Thanksgiving as an American in the UK can be a trying affair. Apart from the fact that only fellow Americans will understand the importance of the event, it’s often difficult to get your ingredients. For the meat dish, try searching the Christmas inventory in stores and web sites, as many will offer both turkey and hams, or “gammon” as it’s often called in the UK.
Marks and Spencer are doing a lovely sugar-glazed ham this year, which is as close as you’ll get to a traditional Thanksgiving ham. For a more up-market affair, check out the Fortnum and Mason web site. Beware – the Colonial Larder refers to the old British colonies (ie. India) and not Colonial America. You can also buy Libby’s canned pumpkin at various grocery stores. If the pie recipe isn’t right there on the label, just go to www.verybestbaking.com/products/libbys.
The traditional British Christmas dinner always includes Brussels sprouts so this wouldn’t seem strange with a Thanksgiving turkey. Make sure you have brown gravy with your turkey – they won’t be used to any thick, white stuff. Oh and if you’re serving sweet potatoes, Brits don’t have the American sweet tooth so you might want to halve the sugar content.
If it all seems like too much work, www.gouk.about.com provides a list of places (mainly in London) where you can eat out for Thanksgiving.
This post was written by Toni Hargis, an expat Brit living in the States. She is a mother of three, a blogger, and author of "Rules, Britannia: An Insider's Guide to Life in the United Kingdom" (St. Martin's Press).
Photo credit: Katie Kills