With so many of our customers living in the USA, we decided to take a look at Thanksgiving Day, which traditionally kicks off the ‘holiday season’.
It may seem a little strange to many Britons to essentially enjoy a full ‘Christmas’ dinner a month before Christmas, but, for Americans, Thanksgiving is just as important (perhaps even more so) than Christmas. Strange, right?!
Dating back to 1621, Thanksgiving Day celebrates when local Native Americans invited the religious refugees from England, known popularly as the Pilgrims, to a harvest feast after a successful growing season. Although there are only two contemporary accounts of the 1621 Thanksgiving, it is clear that turkey was not on the menu. Instead, the three-day feast included goose, lobster, cod and deer.
Today, however, turkey plays a central role in any Thanksgiving feast, with people choosing to roast, slow cook or even fry the bird. Some even choose to serve a turducken (a combo of three whole birds – chicken stuffed inside duck stuffed inside!). And as well as turkey, classic Thanksgiving Day dishes include stuffing, green bean casserole, Thanksgiving yams (that’s sweet potato topped with marshmallows to you and me), and plenty of pumpkin pie. We think you’ll agree, it’s quite a feast.
Top Tips for Thanksgiving Day
Preparing for such a feast can be quite a challenge, and definitely a teensy bit overwhelming. So to help you enjoy a seriously good Thanksgiving Day, wherever you are in the world, we’ve rounded up some top tips to help you breeze through the big day.
Plan your menu
This may seem like stating the obvious, but to pull off such a feast you’ll need a plan of attack. Figuring out your menu before hand, which dishes you want to prepare, and then preparing lists of ingredients for a trip to the supermarket, is essential. To get you started, we recommend Roast Turkey (naturally), glazed carrots, creamy mash potato and a pumpkin pie for dessert.
The perfect turkey
We’re sure you’ll agree – cooking a turkey and getting it just right (deliciously moist with a crispy, golden brown skin) can be an art form. Nothing’s worse than a dry bird! There’s many different ways you could cook it, but we think traditional roasting is best. Armed with some top turkey tips, such as how to buy the right size bird and rubbing the turkey with butter or oil, we guarantee you’ll be able to cook up a terrific turkey on Thanksgiving.
Nail those side dishes
Instead of preparing the whole feast single-handedly, you may opt for a ‘pot luck’ style meal. With each guest bringing a different part of the meal, this can certainly take the pressure off the host. Organise your guests ahead of time so they know which side dish to bring and make sure your chosen dishes are travel-friendly. Oven space will be limited, what with your bird and roasties, so choose recipes you can reheat quickly and can be served in the same dish they were prepared in!
What to do with leftovers?
No matter how hungry you might be on the day, it’s the same as Christmas dinner – there’s always loads of leftovers as your reward for cooking up a delicious feast. But leftovers don’t have to be boring, and there’s loads of creative ideas from making a tasty soup, leftover turkey shepherd’s pie or bubble and squeak patties.
What’s your favourite Thanksgiving day dish? And do you have any top tips to help you survive the day? Make sure you share them below or on our Facebook page.