A couple of hours ago, we finished our Thanksgiving dinner with some of our friends. Rather than having the traditional Thanksgiving fare, we had a meal I labeled Pan Asian Thanksgiving.

A few weeks ago, I decided that I was not really interested in cooking a turkey for Thanksgiving this year. It isn't that cooking a turkey is particularly difficult or time consuming. Rather, the act of cooking a turkey is tedious and the net result is often uninspiring. The best part of turkey is the left overs the next day. In addition to my relative indifference to turkey, most of the traditional Thanksgiving side dishes are not very high on my favorite foods list. Mashed potatoes have a history of literally making me gag. Homemade cranberry sauce: good. Cranberry "sauce" from a can: very, very bad. Sweet potatoes: better than starvation. Stuffing: Usually best stuffed somewhere other than my plate.

So, at the time we decided to have Thanksgiving at our house, I started vaguely looking around for something more interesting to have for dinner. Soon, I stumbled upon a recipe for Pho Ga, a Vietnamese chicken soup with wide rice noodles. So, I decided to make that for Thanksgiving instead of a turkey. After that, it just a matter of picking complementary dishes.

Thai fried rice was next on the menu, followed shortly by vegetable dumplings. However, Sheri and Bryan decided to make pork dumplings, so we canned the idea of vegetable dumplings. In addition, Sheri and Bryan brought over some good teriyaki steak.

So, our menu today was the following:- Pho ga - Thai fried rice - Teriyaki Steak - Stir-fried vegetables and seeds (another Thai dice Sarah made) - Pork dumplings - Cookies and ice cream (both supplied by Sheri and Bryan) We all agreed that it was really refreshing to have a change from the traditional Thanksgiving routine.