Thanksgiving Dinner in a Flat

Old Oct 8th, 2007, 05:20 AM
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Thanksgiving Dinner in a Flat

We are visiting our daughter in London at Thanksgiving. She is living with 5 other college students in a flat in Russell Square. She wants a "home cooked" Thanksgiving dinner, but we don't want to do the cooking! Any ideas about ordering in? Are there supermarkets that prepare turkey dinners like they do in the United States? Thanks so much.
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Old Oct 8th, 2007, 05:22 AM
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American Thanksgiving is not celebrated in the UK...
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Old Oct 8th, 2007, 05:27 AM
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This sounds like the perfect opportunity for her to show off (or acquire) some basic cooking skills.

And for you to insist that's what she does.
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Old Oct 8th, 2007, 05:30 AM
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ditto F
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Old Oct 8th, 2007, 05:49 AM
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THis might be about the only time that Wholefoods place in Kensington is any use - they'll probably stock the things that you need for Thanksgiving (ie green bean casserole).

However you should be aware that Thanksgiving is a complete non-event over here. We should of course celebrate the removal of the Puritans, but we don't.
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Old Oct 8th, 2007, 05:54 AM
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I don't know her area at all -- but if there is a waitrose (a nicer grocery store) nearby, or within delivery distance, you could try them. http://www.waitrose.com/entertaining/index.aspx -- go to their entertaining site. They have prepared turkeys that only need to be popped in the oven. They also have a ton of other options. I agree it's fun to do it all yourself. However, my sister is visiting the us from the states for Thanksgiving this year. I love to cook, but given the short time we have to visit, I don't want to spend the whole time in the kitchen. I think we're going to mix and match some homecooked with some prepared items. Have fun and Happy Thanksgiving!
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Old Oct 8th, 2007, 05:59 AM
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Zerlina-- I don't think the OP imply that the American Thanksgiving is celebrated in the UK (???). She asked if there are supermarkets that prepare turkey dinners like they do in the U.S. (i.e., the supermarket down the road prepares turkey dinners all year around with a special fare for Thanksgiving).

If you daughter wants a "home-cooked" Thanksgiving dinner, then her & roomies ought to do the research to help out. Why don't you put it "back on their plate" and ask them to gather the materials and you'll put the labor...see how long the taste for a home-cooked meal lasts....
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Old Oct 8th, 2007, 06:02 AM
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It's not that hard to cobble together the basics for a simple Thanksgiving dinner--it all depends on how big a "production" Thanksgiving has been with your family (ours was never an extravaganza). Cooking a turkey is pretty easy, assuming your flat rental has an oven big enough to cook one--and a roaster big enough to hold it (or you could buy a disposable aluminum foil roasting pan). If you don't want to cook one, then you might have to settle for two or three cooked rotisserie chickens (my family always had capon for Thanksgiving, not turkey), which you could pick up hot at the nearest Waitrose.

For mashed potatoes, cheat and get a few containers of the pre-made "Ultimate" mashed potatoes from Marks & Spencers and do them up in the microwave. They're pretty good. Buy some premade gravy...it will probably be a little saltier than homemade, but for one meal, not a big deal.
Get some broccoli or other veg to steam up on the stove. Cranberries in a can or jar or frozen are also easy to come by at Waitrose or the big Marks & Spencers.
Tell your daughter and her friends that you'll pay for the ingredients if they'll do the cooking AND the cleanup. Offer to "help" with the meal prep (that is, if their cooking skills are like those of most students, keep an eye out to make sure they don't botch everything) but remind them that you are, after all, on vacation.
For dessert, hit the aisles at Marks and Spencers or Waitrose that morning and pick out whatever looks appealing.

Faced with all the work they'll have to do, your daughter and her friends may decide that postponing Thanksgiving for a couple of days and subsituting a full Sunday roast dinner at a good pub nearby is a perfectly acceptable alternative.
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Old Oct 8th, 2007, 06:03 AM
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She is doing most of the research and cooks just about every night, thank you very much. I just thought I'd do some from my end as well, as I have always loved this talk section. I never thought I would get advise on parenting however!

Of course we know that Thanksgiving isn't celebrated in the UK.

Thanks so much boy.west and BKP.
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Old Oct 8th, 2007, 06:12 AM
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I don't have any advice as to where to buy the ingedients for a Thanksgiving dinner in London ... but I think you will most likely be able to find much of what you are looking for, and the fun of "creative substituting" for the rest will provide great memories for all of you. We've had Christmases and Thanksgivings in other countries (Mexico, Guatamala, Japan) and always enjoyed whatever we were able to cobble together. Have fun visiting your daughter!
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Old Oct 8th, 2007, 06:19 AM
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The nearest Waitrose to Russell Square - and probably at present London's best serious supermarket for traiteur-style food - is the basement of John Lewis, Oxford St.

The range is toing and froing at present (it only opened a week ago), but it's well worth checking them closer to the day.
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Old Oct 8th, 2007, 06:45 AM
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Our son was in London last Thanksgiving and we came out to vist. But we went to eat out at Christophers American Grill in Covent Gardens. They had a 3 course "American Style" Thanksgiving dinner with all the fixins. See them at www.christophersgrill.co.uk
Also, you may want to contact http://www.villandry.com . Last year you were able to order some American food imports for preparing your own Thanksgiving dinner.
Like Zerlina said in another post its a just an ordinary work day in London and UK.
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Old Oct 8th, 2007, 08:47 AM
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I believe I am agreeing with OP that I think that Thanksgiving in London is not the time to perfect your cooking skills when you are a student. It will be stressful and difficult for her and her kitchen is likely ill-equipped for the task. Ordering in is a wonderful choice, however, you may have to make your own "American" stuff that isn't the same.

If you are used to packaged stuffing such as Pepridge Farm, I suggest YOU bring it with you because the stuff you find here in the UK is different - I cannot even eat it as it is too different. The girls may appreciate it.

Marks & Spencers DOES prepare/deliver turkey dinners for Christmas and they are very popular for entertaining. Not many people have ovens large enough for roasting a large turkey plus all the sides. She should call M&S and see if they will do it for Thanksgiving and I am guessing they will because they have a good catering department. Perhaps Waitrose will as well.

I can sometimes find Libby's Pumpkin (for pie) at Waitrose, however, you may bring that with you, too, because my local is often out of stock. You won't find a traditional US apple or pumpkin pie - you will have to make it. And it is pretty impossible to find a premade crust but Waitrose sells pie dough in a refridgerated pack (I think they call it pastry crust) that you can roll out and put in your dish so you don't have to make it yourself. (In my opinion, the PIE is an appropriate project for a college student.)

British people are pretty into roasted potatoes with a roast and not so much mashed potatoes - so you may have to heat those in the microwave. Waitrose's ready made ones are good.

There is a shop called Partridges in Kensington/Chelsae near the Sloane Square tube stop that sells American food and they may do an entire Thanksgiving - it is worth checking out. They do sell the pumpkin, cranberries, and the stuffing. http://www.partridges.co.uk/index.ph.../categoryid/15

Good luck with it!
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Old Oct 8th, 2007, 09:21 AM
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Thanks so much for all of this information. It is extremely helpful and I really appreciate it.
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Old Oct 8th, 2007, 02:10 PM
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you may want to try to contact a local american women´s club, as this is one of the biggest events at many of the other clubs worldwide..

it is usually pretty much fun, either pot luck, or there is a great meal prepared somewhere reliable for members and guests.
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Old Oct 10th, 2007, 08:02 PM
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When I first read the title of this post, I thought it said "Thanksgiving Dinner in a Fiat". Where are my reading glasses...?
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