Thanksgiving was wonderful. We had it at my flat and the kitchen is just perfectly sized for a bustling eight person party where everyone is helping to prepare the food and talking over each other and catching up and generally having a wonderful time.
The party came together rather last minute after many permutations of people, locations, and events. We ended up with nine people over the course of the evening- the old school dinner club folk and some new people as well. Meredith, my old flat mate; Tim, her boyfriend; Dave; Sarah who was visiting from America; “Other Tim”, Dave’s friend and new dinner club initiate; Jon; Latana; my friend Kanika whom I stayed with this summer; and myself.
Everyone brought various parts of the feast. We were too last minute to actually get a turkey to defrost, which is probably a good thing since we ate barely a quarter of what I did purchase which was a giant turkey leg and a couple of turkey breast roasts from the meat section at Morrissons (the very good grocery store a short bus ride away from the flat). Everyone showed up about an hour later than they said they would which worked out just fine because it meant that I had time to clean my room and the kitchen and make sure all the dishes were clean and ready to use and things like that.
Dave, Sarah, and Other Tim showed up with bags of vegetables, stuffing mix, and two bags of marshmallows which- for some reason- in England only come in mixed pink and white varieties which is unfortunate as the pink ones are strawberry flavored and gross as we discovered earlier this week when trying to introduce Dave to s’mores. Jon showed up shortly thereafter and was immediately sent back out into the cold to purchase various things that we kept discovering we didn’t actually need once he had already left the house. (This was an unfortunate pattern; I think we sent him out three times.) We had things boiling on every burner and three levels of things baking in the oven. It was a good thing the turkey wasn’t a real turkey as it was much flatter than would otherwise be the case and meant we had more room to shove other things in the oven like stuffing, cheese balls, parsnips, etc.
Meredith and Tim showed up with a vegetarian shepherd’s pie, the aforementioned cheese balls, and three pies made from scratch including two pumpkin pies that they had made from an actual pumpkin. I was very impressed.
Latana showed up right as the food was being laid out which was perfect timing on her part. We cleared off the side board and had platters, sauce pans, and casseroles full of food all over the kitchen. (Meat and veggie versions of everything.) People were serving across the table so that there was this lovely pattern of arms across the table which went nicely with fretwork’s consort music in the background.
The best part though, was that at the end after all the food and the pies and the ice cream everyone cleaned up! There was a giant assembly line of dishwashers, dish dryers, leftovers patrol, counter clearers, and one very special garbage man. It was brilliant, they even scrubbed the roasting pan-all while screaming/singing along to Ben Folds and Bruce Springsteen. Impromtu dance parties were clearly taking place.
All and all a brilliant success- everyone agreed the food was better this year and thought it was A-okay that we neglected to do hand turkeys.