Thanksgiving in the UK

I realise this post is a week late, but before I divulge into Christmas, I wanted to share my Thanksgiving dinner! It turned out great.
After making a few quick DIY decorations, which included carved apple candles, festive nuts and the cliche kitchen welcome message, I was ready to begin the pumpkin pie.
I really wanted to be able to make as many authentic American dishes as possible, but the supermarkets here in the UK have their limits. I went to 4 different places until I finally found Libby's 100% pumpkin pie filling. You can buy it in the USA section at Tesco's and it's a fool-proof way to make a classic pumpkin pie. Unfortunately I was unable to find cornmeal to make cornbread or French's onions to make Green bean casserole. BUT - everything else turned out amazing!

Here is my menu:

Apple Cider Sangria (recipe here) - So good, but so strong.

The Three Meats:

Wait, where's the massive turkey?! Well, did you know that you can only buy frozen turkeys from the supermarket? And they take 4 days to defrost? No, nor did I. But I did make a lovely turkey joint and two other meats to compensate! Far too much for 5 people but they made some lovely sandwiches the next day.

The Naughty Sides:

To make my life a little easier, I bought the stuffing and cauliflower from Sainsbury's. The Macaroni and cheese was probably the most favoured dish. I used 3 different cheeses, including Gouda, which has a nutty flavour to it, then added some chopped bacon bits. 
And yes, I wore elasticated pants.
  • Buttery mash potatoes - got to be Lurpak butter and cracked sea salt
  • Twice baked macaroni and cheese with bacon bits
  • Sweet potatoes with melted marshmallows - proved to be the most controversial 
  • Brussel sprouts and pancetta 
  • Cauliflower cheese - got to have a bit of English taste
  • Pork, roast chestnut and thyme stuffing
  • Gravy made from the slow cooked beef juices - to die for

Then for dessert, the pumpkin pie with freshly whipped up double cream...

In true Barker family style, we listened to Frank Sinatra (ALL NIGHT - thanks Dad), drank far too much wine and champagne and then proceeded to loudly discuss politics until the early hours of the morning.
I finished the night off by falling asleep in the dog's bed, which was actually really comfortable, then Ian decided to sleep walk in the middle of the night and try to get into bed with my Dad and Linzi.
All in all, it was a fantastic family dinner, with lots of lovely leftovers to pick on the next day.

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