My Thanksgiving weekend!

I am sorry for the delay of this post but this week has been crazy  with mid terms, school work and other stuff! So finally here it is:

On Facebook I found out about the organisation Friends for dinner. Basically what they do is, they connect international students with Canadian host families so that the families can invite the students for their thanksgiving dinners. In my case me and two other German girls, that I also met for the first time that day, were invited by a lovely family with 3 kids (yikes!!!) that lives in Smith Falls, a town which is around an hour away from Ottawa. On Saturday afternoon we all got picked up by a friend of the family that took us there by car as no busses are going there. The drive through the beautifully coloured trees was stunning!

Smith Falls is a rather let’s say unimpressive small town south from Ottawa. The Family was absolutely amazing, it turned out that the mom was a professional ballet dancer for many years and she lived in Hamburg for some time to dance at the Theatre there. And they were also Christians and very passionate about their church life. Honestly that is what I love about going to new places and meeting new people as all of them have such interesting lives and so many amazing stories to tell that are very inspiring.

Before we had dinner that was cooked by her husband (he has a catering company on the side so you can imagine the food was delicious!!), all the girls went for a walk around the town. I am so in love with the fall here! The colours are simply magical!

The tower in the third picture is a water tower and apparently every town here has one. To  be honest I  did not even know they still exist, I have only always seen them in American  movies! After that, we all sat together, prayed, praised the food and then we started the dinner by everyone saying what they are thankful for,  I mean thanksgiving is not only about the turkey dinner, right? 😉 We did not actually have turkey for dinner though, we had pork fillets with a roasted mix of potatoes and squash, steamed garlic broccoli and a cranberry sauce. We also had cheese, dinner rolls and small appetizers that was crackers with cheese and a blackcurrant and a chia seeds topping. The food was amazing! As desert we had pumpkin pie and homemade apple crisp (which is basically a crispy version of apple crumble with oats) with vanilla ice cream. After the dinner and great conversations, the kids got more and more comfortable around us so they showed me their new air hockey table and we played a few rounds. It was so much fun and I just love playing with kids! I am super grateful that I had the opportunity to get out of Ottawa and to meet this family and their friends that all had the most incredible stories to tell! The family friend that gave us a lift there was telling us about how she lived in Guinea for 20 years as her dad was doing missionary work with the church there and she is even fluent in their official language, how cool!? Many people have told me before and I start realizing that this is true, living OUTSIDE your comfort zone, jumping into unfamiliar situations and just approaching all kinds of different people, no matter how old they are will make you experience the most amazing moments from that you can learn so much about life and most importantly you will definitely grow as a person.

Church Sundays

Like every Sunday, I took the shuttle bus to Church which is actually located in the theatre of a College in Ottawa. The service was amazing – as always. This time they also had baby dedications, where the pastor and the church community prayed for a few babies and their parents on stage, that God leads them on their journey of life and that they have a blessed upbringing. Later on the kids group came on to the stage to sing a song with the band which was so cute! ‘This I Know’ is the name of the preach series that we have covered in the last few weeks.

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The weather was really nice on Sunday, there was no cloud in the sky, so I decided to go for a walk along the river to see the fall colours. As everyone was busy with school work, I went on my own, which was also very nice. I walked along the Ottawa River towards the Nepean Point and I discovered this beautiful place! I definitely need to go back there. I could sit right by the water with a view of the parliament (on the left) and Gatineau (on the right), so relaxing!!

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Bank Holiday Monday

Today we had a bank holiday for thanksgiving, so I actually did not do a lot besides studying for my mid-terms and just chilling at home. In the afternoon my whole flat started cooking for our Thanksgiving dinner in the evening. We made two whole chickens and potatoes and rice and two salads and we also made cookies and we had pies, cinnamon rolls and ice cream! A rather unusual thanksgiving dinner but it was awesome! We just had some friends over for dinner and we watched a movie and played games. All in all my weekend was so good with a lot of good things going on! I can finally say I experienced a real Thanksgiving holiday!

Pumpkin Pie!

Having gone to the market on Friday, I still had a pumpkin in my cupboard so I decided to make pumping pie again. I have never had it before coming to Canada and of course the homemade pumpkin pie is still the best! And most importantly it is so so easy to make. All the ingredients you will need (+salt and a bit of water) are here:

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You need: Pumpkin (!), Flour, 2 eggs, brown sugar, cinnamon, ground ginger, nutmeg (Muskatnuss), evaporated milk, a bit of salt, water and shortening (das ist ein festes pflanzenfett, angeblich kann man auch Kokosfett oder Palmin dazu hernehmen.) I found this super easy recipe here. All my flatmates including me loved it! 😉

This recipe is for a pie from scratch, so you have to cut the pumpkin cook it in water for 30 minutes, then cut off the skin and mash it. This is equivalent to the canned pumpkin purée that you can buy in the shops here, however I like knowing what is actually in the pie 😉 , so I made it from scratch which isn’t really a hustle either! You will be surprised how good pumpkin tastes in a sweet pie! I still had so much left over pumpkin so that I made vegetarian pumpkin, chickpea and zucchini burgers out of it, which was also very tasty!

Anyways, I’m gonna go back to studying now…next Friday study bread starts which is a one-week holiday to catch up on work. Guess what I will not be doing, catch up on work! 😉 Instead my Aunty is coming to visit me and we will travel around Ontario, super excited for that!! My travel section in this blog is finally being used!

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