I usually celebrate American Thanksgiving at home with my family in the UK however every now and again I am able to celebrate it in the states with my American family.
Mr R and I made the trip this year for the biggest and most important holiday on the American calendar. Thanksgiving is the holiday that most Americans try to get home for whereby Christmas they tend to stay where they are and phone home.
This holiday celebrates when the pilgrims landed in what is now known as Massachusetts following a terrible sea crossing and bad first year they made some local friends with native Americans who taught them how to survive by eating local wild animals and grow vegetables that they could keep throughout the winter. At the end of this year the native Americans and the Pilgrims got together and shared a meal which would have consisted of turkey, venison, squash, pumpkins and corn.
President Abraham Lincoln in 1863 set the date for Thanksgiving as the 4th Thursday of November and that is the date we still celebrate it.
Today the traditional Thanksgiving meal consists of much the same but each family will have their own traditional dishes that have evolved over time.
My Thanksgiving meal would consist of turkey, stuffing, gravy, my homemade cranberry relish, peas and carrots, sweet potato with marshmallows (don’t say yuk until you have tried it), creamed sweetcorn with chilli, creamed onions, roast and mashed potatoes followed by pumpkin pie, apple pie and if I have time pecan pie. I don’t usually have turkey again for Christmas as it falls just four weeks later.
Although we were in the United States for Thanksgiving this year the family would be travelling to California to visit my niece leaving Mr R and myself to look after the house and the dogs. We will be having our own little Thanksgiving meal.
My sister cooked an early Thanksgiving dinner for the family as we would be apart over the holiday.
This year my sister’s spread was turkey, stuffing, gravy, mashed potato, roast sweet potato, cranberry jelly and cranberry sauce, green bean casserole, pumpkin bread and an apple bread as well as an array of dips and crisps to keep people going until dinner time.
Tummies full the other tradition is to sit back and watch the Thanksgiving Day football matches!
This year Mr R and I had a quiet Thanksgiving meal with our turkey, roast potatoes, cornmeal stuffing, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, sweetcorn souffle as well as green vegetables. It is a quiet meal and one with reflection on what we have to be thankful for over the past year and what we are thankful to look forward to for 2016.
I will be bringing home tablecloths, napkins and other table settings with me for next year – who wants to come to mine for Thanksgiving dinner next year?