I know it is practically the law that all American bloggers write a Thanksgiving Day-related post. I wish I had something fabulous to say about Thanksgiving in England, but it all feels a bit strange. How do you explain to your neighbors that you’re celebrating a holiday that is all about escaping them, to be honest, or at least one’s semi-mythical national ancestors escaping their semi-mythical national ancestors. “Yeah, we cook beautiful turkeys, eat ’till we fall asleep, go shopping, watch football, and thank our personal deities that we escaped England and survived to live elsewhere. And there’s some complicated history about the people who were there already, and actually it was Lincoln who established the tradition as we know it to help with post-Civil-War healing. So — Cheers!”
It doesn’t sound any better when you say it out loud.
I don’t even have any special family recipes to share with you. Apparently through some kind of time warp Jamie Oliver and my mother both learned how to cook turkeys the same way, and passed this information on to me years ago. (Never will I brine a bird. I don’t get to go soak in the warm salty ocean at Thanksgiving, neither does my turkey.) The New York Times makes a perfectly lovely cornbread muffin. Martha Stewart for the cranberry sauce (I add ginger and cinnamon), and one of the stuffings. (Stove Top for the other — am I right America?) Every year I come up with another slightly random unique version of a green bean casserole. Simple salad, to please to kids. French bread. Macaroni and cheese. Mashed potatoes. Chocolate pie (I won’t lie to you: Jello Pudding), pumpkin pie, apple pie (store-bought crust mix outside, Joy of Cooking goodness on the inside). And after the last baste of the roasted bird, open the champagne for the chef. I think I could make Thanksgiving dinner in my sleep.
A bit surreal to do all that for a quick dinner on a school night, and then to send everyone off to school the next morning.
At least we are not newly in our house and surrounded by yet-to-be-unpacked boxes, this year. And finding a turkey was easy — if expensive — at our new Whole Foods.
That’s it! Happy Thanksgiving holiday! Now, did someone mention online shopping … ?