Expat Life: Thanksgiving


This year we celebrated our first American Thanksgiving, a proper feast with other people for the first time in three years.  As Thanksgiving lands on my birthday every 5,6, or 11 years I was happy to do without it our first year in England.  However, as an ex-pat sometimes there are cultural traditions from ‘home’ that you forget you really do miss. It was not until we started preparing for this year’s feast that I found the memories of past Thanksgivings all coming back. I have celebrated so many Thanksgivings in Europe growing up in England, Germany, and Italy and this years was another one for the memory book. A big thank you to my amazing friends and hosts for this wonderful feast!

We celebrated with my American expat friend who is married to an English guy, their kids, and two other English families. It was a really fun experience.  We started off with mulled cider and an array of canapes, had our Thanksgiving dinner, played a Thanksgiving themed quiz, shared what we were thankful for on the back of leaves, and finished with desserts.  The kids even put together a ‘haunted house’ for us to explore during our evening together.  I think the best part was the conversation and experiencing the cultural differences.  For example one of the dishes was a jello salad with cherry cola, creme cheese, pineapples, bing cherries, and walnuts. I had never  had it before but found it very delicious. The whole ‘salad’ description was a bit off putting to the English crowd, as well as it being served with the rest of the main courses and side dishes when it was really a ‘pudding’ (which is the english word for ‘dessert’). This really reminded me about getting teased in the US for loving to eat ‘beans on toast’ which is a cultural norm food here in the UK. There was also talk about beer as the hosts managed to find Coors Light beer. While I normally would not drink this in the states, it seemed only fitting for an ex-pat Thanksgiving in England.

We split up all the dishes between the families and everyone brought their part to the Thanksgiving dinner.  I brought my apple pie made with coconut oil which you can find the recipe for on yesterday’s post.






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*photography belongs to Bonnie Rose Photography © 2007 – 2013 All Rights Reserved | www.bonnie-rose.co.uk 
  • http://twistedredladybug.blogspot.de/ Anda Alexandra

    Oh Dear Lord! Everything looks so tasty/delightful/mouth watering! 😮

    • http://www.bonnieroseblog.co.uk/ Bonnie Rose

      Right? 😉 It was so yummy and a great evening was had by all. x

      • http://twistedredladybug.blogspot.de/ Anda Alexandra

        I can bet on that 😀 I am glad you had an awesome time 😉

  • http://lulug1975.blogspot.co.uk/ Louisa @ My Family & Abruzzo

    That all looks so delicious!

    • http://www.bonnieroseblog.co.uk/ Bonnie Rose

      Oh yes indeed Louisa! x

  • http://amovingstory.com/ kim @ AmovingStory

    What an amazing spread.

    • http://www.bonnieroseblog.co.uk/ Bonnie Rose

      Thank you, I loved seeing what everyone brought and it was all so tasty! x

  • http://www.emminlondon.com/ Mandy Southgate

    Aww, I’m so glad you had a good Thanksgiving with friends and family! I try to think about what days I miss about South Africa but it’s not easy because many of our ‘days’ were historically based and not cultural. I think I miss the whole of summer. I think about cricket, summer and swimming pools and I miss home terribly.

    • http://www.bonnieroseblog.co.uk/ Bonnie Rose

      While it is hard to miss things, I love hearing about what you miss about life in South Africa. I love that so much of it is tied to a season too because I completely understand that. Big hugs Mandy! x

  • http://eatseedoblog.com/ Anna

    That may me the most delicious looking meal I’ve ever seen in my life. Wow. So nice that you got to share it with a big group of friends too

  • http://www.littleobservationist.com/ Stephanie Sadler

    Oh yum! I haven’t celebrated Thanksgiving in the States since 2007 and have not made the effort to put together anything too elaborate in London in the meantime. This is inspiring though…!

  • http://she-travels.net/ Chantal

    That food looks delicious. I’ve never celebrated Thanksgiving being from The Netherlands, but I still count my blessings and be thankful for all I have on a regular basis.

    Must have been nice to share this day with good friends and thinking of your childhood memories.

  • http://thenotquitemilitarywife.com/ Sarah Benson

    It was our first Thanksgiving outside the states this year. We made most of the same dishes from home and even though we are thousands of miles away from home, it still felt every bit like Thanksgiving should!

  • http://www.adventuresofalondonkiwi.blogspot.com/ adventuresofalondonkiwi

    This looks delicious!!

  • http://independenttravelcats.com/ Jessica – Independent Travel C

    Wow that food looks so delicious! So glad you were able to have a proper Thanksgiving feast abroad this year!