So that’s Thanksgiving

Mashed potatoes with turkey? I know, shocking.

We have an American vicar, for reasons I’ve never quite gathered. (I know why we have a vicar, because we’re that kind of church, and I know why he’s American because you don’t really get a choice in that when your parents are American and you’re born in Pittsburgh. I’ve just not yet quite understood how he ended up here, but I’m very glad he did because he’s a great guy.)

Last night we commemorated the fact with an American-style Thanksgiving dinner: turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, corn bread, peas and sweetcorn. All ingredients genuinely American, acquired somehow from a US airforce base. And the menu …

The vicar explained beforehand that American palates are not quite the same as British ones. They don’t draw the same distinctions between sweet and savoury. And how! The corn bread is essentially dry Victoria sponge. It could have served with the sweet potato casserole as our dessert – except of course that dessert was pumpkin pie and pecan pie. (I was surprised to hear how many people present had never had pumpkin pie – I’ve had it often thanks to my mother’s cooking at home. Never had pecan pie, though.) I think the Americans must have invented cranberry sauce in a desperate attempt to drag it at least a little over to the savoury side of the taste spectrum.

But I quibble. This was my first Thanksgiving dinner and very nice it was too. It certainly whetted my appetite for the real thing in 25 days time …

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