As the whole giving-of-thanks thing doesn't really exist on this side of the Atlantic, I thought I would take things into my own hands by preparing Thanksgiving dinner for the first time ever. Minus the turkey, that is, because a) British shops don't sell turkeys this time of year due to the aforementioned nonexistence of the holiday in question and b) As I don't eat meat, the idea of touching/stuffing a huge dead bird really grosses me out. Ben roasted a chicken though!
Now this was a lot of pressure for several reasons:
- Ben's family had never eaten Thanksgiving dinner (and I had been going on about how amazing pumpkin pie is, despite an article I read claiming that this vegetable-based dessert freaked many Brits out and was therefore terrified everyone wouldn't like it)
- It was proving rather difficult to find pumpkin pie filling; the only shop that seemed to sell pumpkin pie filling was out (which means there must be other Canadians somewhere in this town...) but luckily more got delivered at the last minute
- We were going to be seven altogether and I had never cooked anything for seven people at once, let alone a Thanksgiving dinner
But I was determined for this British Thanksgiving to be a success.
I started cooking around noon and apart from the chicken (which Ben made), the gravy (Ben) and the pie crust (Ben's sister Sophie) I made it all:
- The pumpkin pie filling
- Spanakopitas (more Greek than Thanksgiving I know, but they're a good vegetarian substitute!)
- Vegetarian stuffing
- Beans and carrots
- Mashed potatoes
- Cauliflower cheese
- Bread rolls
The preparation looked something like this:
|Tracked down some canned pumpkin in the American section at Tesco!|
|This freaked me out a bit - had no idea the pie filling would be this runny!|
|Classic Ben, sneaking a bite of something|
It was a lot (and I mean a lot) of work - I now have considerably more appreciation for all the amazing Thanksgiving meals I've eaten over the years - but the end result was soooo worth it. To my relief, the food and even the pie were well received by the Brits (although they all saw how much work I put into it so I doubt they would have told me otherwise) and Ben's family even said they want to make Thanksgiving an annual event!
|A very proud moment for me|
|Their first Thanksgiving dinner (from left to right): Sophie, Ellie, James (Ellie's boyfriend), Julie, Dave, Ben|
|PP, how I'd missed you|
I'll end with just one more list, of what I'm most thankful for this Thanksgiving:
- My wonderful boyfriend, who was absolutely worth moving across the world for
- My family, for supporting my nomadic lifestyle these last couple of years
- Ben's family, for letting Ben and I live with them while we look for jobs and making me feel like part of the family
- The friends who have made an effort to keep in touch since I've been traveling
- My health
- That I've had the incredible opportunity to spend a lot of the last two years exploring this wonderful world
Happy Thanksgiving from the UK!