Friday, November 24, 2006

Turkey - In About an Hour and a Half

Thanksgiving Day - Samoan Style was truly a memorable experience. We spent it at our friends the Peters' family home.

We started at about 10 am, and when we arrived, there was already work for us to do. We cut open coconuts and peeled rock-hard bananas for the feast. Jaydn helped a lot with opening bananas.

After learning how to cut the coconut shell open the proper way (unlike the slaughter of coconuts that occurred a few weeks ago), I drained the juice and shred the coconut meat into a large bowl for some coconut bread. Albert Peters took the juice and shredded coconut meat, added a little sugar, flour, etc., and made a really nice coconut bread.

Albert and some of his friends had already prepared the Umu pit. Which really isn't a pit at all - unlike a Luau, where the meat is cooked under the ground, Samoans cook their "Umu" on the ground. As you can see, Albert lay what is (I think) banana tree logs in a square, and filled the center with small rocks. He had extra wood and coconut husks to help with the heat.
Then they set the wood and coconuts on top and started the fire to get some good coals burning.
They let it burn for a while, working the coals to get out the most heat.
(Oh, by the way, you've probably noticed that they have a metal sheet on the bottom to help with the heat.) Once the coals were ready, we placed on the rocks the taro (kind of like a potato), bananas, bread mix tins, beef, and three large, stuffed turkeys. Then we started placing already-hot rocks on top of the food.

Once all the food was in and the rocks were placed, they started putting large leaves from banana trees, coconut trees, etc. over the pit.

I mean, they had gathered a lot of huge leaves to put on the pit (which is not a difficult thing to do around here).
After the leaves were in place, they put a black tarp over the leaves, and held it down with large rocks on all sides.

Then we waited for about ----- an hour and a half. The turkey; or should I say 3 turkeys, were finished! We took off the tarp and leaves,

and slowly (carefully) removed the rocks and food.

Dinner was served! No waiting for hours and hours for turkeys to cook. Not much hassle. And man, was there a lot of food!

After dinner, we had pies and played games until late. It was really fun. We missed our families, though. As interesting and fun as this Thanksgiving was, there is truly no place like home for the holidays.
(P.S. - No blogs next week - the Coletti family will be on vacation in New Zealand. But come again the week after for a recap of our New Zealand trip!)


Proud Mum said...

mmmmm, panepopo and an imu turkey. The food is good enough to almost make you forget you have family...

Proud Mum said...

ps: Have a fantastic time in the Land of the Long White Cloud!