Friday, 21 November 2014

The British Guide to Thanksgiving

Photo Credit: via Compfight cc

Having watched every Thanksgiving episode of Friends, we'd like to think we're well versed in the the annual American tradition of 'Turkey Day'. 

So whether you've got some Americans in the office that keep harking on about pilgrims, or you just fancy a slice of life from across the pond (and a slice of pumpkin pie!), here's our British Guide to Thanksgiving!

So, when is Thanksgiving 2014?

Thanksgiving is celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November and this year it falls on Thursday, November 27th - so we've given you just under a week to start defrosting that turkey in your bathtub...

Why do Americans celebrate Thanksgiving?

It's primarily to do with the tradition of the first ever pilgrims to America celebrating a good harvest way back in 1621. It's very similar to our tradition of harvest festivals, so it's all about food and sharing that food with people you care about. But mainly just the food.

Do we get a day off?

Bad news to anyone - American or otherwise - hoping to have the day off because Thanksgiving is not nationally observed here in the UK as the pilgrim tradition doesn't apply to us. 
However, just pop on a plane to your favourite state (we all have one!) and you can expect some time off for the national holiday and more often than not, American employers will give four day weekends so that you have longer to wake from your inevitable turkey coma. But, Britain is out of luck - so expect to be in work next Thursday - boo!

How do you celebrate Thanksgiving?

Bigger is better and more are merrier on Turkey Day, as extended family will make cross country trips to spend the day with their loved ones - and we're not just talking about a drive from one end of the M3 to the other, it's more about six hour drives and domestic flights from states away. In a similar way to British Boxing Day, Thanksgiving is also known for football being shown (the football where you might as well be covered head to toe in bubblewrap, not the football where you get paid a million quid a minute to give a performance that would make even an Oscar winner weep). Also, there's the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade - an American institution of giant inflatable mascots that pairs perfectly with stuffing as much pecan pie into your face whilst doing as little as possible.

So, what do Brits think about Thanksgiving?

Enough is enough, tell me more about the food!

Of course, Thanksgiving wouldn't be Thanksgiving without a turkey so big it makes you wonder if dinosaurs did, in fact, stop roaming the Earth. Whilst there are slight variations of dishes served from state to state, you'd be looked upon with contempt by any respectable American if you didn't have: cranberry sauce, stuffing, mashed potatoes, devilled eggs, green beans, bread rolls, cornbread, apple pie, pecan pie, pumpkin pie and sweet potatoes coated with mini marshmallows (Yep, that's an actual tradition, and it isn't served as dessert!)  And remember, Thanksgiving is synonymous with day after day of delicious leftovers, so if the table's not heaving under the weight of all the dishes teetering on it, then you're doing it wrong.

I'm going to a friend's/family's/workmate's/random friendly American I met on the tube's Thanksgiving dinner - what can I make?

Grab your office fruit delivery because these two dishes - one for absolute beginners and one for those looking to impress - can be made with your Fruit For The Office bounty.

Cranberry Sauce

A twist on a classic with freshly squeezed orange and a splash of pomegranate juice makes the collective hearts of this office fruit supplier sing - and it will make you seem positively gourmet. 

Apple Pie

There's the saying "as American as apple pie" so you can't go mediocre with this or you'll risk looking a fool! Spices such as cinnamon are what make this taste great but it'll be the care you put into this classic dessert that will really show you mean business when it comes to Thanksgiving.

So, will you be celebrating Thanksgiving or do you think us Brits should leave Turkey Day well alone? Tweet us @office_fruit and let us know how you'll be spending the day - whether it's with family and friends gorging on turkey, at your desk with your office fruit delivery or attempting a 'traditional English beef trifle' like Rachel.

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