In case you didn’t know it, I’m American born and bred. Sure, I’ve lived in Europe most of my adult life, but the fact remains that I’m an American.
So I do know when Thanksgiving is – it’s the 4th Thursday in November, and usually coincided with either my dad’s birthday or my sister’s.
When I moved to England in my 20’s, I wanted to carry on the tradition of Thanksgiving celebrations. It was always one of my favourite holidays, and I also thought it important that my daughter became familiar with some of the American traditions that I grew up with.
It wasn’t easy to cook a full-on T Day dinner in England, though! I was used to all the conveniences – a big turkey (not available in England until Christmas). Cranberry sauce (not available at all). Stuffing (what, no Stouffers?) And, most of all, pumpkin pie.
I’m famous (in the Larson family) for my pumpkin pie, as it happens. I like making my own piecrusts, even. And real whipped cream. OK, once I put double the amount of salt in the mix, but hey, trial and error, right? 🙂
The fly in the pumpkin pie ointment was that…they don’t sell canned pumpkin in England! Libby’s, where are you? I wondered. No obstacle was going to get in my way, though, so I bought a pumpkin, cooked the flesh, and pureed it into my own pie mix. And turkey? Well, I usually ended up going direct to the farmer and buying a smaller one, which was fine for our gathering.
Another unusual thing was that, surprise, surprise, the English don’t get 2 days off work for Thanksgiving! So we always had it the weekend afterwards, just as nice, even though not as traditional.
I’m telling you all this because this year, our daughter is hosting her first real Thanksgiving. She is newly engaged, and has decided this is one American tradition that is worth the effort. I applaud her.