Our teenage daughter was born in the states, Tennessee to be precise so we used to celebrate Thanksgiving in a big way. It was a good time of year for family to come from the UK and visit away from the Christmas holidays and we found Thanksgiving was more popular than Christmas for bringing American families together.
Falling on the fourth Thursday of November the festival dates from 1621, when a group of New England pilgrims served a feast to their Native American neighbours as thanks for their help with a bountiful harvest.
This year Waitrose has recorded a spike in interest in traditional Thanksgiving dishes; turkey orders are up 30% year on year… as it had been a while we decided in the Banks’ family to celebrate too!
On the menu.. assorted canapes, traditional turkey and stuffing, cranberry sauce and roast potatoes. I skipped the brussel sprouts (we can wait another month for those) and afraid I didn’t make a traditional pumpkin pie but suddenly Facebook is a great method of communication as we exchanged wishes with our friends and family in America.
Now Black Friday is another import, or not? I remember hitting the shopping malls 12/13 years ago and it being a wonderful time to start your Christmas shopping in America. I do not remember the UK offering the sales in such a major way on this ‘Black Friday’ but we are following very quickly. Our local petrol station has slashed its petrol for the day and online sales are quite brilliant, if you are looking for something in particular. The wise words I always remember ‘a sale is not a sale if you didn’t need it anyway!’ boring but true! So I along with half of the UK have totted up ‘baskets’ online at Amazon, John Lewis and other department stores. Of course the name comes from all these retailers being ‘in the black’ for the day rather than ‘in the red’.
This week I have made my Christmas cake and will start the feeding process in a week or so! I am beginning to think about Christmas holidays (now Thanksgiving is finished with) so I will start to post some great recipes that you can make, and freeze-ahead ready for the entertaining season.
As we have already had a ‘warm up’ with Thanksgiving this week a reminder about festive drinks… cut some limes and lemons into segments and freeze them in ice cube trays. Then Simply add the frozen cubes straight into your favourite soft drink or cocktail. This works really well in Gin and Tonic, cooling the drink and giving a fresh zesty tang to your drink! I have also thrown about 6 lime cubes all in a large jug of tap water for the table, really successful!
Its going to be an exciting few weeks as we countdown to Christmas 2016.