Happy Turkey Day!

Thanksgiving has never been a holiday I’ve been particularly attached to, which is good, because I’ve been out of the country for the last few. This year, though, I headed up to the Queen’s cottage in the Mournes with a few other mountaineers to partake in a Northern Irish/American Thanksgiving celebration of epic proportions….

And the celebration did not disappoint! I headed up on Friday with about 5 others and we spent the evening eating, drinking, and preparing a few things for the next day. My friend Sarah was the instigator of this whole Thanksgiving feast (she’s from Georgia) and I don’t envy her the preparation and cooking she did for the 20+ people who ended up at the cottage!

After sleeping off the night before those of us who were willing and capable headed to the hills for a quick walk before food needed to start happening. I ended up shimmying through a small cave with a couple others which was a good exercise in breathing, squeezing through small spaces, and holding the claustrophobia at bay. Good times!

Then the cooking times started. The cottage made me reminiscent of my apartment in Jordan as it was colder inside than it was out- I could see my breath that morning and the only solution was a tiny fireplace in the living room. The cottage quickly heated up with two ovens cooking two delicious turkeys, a massive amount of potatoes boiling on the stove, and multiple pies crisping to perfection…. oh, the smells!

More people showed up, drinks were poured, and a rousing game of Cards Against Humanity was begun (note: if you want to maintain any sense of respect, pride or decorum, don’t play this game. Fortunately the mountaineers have little of any of these things and we had a flipping great time). People helped in and out of the kitchen (too many cooks and all that- we took turns), a potato peeling circle was created, and Mumford and Sons was danced to vigorously. As always, there was much laughter!

Finally, there was dinner. We all gave thanks for something (mostly our heaping plates of food) and ate ourselves into slightly painful food comas. Oh, tradition!

My dear Northern Irish friends were pretty on board with all the dishes you’d typically see at an American Turkey Day celebration, but were quite confused by the sweet potato casserole with the brown sugar/marshmallow crust. Is it dinner? Is it dessert? Seriously, I’m asking. I don’t even know now. Many of them had also never had pumpkin pie although it wasn’t hard to convince anyone that leftover pie for breakfast wasn’t a splendid idea.

Nothing much can go wrong with a bunch of crazy friends, some great food, and a Bailey’s hot chocolate to round it all off. I’d say this was my favorite Thanksgiving celebration to date. The apple pie for breakfast certainly didn’t detract from that enjoyment 🙂


Going walking!

012 008 004


Blue Loch


A delicious apple pie for the QUBMC!

Hard at work

Hard at work


Ovens and grills doing their thing




There are few words I can use to express the joy on this man’s face upon piling his plate high with Thanksgiving delights.



When mountaineers don't have time to climb rocks, they make do with trees.

When mountaineers don’t have time to climb rocks, they make do with trees.

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