Sunday, 25 November 2012

Happy Tofurkey Day!

Any holiday that gives me the chance to decorate the house and feed my dearest friends is good in my book. Sure I'll bake cookies for Halloween & Valentines, or lend a hand to my mother-in-law on Christmas Day (though she'd always rather me leave her to it), but Thanksgiving is the only time I can take the reigns and go all out!

An American 'eating' holiday that I can only describe to you UK readers as a sort of Boxing Day, Thanksgiving lands on the fourth Thursday of every November, and originates from the Pilgrims giving thanks to the Native Americans for corn…as well as for helping them survive the move to the motherland (further down the line the Indians all died of small pox.*)

On making my pilgrimage to England five years ago, I decided to bring the tradition with me. Year one consisted of the husband, a work colleague and I gathered on the floor of our flat - paper plates in hand, eating a collection of southern-style grub. The next year found me feeding a party of twelve at a friend's flat in south London - having cooked all the mains, this was a somewhat logistical nightmare, but it resulted in one of the greatest nights of my English life.

The last three years I have hosted Thanksgiving at casa de Hollis with a collection of friends I've met through the years. Each year topping the last in home decor & showcasing some of my mama's cherished recipes - giving me a chance to put some south in my guests mouths.

(*no one died of small pox at this year's Thanksgivin).

 Happy Tofurkey Day 2012!

The Setting:

Last year's thanksgiving theme was overly traditional. Complete with fall colours, pilgrims, an "I'm thankful for" wall, photobooth, and a paper turkey centrepiece. This year I thought I'd make it a little classier. Overly excited, I built this moodboard several months ago…





After many weeks of scouring eBay & charity shops…and asking mama to fly in a few family heirlooms from Mississippi, the house was ready:





The Menu:
Turkey & Tofurkey (big shout out to my mother-in-law for baking the turkey!)
Mama's Scalloped Taters (the most nostalgic food in my repertoire) 
Green Bean Casserole (a classic!)
Sweet Potato Casserole (often terrifies my guests, but always a hit)
Devilled Eggs 
Waldorf Salad
Sweet Corn
Stuffing
Buns
Cranberry Clementine Pecan Sauce (Little Miss Mazza took her turn on my sauce this year. It was excellent!)
Boozy Pecan Chocolate Pie (A signature dish, I had to sneak it in)
Peach Cobbler
American Flag Pavlova (created by the wonderful Katy)






The Entertainment:
Louis Jordan (the tunes)
Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade - a little surprise from Katy & Matt, no Thanksgiving would be complete without this gem!
Who's It? The Post-it Game (re-appropriated from Allie & Will's scrumptious Thanksgiving dinner the hubs and I attended on Thursday)




Last night was absolutely amazing. I'm so thankful for all my family & all the wonderful friends I've made since moving here…and my mama's scalloped taters!



Happy Thanksgiving Ya'll!!

Time for leftovers.