) some cookies for Halloween. They were a big hit in my department and at Jess' office. 

Pacman like cookies
Sandra with some cookies

That's about all that is new here. Our level of travel will be picking up shortly. This summer we'll be traveling to different points on the South Island almost every weekend, and in the even shorter term I'll be heading to Wellington in a few weeks. A paper of mine has been accepted, so I'll be speaking at a conference which I'm very excited about. Hopefully, then, we'll be blogging again soon!