Every year since I’ve lived in England, my husband and I have had a Thanksgiving party with a few friends. Over the years, and since settling into a house of our own, the party has gotten bigger and bigger. The more the merrier, I say. Fit people in until the house bursts–why not? We have appetizers–always some pretzels and homemade dips, pickles and olives, fresh kielbasa with hot mustard, and whatever else takes our fancy that year. I’ve also gotten into the habit of mixing drinks–some non-alcoholic and some laden with booze. This year I made an apple cocktail of apple juice and iced apple, ginger, and pineapple tea. We also had LOTS of ginger beer, which is great on its own or as a mixer to ginger wine and whiskey (what I like to call a Scotch mule). The main course is, of course, the traditional turkey. However, my husband’s speciality is taking the legs off, deboning them, stuffing them with a sausage, bread, and port soaked prune concotion, and then wrapping the lot in bacon. Meat, stuffed with meat, wrapped in meat. Its delicious. We usually have 2 or 3 vegetarians at the party so we try and make something festive for them as well. This year, we made a porcini, parsnip and potato gratin with some quorn pieces thrown in. Previous years we’ve had stuffed butternut squash and stuffed mushroom, and thought we’d try something a little different. Alongside the turkey we had a variety of veg–mashed potatoes, roast sweet potatoes and parsnips, green beans and carrots. Throw on some homemade gravy, sage stuffing, and cranberry sauce and its a meal! Dessert was the traditional pumpkin pie (made from scratch) and a friend brought some cheesecake and trifle! Whilst everyone digests in the sitting room, we play some games, and then bring out cheeses and crackers, and chocolate mints. Tea, coffee, and port come out at the end, and we all play more games and get steadily stuffed and drunker.
Sunday was another great day. After the dreaded clean-up, the hubby and I went along to an open mike night at a local pub/restaurant. The theme was ‘protest songs’, and as a lover of the genre, I couldn’t refuse. I haven’t sung in front of people since uni, and I was totally nervous. My husband learned 2 of the songs on his guitar and very kindly accompanied me. We played ‘John Brown’ (written by Bob Dylan), and ‘Now That the Buffalo’s Gone’ (written by Buffy Sainte-Marie). Then I sang ‘With God On Our Side’ (by Bob, again). I remembered all the words, and was on-key, so I felt glorious! Also, some people a little later in the evening played ‘I Shall Be Released’ (another Dylan song) and asked a few of us to come up and sing harmony. I love that song!
I feel very happy, and thankful, and tired this Monday morning! Thanks to all the friends that came to our Thanksgiving feast, and to all the friends and my wonderful husband for getting me back on the ‘performing’ lark again…its addictive…
Next weekend–Craft Fair! I WILL take pictures, I promise!