Thanksgiving – Squared

It would appear that the UK is beginning to embrace Thanksgiving with quite a passion. I can quite understand why – pumpkin pie deserves to be added to the British menu and it’s always good to say thank-you. After last year’s inaugural Thanksgiving experience, this year I manage to double my thankfulness with a Matryoshka Haus Thanksgiving the weekend before the official date; and a Thanksgiving/Christmas with the St George’s students nearly a week after the occasion.

There can never be too many opportunities on which to eat pie.

Chocolate coins may now be my favourite table decoration – pretty and tasty.

In true Thanksgiving style, it seems only sensible to reflect upon the season via thankfulness…

Obviously, I’m thankful for Matryoshka Haus, Shannon and the Thanksgiving tradition she’s built up in London. We’ve written a fair bit about it on the In Da Haus blog, but suffice to say, Thanksgiving is all about community and the communal table – which Matryoshka Haus epitomises.

I’m thankful that other people will usually cook the turkey and that I was only left in sole charge of the bird for 20 minutes. (For the St George’s crew we compromised with Waitrose rotisserie chickens. God bless Waitrose!)

All I had to deal with was the foil and an initial blast in the oven. 
Thankfully, this year’s turkey went un-named.

On a Saturday afternoon full of cooking and a little bit of stress, I was very grateful to discover that I’m not alone in my love of singing along to musicals while working in the kitchen. I may now never be able to listen to Les Mis without remembering some admirable falsetto efforts from a male member of the community…

I am inordinately grateful for Shannon’s family egg-nog recipe (I blogged it last year). It’s delicious and boozy and generally wonderful. I’m also thankful for the tip to serve it only in plastic cups, which saved me a lot of glasses when the students came round; and hugely grateful that when I made it for the second time in just over 2 weeks, I had a proper electric mixer with which to mix it. I’m also grateful that I managed to separate 12 eggs without incident, despite having spent the previous three hours drinking mimosas while cooking. Thankfully, I also halved the recipe for the students, so I didn’t have to drink 3 litres of it on my own.

My contribution to the MH Thanksgiving: mini pecan pies & mini apple crumble pies.
Almost everything’s better in miniature… 

I thank the internet and its myriad pie recipes – particularly this pecan pie recipe that’s American, yet incorporated that most British of ingredients: Golden Syrup. I also thank the students who made two different varieties of pumpkin pie and a pecan-apple one too. (God bless Waitrose again for stocking tinned pumpkin.)

Thankfully well-risen Yorkshires and the remnants of fabulous student pies.

I’m thankful for a church that supports me in a sometimes ridiculous ministry. Especially when it lets me ransack its kitchen for extra plates, jugs, glasses and even a table, so that I can successfully feed 12 people around the same table in my lounge. I’m also rather thankful for the marvellous flat the church provides me with. This meal would have been impossible last year.

A selection of well-fed students. 
(Bless the guys for their persistance with paper hats.)

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