Brit Tries Thanksgiving Foods
I’m a little bit fascinated by America. I think it’s because it’s a lot like England but very different too. This time last year I was getting ready to go to New York just after thanksgiving and I did what every person super excited for their holiday does – watched endless YouTube videos of my destination including all the videos of Macy’s thanksgiving day parade. As a result, I fell down an internet hole and ended up looking up all the weird thanksgiving foods and this year I decided to make them and try them (and veganise them). Here’s what happened when a Brit tried thanksgiving foods.
I spread the foods out over the course of a few days because I’m not celebrating something and therefore don’t have an excuse to eat a massive plate of food in one sitting (bring on Christmas though).
We were looking forward to this. My husband loves anything made with corn so I was pretty sure he’d like this. It was pretty easy to make and I found a vegan recipe online so I didn’t even have to substitute anything. We LOVED it! It had a texture I wasn’t expecting but it had a great taste and we will definitely have it again! Even the cat liked it.
Green Bean Casserole
This was one of the foods that I thought was bizarre when I first heard of it. Usually consisting of green beans, cream of mushroom soup and french fried onions, the version I made was from scratch as the cream of mushroom soup isn’t vegan (I basically made a kind of mushroom soup with soya milk). Billy doesn’t like food that’s in sauce I don’t like mushrooms so it’s not exactly a food that we’d really try. It really surprised us because it was really nice! I don’t know if it would be much different if I had used soup but the creamy mushroom flavour wasn’t to strong for me, there wasn’t too much sauce for Billy and the crispy onion and breadcrumb topping was delicious.
So I guess the traditional thanksgiving pies are pecan, apple and pumpkin. I’ve made all of these before so I had a flick through my Waitress the musical pie book and settled on peach pie. Not exactly seasonal but I’ve never had peach pie before and it was easy to make vegan. It’s very sweet which might be something to do with the fact I used tinned peaches in syrup and didn’t adjust the added sugar to factor this in. I’d definitely try it again though with less sugar and maybe a less intricate top (took me ages). I’m more of a cake girl myself but I can understand the need for a slice of pie after dinner.
I didn’t know that these were literally just bread rolls. They were pretty easy to make considering I’m not a bread maker and although I didn’t turn them round in the oven and the tin was too small so they don’t look very pretty, they turned out like… bread. They tasted like iced buns without the icing. A bit sweet but I think most American bread is.
Sweet Potato Casserole
This was the one that I was most worried about. Sweet potatoes with extra sweetness on top? I found two different types of this casserole, the one with marshmallows and the one with pecans. I didn’t have any vegan marshmallows so I went for the pecan topping. I boiled and mashed the potatoes and put them in a dish. Then I read the next step. You basically make a crumble topping with the pecans, butter, flour and a cup of brown sugar. I repeat, 1 cup of brown sugar. I didn’t use a whole cup, more like a quarter because I don’t want diabetes. I tried a bit of the topping first because I was too scared to try it all together. It was sweet enough with just the quarter cup and tasted good. You can’t really go wrong with pecans, butter and brown sugar though can you. I braved a taste of the whole thing. It was actually… nice? I felt bad for liking it and it was really weird to be eating a sweet thing with dinner but the pecans and the sweet potato really complimented each other. I can’t believe I’m saying this but we would both eat it again.
We have stuffing in England. It’s usually something like pork, sage and onion or just sage and onion if you don’t eat meat. The American type of stuffing, or dressing as it’s also called, is made with squares of bread whereas I think the British version is made with breadcrumbs (I’ve never made it from scratch though so I’m not sure, it just seems like the sort of thing you’d put in). It’s got celery in which I hate (mushrooms and celery are two of only three foods I hate and I’ve had them both this week) so I wasn’t sure if I’d like it. I could still taste the celery slightly and I’ll be honest if I could go back and make it again I would swap the celery for something else like diced carrot. Luckily Billy loves celery so I just gave him most of it. We decided it tasted a bit like tiger bread or salt and pepper bread. It did have a similarity to English stuffing but only because of the herbs I used. It’s not really a substitute for our kind of stuffing. We likened it to a savoury french toast or bread pudding. Billy loved it but he loves bread to the point where he could eat a whole loaf in a day.
Overall we were really impressed (and often surprised) by the food we ate. I can’t believe that I would make sweet potato casserole and green bean casserole again! Some of these foods might even make it into our weekly favourites which is great because I’m always looking for new meals to add. My favourite was the green bean casserole followed by the sweet potato in second place. Billy’s was the stuffing followed by the green bean casserole. Have you tried any of the foods in this post? If so let me know in the comments what you thought or if I missed a weird food!