Not Home for the Holidays: Friendsgiving and Turducken

It’s just a meal, right? How much does it matter to be home for Thanksgiving?

I’m not quite sure.

Thanksgiving in NY, 2009. 

I didn’t even really have a nice, relaxing Thanksgiving in NY last year. I think I spent two days at home and then I had to travel to Ethiopia for work.  I know, poor me. This year, I decided to stay in San Francisco for Thanksgiving. It wasn’t that I couldn’t afford to fly home. After giving it some thought, I felt there are better ways to spend my money than on a rushed four-day trip home during one of the busiest travel weekends where I‘m sure I would have ended up delayed at some point cursing out civilization. So I will be spending Thanksgiving with friends. This will be weird for sure. I know I will have fun but it will just not be the same.

I will miss seeing my cousins.

I wonder how his chokehold is doing.

I will miss dressing the dog and watching her get bored with me.

I swear Kara is a human inside a corgi’s body.

Chris and I already went to a “Friendsgiving” dinner where our pals made Turducken (a chicken stuffed inside a duck stuffed inside a turkey).  It was awesome – everyone bought dishes and we all pigged out. It was like a stretch right before a marathon where we all got to preview what’s to come this Thursday of monster pigging out. There was one mishap. We all learned never to put pyrex on a burner – it will explode and it will be scary and someone will get cut on their foot from the shards of glass that fly everywhere. If only the one-armed man could have taught us that lesson before.

Fortunately, no one was seriously hurt and we all happily feasted.

Lining up for the buffet. 

The best part (for me at least) was the desserts. I made sure to save room. I guess that is the one thing I am looking forward to this Thanksgiving with friends. They all love desserts. My family could care less – they are more savory people. So when I bake something or my cousin bakes something, it usually gets passed up sitting next to the fried rice and eggs rolls that get devoured. Plus I am competing with my Mom and she makes really good Vietnamese desserts.


I made a trifle dessert for the Turducken party. It was pretty easy. It’s a red velvet cheesecake trifle that was inspired from Recipe Girl. I made the red velvet chocolate cake based on Martha Stewart’s recipe and for the cheesecake layer, I whipped up cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, and condensed milk. I also added in layers of homemade whipped cream and added fudge and chocolate chips. It was delightful.

I sprinkled the top layer with red velvet crumbs and swirled fudge and added chocolate chips. 

But it didn’t feel like Thanksgiving. It felt like a dinner party. I know come Thursday, it will also feel like a dinner party because I’ll be without my family. But again, I also know it will be lots of fun. And on the bright side, my best friend is flying up from San Clemente so I know it will be an exciting weekend. I will be extra thankful this holiday to know that I can still be with people I love in California. 

3 thoughts on “Not Home for the Holidays: Friendsgiving and Turducken

  1. i never really thought about it, but we ARE savory people. and no one likes wine either. Victor said “I should've just bought $100 worth of Bud Light for the family reunion. But I bought wine. Like a fool!”

    You had to be there.
    I took home 2 bottles of wine.
    I'm happy.


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