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  • Writer's pictureAudrey Chin

A Singapore Thanksgiving Menu

Updated: Jun 10, 2022

We don’t eat turkey …  

roast suckling pig

Not because we’re vegetarians unfortunately. Unfortunately just because I can’t cook it well and our oven’s too small for the gigantic bird we’d need for all our guests.  Anyway for us, it’s the gathering of people that matterFirst things first – the people who’ll be there

By and large boat people… We’ve got a bunch of nationalities: German Vietnamese, English Vietnamese, French Vietnamese, Australian Vietnamese, American Vietnamese;  the multi-hyphenate Singaporeans like a British/Teochew Chinese, a Peranakan Hakka Cantonese who is Vietnamese under the skin; and this evening a German or Swiss student who connected with us through a doctor from North Carolina!

Then the people we’ll remember

Folks move in and out of Singapore, especially in our circle of Vietnamese expatriates.

We’ll be remembering friends who’ve moved back to San Diego and Houston (some of whom are coming to visit for Xmas YAYAYAY!),  who now live in Vietnam, who’ve just moved out of our lives.

Some of us have succumbed to illness. One in particular will be spending Thanksgiving in a nursing home after a devastating heart attack.

And then there are the children, our travelling third-country children who’re populating the glove. One of the fathers in our circle is in the US spending the day with two of his children while his wife will be with us and his other son. Our own son is in Vietnam, on a short term work stint. There are other children who can’t make it because they need to work on Thursday night, it’s not a public holiday here in Singapore… and some more in Hong Kong, France, in mid-air somewhere.

We’ll be holding them all in our hearts tonight. Being grateful for their part in our lives.

And then THE FOOD!

This is Singapore. How can I not get to that.

This is my “it’s okay not to be superwoman” year. So, I confess, the mains are catered.

Appetizers are salami, prosciutto, cornichons and something yummy from my French Vietnamese friend who’s a wonderful wonderful cook.

There’s a Spanish roast suckling pig with the Filipino name Lechon, Singapore style roast lamb ribs and roasted corn salad from a lovely grill place called Brinj in Cheong Chin Nam Road.

I’m making Emeril’s New Orleans Paellaya (a paella jambalaya rice dish) to go with it. And also some savoury baked apple and onion slices.

Then an American Vietnamese friend is bringing a Caesar’s salad, and we’ll have a French Vietnamese dish of candied yams (!!!) and some legumes.

Finally dessert – a walnut pie from the local Singaporean patissiere down the road; another offering from my French Vietnamese friend – an Italian tiramisu;  local fruits from my German Vietnamese friends … and to top it off European red wine from my British and Australian Vietnamese friends.

ONLY IN THIS LITTLE RED DOT!  I’m giving thanks, truly giving thanks.

Who are the people around you that you’re thankful for today?

Who has touched your life that you remember gratefully?

What are you eating tonight that is so wonderful, so made with love, you can’t stop but give thanks for?

What about where you are tonight. Isn’t it good to be somewhere… eating, drinking, being?



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