Category Archives: Thanksgiving

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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Thanksgiving Apple Pie


Happy Thanksgiving! Today we are celebrating with a few other expat families here in England.  It is my families first time to celebrate in three years and I am really looking forward to it! While my husband was in charge of the turkey and stuffing I have been busy making a pie.  What I love most about this apple pie is I use coconut oil to make the crust.  On this day of Thanksgiving I am going to be sharing my recipe so you can enjoy it too!

5 cups of flour
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp vinegar
2 cups of coconut oil
1 egg, slightly beaten In a standard measuring cup and filled with water to make one cup liquid.

Directions: Mix flour, salt and sugar. Add in the coconut oil which should be in its liquid consistency. Then combine this mixture with the egg-water and vinegar. This will make a soft dough that is easy to handle and will not break or crumble while rolling. This should be enough dough for 3 double crust pies. However for this pie pictured below I cut halved the recipe and used it to make one double crusted pie with all the details you see below.

Once your crust is mixed wrap up in cling wrap and put in the fridge to chill while you work on the filling.

*Secret Ingredients

To start I peeled the skin from the apples, cored  them, and then sliced them up into a bowl.  I then sprinkled the three listed ingredients over the apples and shook them in the bowl until well mixed.  I will state there are a two things I added for flavour as my secret ingredients that I cannot share.  But feel free to experiment and make this pie your own.

You can then take out the pie dough and start rolling it out with your rolling pin (i used a pint drinking glass before we bought our rolling pin if you need an alternative).  Make sure when you are working on the bottom layer you make it much larger than the circle of the pan to take in account for the sides and a little overhang.  Do not cut off the overhang yet.  Press out any air by pushing the dough into the pie pan.  You can now fill it with your apple mixture.

For the top layer you can simply repeat with just placing the crust on top, sealing it around the sides with a fork, and making a few air holes for the steam in the middle.  Or you can be creative like me.  I decided to make a lattice, add a braided border, add leaves where the plaits met, and a heart in the center.  Then take a little egg and milk mixture, and brush over the top. Sprinkle with some icing sugar and you are set to go!

You will want to have your oven preheated at gas mark 6  and put the pie in for 15 minutes. After the fifteen you can lower the temperature to gas mark 4 for a remaining 25 minutes.





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 Bonnie Rose Photography © 2007 – 2013 All Rights Reserved |