Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!


For the past three years, Phil and I have celebrated Thanksgiving at our home in the UK. After all, when we first moved here in the fall of 2007, so many people were instrumental in helping us get settled and figure out our lives. We were truly grateful, and what better way to show it than a Thanksgiving celebration with all of our new British friends?

This year will be our third Thanksgiving in the UK. I never tire of inviting new friends. "I've never been to a Thanksgiving before!" they always say. This year we're expecting 25 people.

Don't worry, it'll be a potluck. I couldn't dream of cooking for that many people with my teeny-tiny British fridge, oven, and trigger-happy smoke alarm. But we'll carry on a few traditions; Phil will make pumpkin pie, I'll do cranberry applesauce and jambalaya. We discovered a few years ago that many Brits have never heard of jambalaya. So it's fun to share a uniquely American food, even if it's not part of our cultural heritage.

Except, yes, no turkey. I'll probably throw a few chunks in the jambalaya! It's hard to get a whole bird this time of year in the UK, and any turkey I do get will either be frozen or expensive meat from a deli. Plus, have I mentioned my teeny-tiny British fridge, oven, and trigger-happy smoke alarm?

Besides, our British friends are happy to contribute. So far this year we've had offers for cranberry sauce, bread rolls, pumpkin soup, and Mississippi mud pie. Oh, and tempura and Oreo cheesecake. We've got great friends.

For me, the best part of the evening is celebrating with friends, starting new traditions, and remembering how much I have to be thankful for.

Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving, too.

14 comments:

  1. ooh - sounds lovely!

    I haven't done Thanksgiving since leaving the US. :-P

    I did buy a book about it this fall for the kidlet - figured she needs to understand it since she's half American and it's such an iconic holiday.

    Elisabeth

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  2. Thanks, Elisabeth. I guess I get nostalgic around this time of year for the US.

    It really is an iconic holiday, and hard to explain unless you've experienced it. My British friends always ask what we're supposed to do. My Dad tells me I should tell them they have to dress up as Pilgrims! =)

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  3. Anne, you made me laugh with your dad's comment about dressing up as pilgrims =) Turkey or no turkey, your Thanksgiving sounds fantastic and carries the true meaning of the holiday. Happy Thanksgiving!

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  4. Thanks, Andrea. I think it's fantastic too. Perhaps it's even made me appreciate the holiday more than I ever did in the US. Happy Thanksgiving to you, too.

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  5. Sounds like a fun day you have planned. My family likes to play games (think Scattegories, Pictionary, Balderdash) and do dramatic readings. I heard a rumor that my grandfather has prepared a perfomance as Gretl (the youngest Von Trapp) from The Sound of Music.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

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  6. I love that your family does readings, KT! What fun, and I bet you really enjoy your time together. Happy Thanksgiving to you, too!

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  7. Our first year in the U.K. together, we lived in Wales. I cooked a full Thanksgiving dinner for half a dozen people and I was whacked, but everyone said exactly what you've written: "I've never been to a Thanksgiving before!" I'm part Iroquois and I felt there was a nice irony in bringing Thanksgiving back to the U.K.

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  8. It's such a nice holiday to share, isn't it? Especially with people who have never experienced it before.

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  9. I celebrated in the traditional way, by a mini-disaster with the pumpkin pie. I swear, one of these years I'm just going to give up and buy the darn thing.

    This year's episode involved leaving the sugar out of one of the two pies I made to take to the family we always celebrate with. Pumpkin pie without sugar tastes....not like pumpkin.

    I knew something was off but didn't figure it out until I made a third pie the day after, for us. Aha! I'd pre-mixed the spices the night before, but not the sugar...and then forgot to add it.

    But it was an improvement over two or three years ago, when the pie pan slipped off the counter as I was pouring in the filling and splashed All. Over. the. Kitchen.

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  10. I think it's next to impossible to make an entire Thanksgiving dinner and not have SOMETHING go wrong. My mom is a master pie maker, but I remember a year or two ago, she forgot the sugar in a pie, too! The year before that, she left the pie on the oven, on top of a still warm burner, and the ceramic dish (along with the pie) exploded all over the kitchen.

    Thanks for sharing, Anne. You did make me smile, even though I'm sure you were so frustrated about the pies! Though maybe next year you should treat yourself to a store bought pie... =)

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  11. Anne, I love your Thanksgiving menu, especially since you are exporting jambalaya! :) Love it! We usually have it with our Christmas menu, and etoufee and New Orleans bread. Yum.

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  12. Ohhh, I love that you also have jambalaya for the holidays, Bridgette! What a menu! I'll have to visit you for Christmas!

    I'm hoping to do a follow up post this week on the array of lovely things our friends brought for the potluck. Eclectic, but also a beautiful mixture of traditions.

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  13. Come on over! We love Christmas guests. :)

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  14. Good taste in food AND generous! Thanks, Bridgette!

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