I was pretty perplexed a few weeks ago when I looked at my calendar and found Friendsgiving scheduled for Saturday. My first thought was that one too many glasses of wine had me mistakenly input the wrong day, but I quickly figured out that everyone had to work on Thanksgiving here- it seemed so sacrilegious! Thursday couldn’t go by without a proper turkey/stuffing/mashed potatoes/green beans/pumpkin pie feast, so the hubs and I made this year’s holiday a double (obviously!).
Part 1: After facetiming with family and friends to wish them a happy Thanksgiving on the real deal day, Mark and I headed to Goat for our first celebration. I was a bit apprehensive about going to a restaurant for a holiday centered around food when I love to cook, but thought that I would at least get my cooking and homemade food fix during our second celebration. Surprisingly, it was quite easy to find a restaurant serving a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, it seemed like a trendy thing for Londoners to do too. We ended up having a wonderful time and especially appreciated the (very delicious) pre-portioned meals after overeating at serve-yourself dinner on Saturday !
Part 2: By Saturday, we were ready for the real deal- the stuff yourself full of homemade deliciousness. In keeping with tradition, Mark and I attempted to make some extra room with our annual Turkey Trot. Originally established in Crabtree, PA, the Gibbs’ Girls Turkey Trot consists of trotting, jogging, or speed walking any distance over 2 miles. Running long distances is grounds for being forced into a pumpkin pie eating contest.
Our friends hosted a fabulous night filled with good food and great friends. All of the traditional dishes were there, despite a few slight hiccups. After ordering groceries and getting everything ready to make my favorite cornbread stuffing, I realized that cornflour, rather than cornmeal, is the only corn-anything that exists in baking form here. Fortunately, some extra butter did the trick (doesn’t it always?). Graham crackers, also apparently an American luxury, are also non-existent in the UK. Crumbled digestives were a creative solution and made for a perfect pumpkin pie. The sweet potato casserole was sans marshmallows, since these little guys might have looked like fairy dust on top! Grocery shopping online is great, except when the ingredients on screen end up being to scale of the actual product…
- The Thanksgiving cards that a few family members sent, unexpected mail always makes me happy 🙂
- AmazonPrime’s Christmas lights, since our pre-lit tree smelled like it was going to catch on fire after we plugged it in (so much for voltage converters!)
- The fact that I’m living in London (still pinching myself)
- My family’s patience with figuring out which phone number to call me on, which one to text me on, and which one you have to be on wifi for it to work (although my dad questions, “Who is this??” every time I text)
- My best bud, my husband, who still likes me even after we finish working, working out, and eating dinner together for four days straight (we’ll see how it goes if it gets to five days…)
- My friends- the old ones that still check in and the new ones that are always up for a pint, I’ve managed to make the best ones along the way!
Now, let the Christmas craziness commence. Next stop- the Dresden Christmas markets where I will literally be like a kid in a candy store surrounded by German food, mulled wine, and Christmas decor!