Thanksgiving in London 2017

28-November-2017 10:53
in General
by Admin

This year, I am lucky to be celebrating Thanksgiving in a new home. It's extra special because now I own it. All of the things I have bought over the years that I have stored away "until we buy a house" have come out and are in full use. It has been a dream come true, and I think this was the best Thanksgiving meal I've ever made!

I have lived in London for 18 years. We have spent about 12 of them in London for Thanksgiving, so I am well-versed in where to shop for American ingredients. I can remember our first Thanksgiving in a tiny flat in Blackheath, with a super tiny oven and virtually no counterspace. Somehow, I managed to make all the key dishes. I remember scouring the city for a can of cream corn and some fried crispy onions, only to find them in a grocery store in Chinatown for very cheap. (the American stores at the time sold them for outrageous prices, well, they still do) Today, Green Giant has rolled out cream corn on regular shelves, at a reasonable price, so my hunting is over for this item. 

This year, I was chronicalling my grocery shopping to my Facebook friends and family, and now I think I'll share the entries with you here on this blog. You know me, I love a bit of flair and drama... so I was going with a "military narrator" voice for these, with a bit of humour thrown in. Enjoy!


20 Nov - 08:40

Thanksgiving Command Centre: planning an epic meal with family recipes. We do not deviate from a traditional Redneck menu. Old favourites, heirloom dishes, memories you can eat. It is this moment of calm where I plan the big shop..... and the culinary magic begins soon. This year we are blessed to be having our first Thanksgiving in a home we own. Big adult achievement!


20 Nov 17:12

Thanksgiving Command Update: online grocery order of basic cooking ingredients and a large turkey, frozen. Arrival anticipate 8pm Tuesday, the thawing shall begin.

Today, 1400 hours, commenced the 39min journey to Partridge’s in Sloane Square... aka USA Food HQ.

£49 ($65) later, I am transporting

3 boxes Stove Top (Hubby insists on this, I can “go gourmet” at Christmas) 
2 cans jellied cranberries (we like the ridges)
Caro Syrup (its puh-kahn pie)
Hershey’s cocoa (the chocolate pie essential)
Crisco for pie crust (Mom didn’t raise no fool)
A Whatchamacallit bar for a whopping $3!
And a bag of mini marshmallows because the ones I ordered last week are all stuck together.

Thanksgiving Command 2

21 Nov - 14:27

Thanksgiving Command Centre:

Inspection of linen drawer concluded with the decision to invest in new posh cloth napkins. Restrained impulse to pull everything out and iron. Saving this reward for later! (Evaluation for OCD testing recommended to higher authority)

Intelligence (aka American Expat Facebook group) said that Homesense had arrived in UK with operations near Command Centre. 1 bus ride, 2 hours and £70 later, we have an array of candles, wrapping paper, and yes, new cloth napkins which are versatile for all year long!

Inspection of ingredients shows one missing vital component: Fritos for the Catalina Frito Salad. The 80’s favourite is a newcomer to our table, as it has only been recently possible to obtain Catalina dressing and Fritos in London without going into debt. After the Homesense excursion, a pit stop to Asda (the Walmart of the UK) was visited. No joy.

Recent supplies had been obtained for venison chilli endeavours via an Ocado delivery order (with a min £40 order required). Hubby thought that might be too many Fritos.

Research reports show the Fritos are made by Simba, an African food supply company. Captain Amber now venturing to two known South African shops in hope to obtain bags of Fritos. Excess supplies will be purchased, as to avoid a duplicate scenario.

Thanksgiving Command 3

21 Nov - 17:15

Thanksgiving Command Field Report: troops are weary, but perseverance led to victory. The South African Store under the Arches of Charing Cross saw capture of 2 bags of BBQ Fritos. (An additional capture of a bag of strawberry-caramel popcorn was detained for further questioning.)

Unfaltering, troops continued to Canary Wharf for the South African store at West India Quay, where 1 remaining bag of tomato Fritos was hiding out. (Also captured 1 can of Barq’s root beer to be held with prisoner popcorn.)

Retreating back to Command Centre for debrief, and dinner. (Battle of Fritos will no doubt spark political debate as to whether or not resources were wisely allocated to this operation on what some would classify as a “Day Off”, but it’s over and won!)

Thanksgiving Command 4

22 Nov -15:12

Thanksgiving Command Centre:
I may be physically in a meeting, but I’m mentally planning and preparing dishes and cooking times.

Thanksgiving Command 5


23 Nov 00:34

Thanksgiving Command Centre: pre holiday meals consisting of Busaba Eathai for lunch and some delicious lamb chops with sticky mint sauce. Preparing to feast for at least 6 days on leftovers.

Thanksgiving Command 6


23 Nov - 09:42

Thanksgiving Command Centre:

The wedding gift of a kitchen knife magnet finally sees the light of day, as it was a vow to only use it when we bought a place of our own. Those newly sharpened knives look amazing! I’m inspired to cook!

Knife Base is quickly transformed for Operation Pie ..... we seem to have pasta flour, Strong bread flour, sorghum flour and gluten free flour but no plain stuff. Let’s hope Mom’s crust recipe will work with gf flour. (It doesn’t matter, Hubby just eats the inside of the pumpkin pie anyway.)

We are actually doing the big lunch tomorrow, as we both have to work later today, so this is just prep and cooking so I can concentrate on turkey and sides tomorrow. However, the mug and the apron are a must!

Granny and Aunt Woodie may not be here, but their kitchen tools are! So there is a lot of love right now in my house! 

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!! My favourite holiday!

Thanksgiving Command 7


23 Nov 18:16

Thanksgiving Command Centre:
8a-12:30.... pumpkin and pecan pies are done
2p-5p.... taught a class. 

5p-6p.... stopped off for some bubbles 
6pm.... chocolate pie and casserole prep, entertainment download (parade, Charlie Brown) 
9p-11p..... manic cleaning session in prep of honoured guest

Alarm for 7:45am so turkey  goes into the oven at 8am!

Loved seeing everyone’s posts on FB today!

Thanksgiving Command 8


24 Nov - 17:54

Thanksgiving Command Centre: Final Report

Turkey, stuffed w lemons, rosemary
Gravy from turkey drippings
Stove Top Cornbread
Stove Top sage flavour
Squaw Corn Casserole (Hubby's mom’s recipe)
Green bean casserole
Sweet potatoes w marshmallows 
Frito Catalina Salad
Jellied cranberry sauce 
Deviled eggs
Pumpkin Pie (My mom’s crust)
Pecan Pie (an Aunt recipe)
Chocolate pie (Hubby's grandmother’s recipe)
Cranberry red hot cider

Thank you all for indulging me in these reports. Blessings to you all!

Thanksgiving Command 9




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