September 20, 2011

It's the Small Things

It’s the small things.


Finally changing Word's default paper-size setting to A4 instead of Letter on my laptop.

Changing Word’s default spell check language to “English (New Zealand)” instead of “English (US)”.

Putting my US dollars and coins in a little bowl at the back of my dresser to await the next trip home. 

Swapping my Alaska drivers’ license out of my wallet to make room for my New Zealand one.

Buying a calendar with NZ holidays on it but having to look up the date of Thanksgiving on-line.

Thinking in Celsius and talking about 'litres per kilometre' not 'miles per gallon'. 

Spelling things with an “re” instead of “er” and with an “ou” instead of just “o”.

Going to “post” something instead of to “mail” it.

Waking up listening to Radio New Zealand instead of NPR.

Making ginger crunch instead of chocolate chip cookies.

Drinking tea... and still drinking coffee too. 

Lighting the fire and turning on the heat pump rather than adjusting the thermostat for central heating. 

Cooking more Indian and Thai at home instead of Mexican.

Cooking with real pumpkin instead of baking with canned pumpkin.

Using a bicycle everyday but putting the cross-country skis away. 

James wearing blue overalls to work instead of Carharts. 

Leaving my Xtra Tuffs in my mom's garage back home. 

Constantly searching for the international plug adapters so I can plug in my laptop, camera battery, Kitchen Aide and more.

Making jam from orchard fruits not wild berries.

Saying my birthday is the 20th of the 9th, not "September 20th" and celebrating that day in Spring, not Fall!

September 10, 2011

Out East

Last week, James, Nick, Kelly and I all headed up to the North Island. After some urban adventures, including the World Wearable Arts show, we headed a bit off the beaten path to the East Cape, an area that none of us had ever been to before.  It's in the middle of the length of the North Island, on a piece of land that juts East out into the Pacific Ocean.  It's famous for beautiful carved Whare Nui on Maori marae. (Taking photos of these can be considered disrespectful, but there are plenty of on-line images and I'd highly recommend checking out these gorgeous, meaningful meeting houses). The East Cape is known as a centre of Maori pride, tradition and activism.  It's also known for it's surf, beaches and remote lifestyle. It's where two well-known movies were filmed, Whale Rider and Boy.

It was, indeed, a place with a remote, laid back feel where the beauty and strength of Maori culture thrives and rural communities seem tightly knit.  Everyone we met along the way was friendly, every corner we turned was stunning.

We picked up a tourism brochure that seemed a bit different than all the others. With minimal marketing, it had just the kind of information you might want - what to see in each little town, where to find ice cream, which beach is known for surfing and which for snorkeling. And it started off with a poem.  Here's a bit of the poem and I'll let my photos say the rest!

"Set your mind and compass East, traveller.
Point your brow into the morning sun,
take your watch off,
recycle your cell phone
let go.
Out East."

July 31, 2011

Finally, Some White Stuff Falling from the Sky!

Dunedin finally got some white stuff last weekend.  Snow!  Snow is a rarity here with the temperate seaside climate (read this – cold and damp and never quite cold enough to be dry). My first winter in Dunedin, back in 2004, I lived up on a hill with 2 New Zealand flatmates.  One wonderful morning I gleefully woke up to about 6 or 7 inches of snow.  The three of us went outside in the street and built a snowman, took some photos, and basked in the brightness that a sunny, snowy morning can bring. Then I packed my bag for the day and started to head off down the hill to Uni. My flatmates gasped. “Where are you going?” “Uh, to school,” I replied. “But it’s snowy!”  “I know, it’ll be such a lovely walk!”  Only when I got to Uni did their inquiry and concern make sense. No one was there. Everything was shut. While I found the snow-covered morning to be exciting, it had literally never occurred to me that it would change the course of my day. Silly girl from snowy climates - Dunedin doesn’t function in the snow!

Last weekend, the snow amounted to only about 1 inch, but Dunedin didn’t let me down. Dunedin confirmed what I had learned to be true 7 years ago: It completely ceases to function when it snows. Even 1 inch of snow. As the ground became barely blanketed, people rushed to ask me (in anxious, expectant tones!) – “Doesn’t this remind you of Alaska?”  Ummmmm.  My mind raced to find an answer that would be truthful but not crush their enthusiasm for the ‘storm’ that was practically the event of the decade. Eloquence eluded me and, “Uhhhmm, soorrrt of” was my best answer.  Except that in Alaska or Utah or Colorado, you are still expected to show up at school and work when it snows. Banks don’t close, the highway stays open and events aren’t cancelled. A general sense of armagedon does not hang thick in the air.  The next day’s newspaper headline, when the amazing 1 inch of snow has melted, does not read, in big, bold, serious letters: “Now the fear is Black Ice!”

Kids sledding! Look at them having the time of their lives! (You could hear the sled scraping along the asphalt under the 1 inch of snow, but I won't begrudge them their fun!)

June 30, 2011


I’m about 2.5 weeks into a 3 week stay in Auckland.  I came up to do my fieldwork for the research associated with my PhD dissertation.  My research has to do with multicultural interactions in New Zealand and Auckland is indeed a “super-diverse” city!  I’ve been pounding the pavement all over Auckland and many of its suburbs.  By the time my 3 week stay is up, I’ll know this city pretty well.  I’ll have another stay in Auckland for a month in summer – all in all totaling about 2 months in Auckland.  It’s nice to be getting to know a different side of New Zealand. We're not in Dunedin or the South Island anymore, Toto. 

I'm spending a lot of time on buses.  Most are crowded - this one was not, and the view was nice too!
The bus map of Auckland and its central suburbs. (I have 4 more maps of outer suburbs - it's an incredibly spread out city!)  The pink arrow is a sticker I move around to reflect where I'm trying to get to at a glance.

I was awarded some research funding by my uni dept, but I have to stretch it a long way. I’m keeping it simple.  I’m staying in a private room at a backpackers in a central city location – it’s basic, no frills here, but clean, safe and friendly.  So I’m living a little bit like a budget traveler – peanut butter & jelly sandwiches and city maps in my backpack, and a lot like an anthropologist – observing and taking notes everywhere I go, doing interviews, talking to lots of strangers, meeting other researchers and connecting with some key-informants!   

The Front Door of Freeman's Lodge.

My tiny room is all I need! There's a kitchen, bathroom, lounge and laundry facilities too.
It’s great to be in a bigger city with some energy, variety, novelty and things open past 6pm!! I love some good city life and I can jump right into it when chance or necessity dictates. I’ve been to some markets, had some great food, taken countless buses, trains and ferries. Downtown Auckland is full of life, thanks largely to its immigrant population. And many suburbs boast active centres of their own with plenty of cafes, shops, museums and parks. I haven’t had much time to be a tourist, work has kept me more than busy. It seems to take me about an hour every night mapping out my route for the next day with a combination of the internet, a good map and a bus schedule.  Then it seems to take me about an hour to get between meetings and interviews, especially during busy traffic times and in the pouring rain (which both seem to happen a lot in Auckland).   During the rest of my day, I like to find a place with good coffee and atmosphere so I can caffeinate myself, watch people, write up my notes, do some reading and research, and send the countless emails that will set up the next days' activities.  Without James around or other errands to do, I’m getting a ton of reading and writing done too.  

A market in the Sandringham suburb. It's been my favourite market so far.

Set up to study at Cezanne's Cafe in Ponsonby. This had been my favourite cafe so far.  It's neighbors are quite fancy places with rushing, urban types.  Here, however, I feel I can set up amidst the other non-fancy types and study for a while without being in anyone's way.
I’m also pleasantly surprised to realize that Auckland is also making me appreciate Dunedin more.  I don’t feel like the restaurants, cafes or even shops are necessarily better here than down in little old Dunners (though there is a bigger variety and they are actually open more often!)  And Dunners has a lot less traffic and a lot more cyclists – I think I’d take my life in my hands biking around here the way I do in Dunedin.  By the end of three weeks, I’ll be more than ready to go ‘home’ to Dunedin.  And seeing that Dunedin and I have hardly been an example of “Love at first sight,” this is a very nice feeling.

June 6, 2011

My Kitchen Aid, a Chocolate Cake and James' Birthday

At one point, a Kitchen Aid symbolized everything I thought I'd miss and sacrifice by migrating across the world. 
The frosting, almost done.
I never owned a Kitchen Aid back in the States, nor did my mom have one in the house when I grew up.  But at some point I began to covet a Kitchen Aid. I knew that one day, when I had a lifestyle that didn't involve fitting everything into a backpack on a regular basis, I would get one and bake beautiful goodies in the kitchen with flair.  Just like Martha, I would effortlessly create baked goods that were at once delicious and pretty.

Over the years, I have learned a lot about cooking and baking and do enjoy doing it.  Semi-settled into our Dunedin, New Zealand home, now with far more than I could fit in a backpack, I started looking for a Kitchen Aid. They didn't seem to be available in New Zealand at all, but then I did find some. For the bargain basement price of about $1000.  Just $850 on sale!!! I thought about bringing one back from America (where they are about $250) but they, 1-weigh a ton and 2-can't be plugged in here.  Over time, I became a bit devastated about the stupid Kitchen Aid. I quietly, steadily over-reacted, internalizing this as a sign that my life was never going to look quite like I imagined; it was going to be different in a million little ways just like this -- and sometimes it's the little things that seem to matter so much.

June 2, 2011

Till It Be Morrow

Life moves in circles.  It loops around back on itself all the time - leaving us to find ourselves in an old familiar place again, or seeing an old familiar face again.  I really believe that people's paths always cross again.  I find it comforting that the world really can be small.

Last week I saw a poster around Uni advertising a presentation about Shakespeare and The Globe Theatre. There's always dozens of posters advertising dozens of talks around a Uni with 20,000+ students. But this one caught my eye. It caught my eye because I LOVE Shakespeare.  I'm no expert, I haven't read all the plays or memorized the sonnets, but I have a great appreciation for Shakespeare and I've enjoyed every experience I've had with him (via his plays, of course).  My mom thinks perhaps my grandmother always wanted to be an actress. She loved Shakespeare. She quoted him here and there at the perfect moment and we often recalls Gram's moments of Shakespearean wisdom. Come the 15th of March, I remember her as I say, "Beware the Ides of March" all day.  She had two huge golden-leafed volumes of Shakespeare plays and sonnets that my mom now has.

May 30, 2011

A Glass of Wine and the Evening News

It is 3 weeks from the shortest day of the year, so James and I are spending a bit more time inside this time of year. I've been doing some cooking and we have some unknown fellow-American expats coming for dinner this Thursday and James' bday dinner on Saturday. We've been running our heatpump and filling the fire with wood everyday to stay warm. I’m reading a lot (the classic Gone With the Wind right now) and wondering if I’ll get out the sewing machine. James has projects spread out across our table. It’s nice.

We’ve also installed Free TV. NZ is going digital, so getting the new dish and box to convert our old TV was a soon-to-be necessity anyway. We've gone from about 5 channels to about 12. I was surprised and ecstatic to realize that the American PBS Newshour is on one of those channels at 6:30 pm every night! In my humble opinion, New Zealand news leaves much to be desired. The evening news features about ½ hour of NZ news, about 5 minutes of international news, 20 minutes of sports and 10 minutes of weather. When we watch the evening news, I only watch the first 35 minutes, then get frustrated as coverage turns to regional rugby matches as if there wasn’t a whole world out there to report on. After the news, the two main channels each feature a sort of investigative news show for another half-hour. It is typically an elaboration on a couple of stories already featured in the evening news, going into more detail in a ‘surface’ manner, dramatizing un-dramatic events. I can’t watch them. The world beyond the shores of NZ doesn’t seem to exist in these mainstream news outlets.  Now, after the first 30 mins of NZ news, I can turn to the PBS Newshour for US and international news.

May 11, 2011

Wherever You Go, There You Are

My mom once gave me a small card that said, "Wherever you go, there you are."  I don't remember who said it originally but what a great quote!  A lot of my posts have been about missing the places I've lived or come from most recently (Juneau, Alaska) as I now live here in New Zealand.  I blog about my reality of being a migrant, and well, missing my 'home' of Alaska and America and all that those places entail is a huge part of my existence in New Zealand. Like it or not, it just is.  And I think that's ok - it doesn't overshadow the fact that I'm also living a full life here, pouring myself into it, growing everyday.  My two realities exist side by side - and while that inherently creates a lot of bittersweetness, I wouldn't really have it any other way. I'm a little bit divided in two and I'm not willing to give up either half. So there you go.

May 5, 2011

Ode to a Warm House (and Soup)

Not until moving to NZ did I realize that "home-heating" could be such a robust,varied and complex conversation topic.  Sometimes I like to see how many minutes pass before my husband mentions 'heat pumps' in a new conversation with a third party.  It's never long.  And then if you throw in things like insulation, underfloor heating, solar panels and double-glazed (double-paned) windows - well there's hours of conversation in that!  Not to mention the wonders of thermal curtains, electric blankets, wet-backs (a fire that heats your hot water tank while warming your house) and debating the warmth that comes from a wood-burning vs coal-burning stove.  And don't forget! - there's different TYPES of insulation, different ways to install and mount your heat pump, and dehumidifiers come with all sorts of options too. And that's not even mentioning the huge array of space heaters you can plug in and turn on. Get the picture? 'Cause that's just the very beginning. Home-heating is discussed at great length and in great detail here in NZ.  And though I myself can't get too excited about the topic, I decided to make a blog posting in honor of my warm house - and my husband who did most of the work to get it this way - because I'm generally pretty warm and toasty as we enter winter - and that, I've learned - is not to be taken for granted in NZ. Otherwise, they wouldn't talk about home-heating so much. So here you go James, a blog entry for you, about our home-heating. My take on it will undoubtedly involve more soup and less variables of technological efficiency than yours.

Our main source of heat is this fire. It's such a lovely, toasty, atmospheric sort of heat. Takes a bit to get it going, but it is nice.  Though I questioned James' sanity as he jack-hammered through our cement foundation, I now say it was genius.  He installed a little fan under the fire that essentially propels warmed, fresh air out into the room.  It's fantastic!

April 10, 2011

They Really Need Some Mega-Fauna Here

Near Lake Pukaki en route from Mt. Cook National Park
 I struggle a little bit with reading retension at times.  If I'm not careful and deliberate, all the reading that I do just doesn't stick in my brain. This can be a problem for a PhD student.  So I have all sorts of tricks. I highlight, take notes in the margins, type up notes, and periodically summarize readings on a particular topic. It's incredibly time-consuming; but I seem to get there in the end. After a bit of internet research several months ago, I added a few new tricks to my routine. When approaching a new reading, I write down 5 terms I know will be in the reading. I read the title, all subtitles and then the conclusion first. Prior to reading the article, I write 3 sentences reflecting what I already know on this topic.

This last one is based on the idea that, as humans, we remember and make sense of new information by comparing it or adjoining it to something we already know. We all do this all the time. But, migrants in particular, vigorously engage in this process, especially in the early months or years in a new country. We've all done it and certainly heard others do it - for example, chipping in to a conversation with the phrase, "Well, where I come from, it's common to..."  Migrant research shows that a continual, subtle comparison between 2 places lasts for an immigrant's entire life. It's how migrants create continuity - across oceans, over time and between what would otherwise feel like disparate lives and selves.

March 21, 2011

The Catlins

My first trip to The Catlins - with James in 2004.

This weekend we (James, Nick, Kelly and myself) headed down to The Catlins.  It was Nick's idea, as the surf at Purakanui Bay was supposed to be perfect.  I don't surf -- but any reason is a good one to head down to The Catlins.
Nick and Kelly's tent at our camp site.
Kelly walking at Purakanui Bay.

The Catlins is the name of a region south of Dunedin. Hills covered in dense temperate rainforest roll right down to the edge of stunning, seemingly untouched beaches. Until very recently, the only main road through the region was gravel. Most of the smaller roads are still narrow and gravel, undulating and curving with the landscape. Travel along these roads, from a scenic waterfall, to ocean side caves, to an inland walk, is slow.  And gorgeous.

March 13, 2011

A Busy Few Weeks and a Nice Summer Sunday

It's been quite a busy few weeks since I last wrote.  Here's a few things that have gone on:

  • James and I had our 5 year anniversary!  Unfortunately we also had a doozy of a cold. We have yet to celebrate.
  • I had my "6 month review" and I am now *officially* a PhD candidate at Otago. After a TON of work, the review was very anti-climatic.
  • An article I wrote about older immigrants in NZ was accepted for publication in "Ageing and Society", a journal read only by academics interested in ageing, but hey, that's somebody!
  • I finally vacuumed the house.
  • Spurred on by Air New Zealand's announcement of an upcoming additional fuel-surcharge, I bought tickets to America for November 2011!  I'll be over there for a month! 
  • Thanks to a friend who is a physio, I have a new workout regime to help with some pain and headaches I've had since my bike crash. Thanks, Dan!
  • James took a couple of days and climbed Mitre Peak in Fjordland.  Conveniently, this trip took place right when I entered the insane "do not disturb me" mode leading up to the aforementioned 6 month review. 
  • I started teaching at university level for the first time ever - running 200 level anthropology seminars.
  • I got a hair cut.
After some weeks of ridiculous busy-ness and some anxiety, it was nice to spend this weekend relaxing in Dunedin.  We celebrated our friend Nick's birthday on Saturday night. On Sunday, we made the most of a sunny, warm day by hiking up the local Mr. Cargill with some friends. After not having much of a summer in the way of weather, this was a much appreciated, gorgeous day.

Relaxing in the sun on the summit of Dunedin's Mt. Cargill.

February 26, 2011

Dunedin Does Its Part

While Christchurch continues to grapple with liquefaction, aftershocks and a rising death toll, many people here in Dunedin are searching for what they can do.  There is almost a desperation in the air, as people long to do something

Perhaps that's why today's collection of bagged lunches has been such a huge success. 

University of Canterbury based Student Volunteer Army received a fair amount of media attention after they formed and mobilized themselves, largely via Facebook, after the September quake. (Yet again, behold the power of social media!)  They have mobilized again and thousands of student volunteers are expected to respond to calls for non-emergency assistance around the quake zone. I checked out their website and it is strikingly simple in this day of hyped up media everything. It is strictly functional. Either register that you need non-emergency help. Or that you are available to help.  Follow their updates on Facebook.

A message requesting bagged, non-perishable lunches for the Student Volunteer Army went out to Dunedin yesterday. The goal: to collect 10,000 lunches.  With two hours of collection left today, I believe they now have over 14,000 lunches. 

February 23, 2011

Another Quake

A 6.3 earthquake hit Christchurch yesterday afternoon causing massive damage, electricity outages, flooding and worst - fatalities and people trapped in the rubble.

I know some of my family would like to get more coverage than what is being provided in the USA, so here are a few links to try.  There may be better ones, but these are the ones I know and have been tuned into so far:

This US site link has some powerful photos, some of which are a bit different than what I have seen in NZ coverage: The Washington Post.

We're fine; Christchurch, not so much.

February 15, 2011

We Like to Make Stuff

Stuff is expensive in NZ.  Well, a lot of stuff.  Relatively speaking.  I didn't know it until I moved here, but growing up in America, I was used to cheap stuff. When that's what you are used to, it's quite the adjustment to move somewhere where stuff is not so cheap.  Take books for example. A standard paperback, a new best seller, is about $30.00.  A Gore-Tex raincoat?  About $700.  A DeWalt Battery Drill? $400.  James says in the states that drill is about $100 at Home Depot.  A can of black beans?  $3.50 here in Aotearoa.

I've started making toasted granola to replace the crunchy granola bars I used to buy  in the states. 
Every American expat I know orders things on line to be sent over, or has a running list as long as his or her arm of stuff to get on the next trip back or to have some unsuspecting visitor bring over with them.

February 4, 2011

You Know, the Matukituki

One detail about moving to a new town in a new country that I never would have anticipated is the frequent inability to participate in many group conversations about people (I don’t know) and events and places (I’m not familiar with). We all know this scenario – you’re with a friend and a bunch of their friends that you don’t know well, or you’re with your spouse and his or her coworkers and they’re all talking about their workplace politics or the nasty management folks. You just smile, nod and maybe sneak a peek at your watch after a while.

The Matukituki!

When you are a new (or relatively new) migrant, this happens a lot – and not just about people you don’t know yet, but about politics, historical common knowledge, pop culture and places. That’s why a lot of migrants talk about where they come from a lot and start many bits of input with “well, in America” or “back in Alaska”. Even though you cringe when you hear those words come out of your mouth (“this one time, in band camp”), for a long time that’s the only way you can chime into the conversation at all; that’s all you can offer. It takes a while to accumulate a stock of local knowledge and experiences to draw upon, allowing you to join into a chat with a group of local folks.

January 30, 2011

Just a Little Bike Crash

Today, I had my first ever ambulance ride and some opportunity to experience and reflect on New Zealand's healthcare system and ACC system (Accident Compensation Corportion).

The reason was a little bicycle crash.

I was zooming down George Street (Dunedin's main drag) just before 10:00 on a Sunday morning. With hardly any traffic on the road, I noticed the smell of wood fires in the air. It's been stupidly cold and wet lately - summer, I don't think so!  But I was thinking that I'm looking forward to winter - shorter, slower days sound good after two summers in a row of long, manic ones - when, Wha-bam, someone in a parked car openned her door at the exact moment I was flying by.  It's hard for me to say, really, but judging from the size of the bruise on my leg, I think my shin and handle bars collided with her door and I flew off my bike diagonally, tumbled down the street a couple of times and ended up on my back in a bit of an awkward, twisted position. 

January 11, 2011

Two Days of Dunedin Discoveries

I do a lot of reading on "home" for my studies and came across this idea the other day: When discussing the nebulous concept of home, a distinction must be made between the actual geographic location of a place a person lives and where that person feels that she belongs.

Looking back along the peninsula from Tairoa Head
In New Zealand, I have struggled to feel that I belong.  I believe one reason is the lack of a feeling of connection to NZ's landscape.  Who could deny NZ's landscape is awe-inspiringly beautiful? Not me! It's stunning and I don't take that for granted - I am lucky to live in one of the world's most beautiful countries. But to date, while I appreciate and enjoy its beauty, I look around and I'm just not sure, yet, if I belong. I can look at it like a pretty painting, but I don't feel immersed in it. Maybe I don't feel quite welcomed yet. I still feel like a visitor. If I even just see a photo of Southeast Alaska or familiar parts of America, I have an instant sense of attachment, warmth, welcome, even possibility. It can be lonely, at times, to live without that sense of belonging in the place I'm standing. 

The logical part of me knows, of course, that it is rare (though not impossible) to feel 'at home' somewhere instantly, and that a slow evolution of feeling 'at home' is more common. None-the-less, that's perhaps been one of the most surprising challenges about migrating to NZ for me -- the amount of time that it really does take for a new country to feel like home.

That's why weekends like this past one are so helpful and encouraging.

January 8, 2011

New Traditions - Part II : Christmas and New Years

Several New Zealand Christmases ago, James and I camped out on a beach on Christmas Eve. It was just on a whim at the time, but it proved to be a simple way to build in a little time alone as a new, young family of our own starting a tradition or two. It's become subtly important to me - squeezing in a bit of my own agency before heading off for the NZ family gatherings. 

This year, with our two Alaskan friends, we headed down to the Catlins on Christmas Eve.  The Southerly blowing in from Antarctica with gale force winds and hail mandated one small adjustment: We stayed in a friend's 'crib' instead of tents.  This crib is a favorite spot for James and I. It's an old house from the area's logging and railroad days. Today it's in the middle of nowhere, along some unnamed gravel roads. And it's quirky. Very quirky.

January 3, 2011

New Traditions

I think migrants engage in a conscious process of deciding which old traditions to purposefully carry on, which to abandon (willingly or reluctantly) and which host country traditions to adopt.

And sometimes, you just make up something new.
This holiday season has been a conglomeration of all these strategies.

So this entry backtracks to Thanksgiving. Actually, for a moment, I’ll jump back to Thanksgiving 2006 when several of our American friends and family were gathered in NZ for our upcoming wedding.  With no means to create a proper Thanksgiving dinner, all the American guests ordered Indian take-out, sat around a picnic table, and toasted this unorthodox celebration. 

This is a precious memory to me and to all, so I’ve heard, who were there.

But I’ve also wanted to integrate a traditional Thanksgiving dinner into my NZ life. It’s my favorite holiday and as America’s newest citizen, James has embraced Thanksgiving like nobody’s business as well.  But we’ve never pulled it off here in NZ and this year I began to get awfully discouraged – some traditions just aren’t transferable, even with considerable, conscious effort. 

This year, I planned to go all out - 3 Americans would be visiting! But late November is early summer here. A really busy time for everyone. Our 3 friends were travelling around NZ, James was climbing Mt. Cook and I was home alone.  Locally, it’s an ordinary work day – Thursday is not a day for cooking and gathering and “Black Friday” is not a day for recovering and shopping.  And even if I had remembered to collect my family’s recipes, I realized half the ingredients aren’t available here. (Cheese Whiz! What’s Thanksgiving without Cheese Whiz!?!  If you aren’t with me on that one, how about cranberry sauce? Pumpkin pie? Turkey? Getting the picture?) 

James with his favorite Thanksgiving dish.