What you will not see in this week’s installment of This Week’s Menu is turkey.  Or stuffing.  Or sweet potatoes.  Because, sadly, Brits don’t celebrate the holiday.  My first year here, I tried to recreate it but holidays aren’t the same when you celebrate with people who don’t have it as a part of their culture.  They may like it, they may enjoy the food and the get-together, but that element of having a shared history is missing – and you don’t realize what an important ingredient it is until it’s not there.

So, rather than try to explain Thanksgiving to them, I point them to what Bill Bryson had to say about it in his book “Notes from a Big Country”:

“… Thanksgiving remains a pure holiday, largely unsullied by commercialization.  It involves no greeting cards, no trees to trim, no perplexing hunt through the drawers and cupboards for decorations.  At Thanksgiving, all you do is sit at a table and try to get your stomach into the shape of a beach ball, and then go watch a game of American football on the TV.  This is my kind of holiday.

But perhaps the nicest, and certainly the noblest, aspect of Thanksgiving is that it gives you a formal, official occasion to give thanks for all those things for which you should be grateful.”

So, I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving week – may your turkey be juicy, may your pie crusts be flakey, and may your enjoyment of your leftovers outlast the leftovers, themselves!

  • Sunday:  Aztec chicken soup and quesadillas
  • Monday:  Pork with cashews, lime and mint
  • Tuesday:  Chicken and mushroom casserole
  • Wednesday:  Pumpkin and gorgonzola flan
  • Thursday:  Grilled tilapia sammiches
  • Friday:  Pasta with sausage, basil and mustard