Thanksgiving!!

Old Nov 24th 2014, 10:18 am
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Default Thanksgiving!!

Any ex-US folks do Thanksgiving over here in the UK?

We are at a holiday rental here in Norfolk, and our son (lives in England) and our daughter and partner (live in Massachusetts) are coming to join us for the Thanksgiving weekend. I had thought we were planning a big Thanksgiving meal, but now my wife tells me she wants to ignore the holiday traditions completely and just do the usual fish and chips, pub meals etc. Not sure how the kids will deal with that when they find out. We are in Norfolk, so seems odd not to cook a turkey..
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Old Nov 24th 2014, 10:24 am
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Default Re: Thanksgiving!!

Originally Posted by robin1234 View Post
Any ex-US folks do Thanksgiving over here in the UK?

We are at a holiday rental here in Norfolk, and our son (lives in England) and our daughter and partner (live in Massachusetts) are coming to join us for the Thanksgiving weekend. I had thought we were planning a big Thanksgiving meal, but now my wife tells me she wants to ignore the holiday traditions completely and just do the usual fish and chips, pub meals etc. Not sure how the kids will deal with that when they find out. We are in Norfolk, so seems odd not to cook a turkey..
I guess Honeybaked Hams is not possible, it would be easy.
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Old Nov 24th 2014, 11:13 am
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Smile Re: Thanksgiving!!

About four years ago my husband was on an expat posting in Singapore; I was living half of the time in New Jersey as I had to have enough days of residency to apply for US citizenship. Part of my husband's package was membership of the British Club....and they had a Thanksgiving Dinner there which we went to and enjoyed.

My spouse then relocated to Switzerland, I became a US citizen and promptly relocated too to join him - which is where I am right now. I hadn't bothered doing a turkey as it's just the two of us here and a normal working day of course. There are many Americans at his office, mainly from Minnesota and they always seem to have a big gathering at one of their apartments in the same small complex where we are resident (we've never been invited).

Anyway....this year we've decided to have our own Thanksgiving Dinner. We're hosting it this Saturday evening and had to specially order a (frozen) turkey from a supermarket in town. I'm having a major problem trying to track down ingredients for various dishes....brown sugar is impossible to find here, as is Vanilla extract and the local expat shop selling American and British goods has gone bankrupt Fortunately my spouse has recently been to the US and brought back a can of Libby's pumpkin (I'm planning to make a pumpkin cheesecake). My expat friend in NJ has very kindly mailed to me some McCormick's Pumpkin Spice.

I'm apprehensive though about the size of the appliances here after living in the USA.....our oven is the normal ie. small European size and so is the fridge. We will hopefully (just) be able to fit a 5kg turkey in the oven but nothing else at the same time Of course there are no ice-makers in the fridges either (they don't really have ice in drinks here) but I'll have to go down to the BP petrol station and buy a sack of crushed ice to put bottles of plonk/sodas/water/beer in a bucket on the balcony and hope that it will be a cold day!

Our guests will be all expats with a connection to the US; a British couple ex-New Jersey (we didn't know them there....bumped into the wife in a supermarket and we became friends....I'll chat to anybody lol!). Another couple who lived in the next town over from us in NJ and already knew; they moved to Zurich last Summer, are naturalized Americans but she is Swiss and he's Belgian, with their two US born kids. Other friends coming are a Canadian couple but lived in NYC and are keeping their Green Cards going, but moving to London in the New Year....and also other British friends who are moving to the US for the first time in January....to Milwaukee, Wisconsin....I don't think they have a clue how brutally cold it will be there....even New Jersey is much colder in the winter than it is here in Switzerland...it's only really cold when you go up the Alps.

We have a Slingbox attached to the TV so we're hoping to try and get some live American football games on the telly....also it's not illegal in Switzerland to download foreign TV shows, so if possible we're going to try and download the Macy's Day Thanksgiving Parade and possibly shows like The Daily Show, Colbert Report and possibly the Thanksgiving show (broadcast this Weds) of Saturday Night Live (no I don't think SNL is funny at all, but it will be a 'taste' of America

BTW; I'm also going to a Thanksgiving Lunch on Thursday at the American Womens Club in Zurich (omg I will be piling on the calories this week, I'm also going to a 'leaving' lunch for a friend on Weds)

Thanksgiving Feast in the Club - AWC of Zurich

They were very kind at the club....I was asking if there was anywhere in Zurich that I could buy any kind of decoration related to Thanksgiving, maybe at an expat store I didn't know about. By pure luck, they had a box full of old concertina paper turkeys, decorative gourds and corn which they no longer wanted and they gave them to me.... so it's looking very festive in our apartment now I'm off to IKEA tomorrow to buy peppakarkar (ginger snaps) for the cheesecake base and other bits and pieces and hope I can pull it all together as I'm a useless cook lol!
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Old Nov 24th 2014, 11:21 am
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Default Re: Thanksgiving!!

Originally Posted by Englishmum View Post
About four years ago my husband was on an expat posting in Singapore; I was living half of the time in New Jersey as I had to have enough days of residency to apply for US citizenship. Part of my husband's package was membership of the British Club....and they had a Thanksgiving Dinner there which we went to and enjoyed.

My spouse then relocated to Switzerland, I became a US citizen and promptly relocated too to join him - which is where I am right now. I hadn't bothered doing a turkey as it's just the two of us here and a normal working day of course. There are many Americans at his office, mainly from Minnesota and they always seem to have a big gathering at one of their apartments in the same small complex where we are resident (we've never been invited).

Anyway....this year we've decided to have our own Thanksgiving Dinner. We're hosting it this Saturday evening and had to specially order a (frozen) turkey from a supermarket in town. I'm having a major problem trying to track down ingredients for various dishes....brown sugar is impossible to find here, as is Vanilla extract and the local expat shop selling American and British goods has gone bankrupt Fortunately my spouse has recently been to the US and brought back a can of Libby's pumpkin (I'm planning to make a pumpkin cheesecake). My expat friend in NJ has very kindly mailed to me some McCormick's Pumpkin Spice.

I'm apprehensive though about the size of the appliances here after living in the USA.....our oven is the normal ie. small European size and so is the fridge. We will hopefully (just) be able to fit a 5kg turkey in the oven but nothing else at the same time Of course there are no ice-makers in the fridges either (they don't really have ice in drinks here) but I'll have to go down to the BP petrol station and buy a sack of crushed ice to put bottles of plonk/sodas/water/beer in a bucket on the balcony and hope that it will be a cold day!

Our guests will be all expats with a connection to the US; a British couple ex-New Jersey (we didn't know them there....bumped into the wife in a supermarket and we became friends....I'll chat to anybody lol!). Another couple who lived in the next town over from us in NJ and already knew; they moved to Zurich last Summer, are naturalized Americans but she is Swiss and he's Belgian, with their two US born kids. Other friends coming are a Canadian couple but lived in NYC and are keeping their Green Cards going, but moving to London in the New Year....and also other British friends who are moving to the US for the first time in January....to Milwaukee, Wisconsin....I don't think they have a clue how brutally cold it will be there....even New Jersey is much colder in the winter than it is here in Switzerland...it's only really cold when you go up the Alps.

We have a Slingbox attached to the TV so we're hoping to try and get some live American football games on the telly....also it's not illegal in Switzerland to download foreign TV shows, so if possible we're going to try and download the Macy's Day Thanksgiving Parade and possibly shows like The Daily Show, Colbert Report and possibly the Thanksgiving show (broadcast this Weds) of Saturday Night Live (no I don't think SNL is funny at all, but it will be a 'taste' of America

BTW; I'm also going to a Thanksgiving Lunch on Thursday at the American Womens Club in Zurich (omg I will be piling on the calories this week, I'm also going to a 'leaving' lunch for a friend on Weds)

Thanksgiving Feast in the Club - AWC of Zurich

They were very kind at the club....I was asking if there was anywhere in Zurich that I could buy any kind of decoration related to Thanksgiving, maybe at an expat store I didn't know about. By pure luck, they had a box full of old concertina paper turkeys, decorative gourds and corn which they no longer wanted and they gave them to me.... so it's looking very festive in our apartment now I'm off to IKEA tomorrow to buy peppakarkar (ginger snaps) for the cheesecake base and other bits and pieces and hope I can pull it all together as I'm a useless cook lol!
I'd pay $100 to see this come about.
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Old Nov 24th 2014, 11:31 am
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Exclamation Re: Thanksgiving!!

Unfortunately the phenomenon of 'Black Friday' and 'Cyber Monday' retail sales has made it across the pond I've just been listening to the Vanessa Feltz show on BBC Radio London 94.9 online and they were just talking about it.

Black Friday was introduced to the UK in 2010 by American retailers with a presence in the UK, notably ASDA (owned by Wal*Mart) and Amazon...and now other British retailers are getting in on the act including Sainsbury's and even John Lewis..

What is Black Friday? - Telegraph

Black Friday UK 2014: John Lewis and Marks & Spencer set for bumper sales weekend as mega deals entice customers | City A.M.

Black Friday 2014 | Black Friday Deals & Sales | John Lewis

Black Friday deals at Argos.

Apple Black Friday UK deals 2014 | What Hi-Fi?

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Black-Friday...node=161428031

I wonder how long it will be before they copy US stores like Macy's, Target, Wal*Mart etc. and open their doors at midnight or 6am for the sales? In the States it's common to see news reports where customers have had fights in the stores or been crushed to death in the rush. I've never been shopping on Black Friday, I couldn't bear the crowds and many of the reduced items are old/discontinued stock anyway.

My son says he's going to have a drive-by in NJ on Friday just to see the madness of people trying to get into the car parks.... (He is going out for TG dinner with his girlfriend's family).

Last edited by Englishmum; Nov 24th 2014 at 11:38 am.
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Old Nov 24th 2014, 11:37 am
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Wink Re: Thanksgiving!!

Originally Posted by Beaverstate View Post
I'd pay $100 to see this come about.
If you come over here I'll rope you in to helping with the cooking lol!

I'm going to get my husband to cook the bird - I can't be doing with shoving my hand in the cavity of it, eeewwwww

I hope we get a turkey as I think that's what I ordered.....the butcher at the supermarket didn't understand English and I can't speak German so I had to find another assistant who tried to help with the translating, I really would have liked to order a turkey crown ie. without the legs, but it was just beyond my comprehension and it's unheard of in Switzerland - I think they bring the turkeys in from France.

If not I'll have to roast some chickens instead
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Old Nov 24th 2014, 11:50 am
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Default Re: Thanksgiving!!

Originally Posted by Englishmum View Post
If you come over here I'll rope you in to helping with the cooking lol!

I'm going to get my husband to cook the bird - I can't be doing with shoving my hand in the cavity of it, eeewwwww

I hope we get a turkey as I think that's what I ordered.....the butcher at the supermarket didn't understand English and I can't speak German so I had to find another assistant who tried to help with the translating, I really would have liked to order a turkey crown ie. without the legs, but it was just beyond my comprehension and it's unheard of in Switzerland - I think they bring the turkeys in from France.

If not I'll have to roast some chickens instead
I await the results in detail.
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Old Nov 24th 2014, 5:16 pm
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Default Re: Thanksgiving!!

We've already discussed Thanksgiving and how to handle it once we've moved back to the UK. My USC wife doesn't want to give it up so we'll probably do a Thanksgiving meal for us as a family and add any friends we meet during the year that are Thanksgiving 'orphans' (US-born people that are close to us that can't make it back to the USA for Turkey Day). Years ago after we met in SF and were away from all other family we had a get together for a bunch of 'strays' and it was a really good time. Then at Christmas we can keep things properly British without too many arguments
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Old Nov 25th 2014, 6:45 am
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Default Re: Thanksgiving!!

We are in County Durham, having a Thanksgiving party on Saturday night for 12 people. My husband is the USC, but I enjoy a turkey dinner too. We have invited friends who have not experienced this American phenomenon before. I can't find any decorations here. Iceland has frozen turkeys and I have found an independent grocer at Northallerton which stocks Libby's pumpkin pulp. Jars of cranberry sauce are widely available in the UK now, even fresh cranberries appear in Morrisons for a short time, so it will be roughly authentic.

I enjoy the whole premise behind Thanksgiving - being thankful for family and friends and the good things in your life. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
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Old Nov 25th 2014, 6:51 am
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Default Re: Thanksgiving!!

Keep your wife happy so she wants to move to England

A big pub meal could still be made into a special occasion.
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Old Nov 25th 2014, 7:38 am
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Default Re: Thanksgiving!!

Originally Posted by Sally Redux View Post
Keep your wife happy so she wants to move to England

A big pub meal could still be made into a special occasion.
We bought a flat last Friday

Strategy was simple. There was a nice little new build place I liked, I saw it last winter and the developers are now selling off the last few units at a good price, x pounds. So I set up a viewing, and I also set up a viewing of a different random development, where the price would be x+35,000 pounds. I waxed enthusiastic about the expensive place. Next morning, my wife said, let's go and put down a deposit on the cheaper place (the one I wanted.). We are off to see our solicitor this morning.
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Old Nov 25th 2014, 8:07 am
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Default Re: Thanksgiving!!

Originally Posted by robin1234 View Post
We bought a flat last Friday

Strategy was simple. There was a nice little new build place I liked, I saw it last winter and the developers are now selling off the last few units at a good price, x pounds. So I set up a viewing, and I also set up a viewing of a different random development, where the price would be x+35,000 pounds. I waxed enthusiastic about the expensive place. Next morning, my wife said, let's go and put down a deposit on the cheaper place (the one I wanted.). We are off to see our solicitor this morning.
Excellent news!

You, Sir, are as cunning as a fox who's just been appointed Professor of Cunning at Oxford University.

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Old Nov 25th 2014, 10:25 am
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Default Re: Thanksgiving!!

Originally Posted by Englishmum View Post
Unfortunately the phenomenon of 'Black Friday' and 'Cyber Monday' retail sales has made it across the pond I've just been listening to the Vanessa Feltz show on BBC Radio London 94.9 online and they were just talking about it.

.
You brought this on yourself and will get no sympathy from me.
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Old Nov 25th 2014, 12:23 pm
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Default Re: Thanksgiving!!

Originally Posted by robin1234 View Post
We bought a flat last Friday

Strategy was simple. There was a nice little new build place I liked, I saw it last winter and the developers are now selling off the last few units at a good price, x pounds. So I set up a viewing, and I also set up a viewing of a different random development, where the price would be x+35,000 pounds. I waxed enthusiastic about the expensive place. Next morning, my wife said, let's go and put down a deposit on the cheaper place (the one I wanted.). We are off to see our solicitor this morning.
Excellent... where did you buy?
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Old Nov 25th 2014, 1:10 pm
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Default Re: Thanksgiving!!

Originally Posted by robin1234 View Post
We bought a flat last Friday.
Raconteur, entrepreneur, international jet-setting man of leisure with homes all over the world. Perhaps the quote from Engels should be replaced with one from.....I don't know.......maybe Roman Abramovich?

Enjoy the flat, Robin. You've earned it!
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