Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Pumpkin pie. LOTS of pumpkin pie.

Thanksgiving is next week, and I'm going to be missing it yet again. It was never one of those holidays that I got completely jazzed up for - not like Christmas with the building excitement of watching the Advent calendar count down, or Easter when I got to dye eggs, or even the 4th of July when it's summer and hot and you get to bar-b-que with friends and drink beer. Thanksgiving was more of a chore. A 'great, we've got a long weekend, but I have to be nice to who for how long?' kind of event. There was lots of good food, but I usually had to wear 'nice' clothes, and sit at the table longer than I usually wanted to, and there would usually be a moment of embarassing story told by the parents in an attempt to make me turn as red as physically possible.

Having lived over here though, for over five years, I find it's the one holiday that I miss more than any other. Probably because I get up, and go to work, and I'll be going to work on the Friday too, and there are no autumnal colours in the shops (we're in full Christmas swing in the UK, and I'm already wanting to hurt anyone who plays Christmas carols at me) or any turkey or yams with marshmallows or pumpkin pie. And that's what I really miss most about it, to be honest, is the pumpkin pie.

Pumpkin pie, with Miracle-Whip that my Mom's pulled out of the freezer that morning so that it can soften. Potato rolls from the bag heated up in the oven, or those flakey Pillsbury Doughboy ones (you know what I'm talking about, all of you). Green beans with flaked toasted almonds, cranberry sauce (served in my Mom's special dish that I have only ever seen used for cranberry sauce) from a can, spreadable cheese from Wisconsin that my Grandmother sent us as a treat and Ritz crackers. Sparkling cider, and cheap wine from boxes. The losing battle my mother is fighting with her daughters and jeans at holiday meals.

I'm a bit nervous, because this year Matt has decided that we will be doing something special for the day, and there's a restaurant in Covent Garden that has a special Thanksgiving menu which was helpfully pointed out in the American Embassy newsletter last month for us expats. So he's made a reservation, and next Thursday we'll be making our way down there after work and sitting down to what does sound like a fantastic meal.

But... There will be no sisters arguing over olives. And who gets what roll. And why can she have wine/beer/anything and I can't? And I won't be sat down with my family, eating off the good china in our dining room at the cherry-wood table my parents bought when we were in Virginia. I don't know if I can have a Thanksgiving without those things. Without those people around me. They're what make the holiday have meaning; otherwise it's just another nice meal at a restaurant in London.

3 Comments:

Blogger ecogrrl said...

Sweetie, I know exactly what you are talking about -- the two Thanksgivings I missed were the hardest days in England. A little tip? Look for pumpkin pie mix on Ebay. There's a UK Ebay store that specializes in American food. I made a killer pie in Oxford that way. I can also send you my cranberry sauce recipe, if you want; you can find whole berries in some stores, and I learned how to make it with those, too. Many hugs to you.

11:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i THINK YOU MEAN COOL-WHIP, NOT MIRACLE WHIP.

7:10 PM  
Blogger Auglaise said...

ecogrrl: Thank you! I hope you had a great Thanksgiving - I ended up finding pumpkin pie mix, and am eagerly looking forward to making some. Thanks for the offer of the recipe - I'll email you for it!

anonymous: Thank you for commenting, and you're right, I did mean Cool-Whip. Also! Learn what your caps lock button is for!

4:53 PM  

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