Happy Thanksgiving!

Like so many Ex-pats, Mark and I celebrated our Turkey day the Saturday following  the actual holiday, as we were both working Thursday.  My parent’s asked me, “so when do they [the British] have their Thanksgiving?  Canada has one, what about over there?” to which I had to reply that this in not an English nor European phenomenon.  Which this also makes finding key ingredients a little tricky, not impossible, but it’s not like the grocery stores back home that are abundantly stocked with sweet potatoes, cranberries and pumpkin for pies.

We roasted a chicken, as our small oven and refrigerator can not accommodate a turkey.  We had actually celebrated last Saturday too.  It is so easy to roast a small chicken.  Brined and stuffed simply with quartered shallots and cloves of smoked garlic, it comes out moist and flavorful in just over an hour and the juices from this concoction makes for perfectly seasoned and flavored gravy.

It is also surprisingly easy to scale down all the wonderful sides that we would normally make in industrial quantities when hosting our families.  Only mashing four potatoes instead of 5 lbs.  Candied two sweet potatoes instead of a huge casserole full.  A small serving of the last of my supply of Stove Top stuffing (hush, it’s tradition in my family to have this in addition to home made stuffing on the table and I honestly prefer this to stuffing from in the bird).  The batch of cranberry sauce I made was the normal portion, but I love home made cranberry sauce.   And of course a huge pile of sweet corn.  When cooking for our families, we would have several other options of veg, but for just the two of us, corn is all we need.   I have also outdone even myself and made the absolutely perfect pumpkin pie two weeks in a row.  This all just enough for the main meal and the requisite left overs the next day.  There is also enough meat left over for making chicken salad and the carcass is used to make stock for soup (currently simmering and filling our house with the most amazing aroma!).

I prefer Thanksgiving to Christmas by leaps and bounds.  It’s not a religious holiday and it doesn’t involve presents.  There is no pretense.  It’s all about the food (fall harvest) and family and enjoying each other’s company and reflecting on what you can be thankful for.  We’re both safe, healthy, have a roof over our heads, live comfortably and are loved by our family, friends and each other.  Even though we are far from home and our families, we carry out this tradition abroad and are with them in spirit.  For all of this I am truely thankful.