Friday, 25 November 2011

Thanksgiving in Scotland

I think everyone is aware that yesterday was Thanksgiving in the US.  Thanksgiving is one of those sketchy holidays that you almost think you should stop celebrating because of all the dodgy history behind it.  I wish I could find that awesome video of the children's Thanksgiving play where they talk about giving the natives smallpox blankets to illustrate my point.  That said, a lot of people, myself included, have decided that Thanksgiving is really about the food.  And when you boil it down to its essence, that's really what it is - we survived a year in a hostile land and we now have a crap ton of food, so let's gorge ourselves on it.  Basically, Thanksgiving is a holiday all about gluttony, and I'm totally down with that.

This year was pretty good.  Unfortunately, my bff couldn't make it like she did last year (oh man, I wish I had some tamales), so I only took Thanksgiving day off.  I decided on the spur of the moment last Friday night to invite people over, so 2/3 of my Ethnology Crew came round, and then I invited a couple of Mike's gaming friends (who've been to dinner here before).  I was a genius and didn't decide on a menu until Wednesday night, but you know what?  It's the UK, and no one gives a crap, so I didn't have to worry about the shops all being sold out of everything I'd need.

And it turned out to be a good thing anyway, because Isa posted her new Seitan Roast Stuffed with Shiitakes and Leeks on Tuesday.  The laziness took over and urged me to buy Smash and stuffing from a box and then cover both with Sage Gravy from Quick and Easy Vegan Celebrations.  I also made roasted broccoli to balance out the white and brown.  (I had intended on making Q&EVC green bean casserole, but to my dismay, the only shop I ever saw fried onions in no longer sells them.  *sadface*)
Sorry about the darkness - the living room has even less light than the kitchen.
I know the roast is what everyone is here for.  First of all, it was actually pretty easy to make, and it was absolutely delicious.  It also reheated well in a microwave.  My problem with it was that I used UK vital wheat gluten and followed the recipe, so it was a bit moist.  I think it took nearly twice as long to cook as it was supposed to (I stopped keeping track after about an hour and 10 because I was trying to cook everything else).  But I'd definitely make this again - it looks good, it tastes amazing, and I went from decision to dinner (including shopping) in a few hours.  Oh, and it fed 6 people plus leftovers!  Next time, I'll use more vwg.

Rather than head right into dessert, we discussed our options and decided on nog.  No one but Mike had ever tried nog (even the non-vegan stuff), so everyone was intrigued.  I made my stand-by, absolute favourite vegan nog, Bryanna Clark Grogan's Pumpkin Nog.  Everyone thought it was good, and there was even discussion about making it into a custard (someone had mentioned having warm nog, and I said it would probably turn into custard if heated).

After sitting and chatting for a while to make a bit of space for more food, we moved on to dessert.  Naturally, I made pumpkin pie.  My go-to pie is usually the one I made last year, the Impossible Pumpkin Pie from the Fat Free Vegan blog.  But there was a pumpkin pie thread on the PPK, and Phoenix posted her Jack (the Pumpkin King) Pie.  A pie referencing The Nightmare Before Christmas and made with Speculoos cookie crust?  Hell yeah I'm making that pie.
It wasn't as burnt as it looks.

I served it with some Soyatoo Soy Whip (in a can - in my defense, the non-canned stuff is no longer being sold, and my only other option was Rice Whip).
Immediately after I took this picture, I covered the rest of the top with whipped cream.
I really liked this pie, but that's because I love a cookie crust.  The only thing I didn't like was that the crust didn't want to come up until day 2 (well, the last 2 slices).  But other than that, it was good.  The filling was pretty standard pumpkin pie filling.  But it was really easy to make and came out great.  We were all happy with it.

Along with the food, we also managed to polish off 2 1/2 bottles of wine between the 6 of us.  I usually don't drink much, but the Beaujolais Nouveau was released this week (I think), so I bought a bottle of that and had an astounding 2 glasses.  But with all the food, it barely made me sleepy.

And that was our Thanksgiving.  We're hoping to get to the US for T'giving next year, but we'll see how things go.  We'll be sinking a lot of money into the new flat, so we might not have it for traveling.

How was your Thanksgiving?  Did you celebrate even though you aren't American?

I completely forgot to post some tester stuff (I got lazy), so I'll try to write that up soon!

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