What else could today’s post be about but Thanksgiving; our new adopted holiday.
This is our fourth year celebrating. The first two years we weren’t quite sure what to do with ourselves; everything was closed, we had no family here to celebrate with, all of our UK family and friends were at work and apart from appreciating the extra couple of days off, we didn’t really embrace the holiday for what it is – time to give thanks and be with the people you love.
This time last year our son was only a few weeks old and we had my mum and stepdad in town. We were sleep deprived and still in shock at having to keep this tiny precious being alive day in day out! Luckily, my hubby’s aunt and uncle ordered us a ready-made Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings from the local supermarket so we still got to eat!
This year the holiday crept up on us, but luckily our nanny had thought ahead and prepared a meal of Cornish Hen, homemade stuffing, with sweet Italian sausage, and baked sweet potatoes.
It was delicious and it’s always wonderful having food prepared for you, but it made me think that next year I want to embrace the holiday and make it our own. Now that we have our own little family, a cosy home and a little American to share it with, I want to create our own traditions – some American inspired and some with a British twist!
A traditional American Thanksgiving dinner has a very similar theme to my experience of a traditional British Christmas dinner – turkey (or white meat), cranberry sauce, stuffing (although in the US it seems to be made with buttermilk and cornbread), veg and potatoes. Ours, of course, was slightly different as it came with a slight Italian twist!
One thing a Thanksgiving dinner doesn’t have, which I plan to bring to our plates next year, is ‘pigs in blankets’. For those who have no idea what I’m talking about, these are mini sausages wrapped in bacon and, in my view, it isn’t a festive meal without them!
However, dessert is the thing that is most different between Thanksgiving and what I know as a festive dinner. Americans tend to have Apple, pumpkin or pecan pie. In the UK, we have mince pies and Christmas pudding. Mince pies contain what us Brits call, ‘sweet mince’. It’s not mince at all, nor is it meat which is what many American’s I’ve baked them for are expecting to taste when they bite into the crusty pastry. Mince pies contain a thick syrup-like mixture of dried fruits and some kind of liquor; usually brandy or sherry, to give them that extra kick!
Moving to America and being given this extra holiday feels like we’ve been given a second Christmas without the expense of presents. It’s a wonderful taste of Christmas in the lead up to heading back to England for our second Christmas with our extended family!
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!