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What thanksgiving ingredients can't be found in London?

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Oct 22nd, 2012, 09:46 AM
  #1
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What thanksgiving ingredients can't be found in London?

I'm traveling to London next week to visit DS who there as an exchange student this fall semester. He plans (with friends) to cook a big Thanksgiving dinner, and wants me to bring whatever I can. So ... what can he NOT buy in London (Kensington area) from the list below? And where should he go to buy the things he can? (Not gonna bring it all; I want a strategy.)

Canned pumpkin
Pumpkin pie spice
Evaporated milk
Crisco (solid vegetable shortening)
Canned cranberries
Fresh cranberries
Sweet potatoes/yams
Candy corn candies
Poultry spice
Turkey flavor gravy
Turkey (I'm not bringing one, though!)
A foil pie pan.
A foil roaster pan.

And, while we're on the topic: What's in the theaters this month that he might enjoy? I'm thinking War Horse, maybe? Or One Man Two Guv'nors?
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Oct 22nd, 2012, 09:53 AM
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Cranberries are the main thing. I would take canned as who knows if the fresh ones would be allowed in.
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Oct 22nd, 2012, 10:08 AM
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Fresh cranberries will almost certainly be available. He can check his local supermarket already.
Canned pumpkin seems unlikely - plenty of fresh pumpkins now so why canned?
What spices go into a pumpkin pie? You can almost certainly find the individual spices if not a mixed spice in the supermarket.
Chicken stock cubes work just as well with Turkey and are available of course.
No idea what candy corn candies are.
He should check out his local supermarkets - try several different ones maye, and also there are shops in London which sell stuff for US ex-pats. If he doesn't have time to visit one he can order stuff from http://www.usafoodstore.co.uk/.
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Oct 22nd, 2012, 10:10 AM
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Oh and sweet potatoes are also widely available, either in a supermarket or a greengrocer, or one of the thousands of ethnic shops in London.
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Oct 22nd, 2012, 10:20 AM
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Normal spices go into pumpkin pie (cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, allspice) spice, you don't need something called that although if one never used spices, I suppose it would be cheaper just to bring a small container of that.

Candy corn is a disgusting product that is candy shaped and colored to look like little kernels of corn, but it is just sugar and corn syrup and wax and chemicals. I have never had it on Thanksgiving in my entire life, so it is certainly not a normal Thanksgiving day item that one must have. I think some kids eat it at Halloween.
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Oct 22nd, 2012, 11:29 AM
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Thanks!

He mostly just cooks to get by and doesn't have a full pantry of staples, spices, or pans for that matter.

So I'm thinking simple recipes, hence the canned pumpkin (as anyone whose ever made a pie from fresh pumpkins will attest, the canned version is waaay easier). What about unbaked pie crust?

The candy corn is his request; we usually have a dish out around Thanksgiving.

None of these things are critical, but I figured since I'm going over anyway, its easy enough to stash some critical items in my bags ....
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Oct 22nd, 2012, 11:35 AM
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never seen canned pumpkin on the shelves, fresh cranberries are they are out of season? if so frozen will be available.

CIsco shortening - that's a new one too - try lard or butter as a substitute
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Oct 22nd, 2012, 11:52 AM
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Interesting that someone just had to show their disgust at an item on your list. How rude and completely unnecessary.

Hoping your DS has a wonderful Thanksgiving. I found when we lived in the UK that it doesn't matter if you have ALL the trimmings from home. Even one or two special things will make it a great holiday meal.
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Oct 22nd, 2012, 12:04 PM
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Cranberries are now in season. I have a fridge full of fresh ones from Vlieland, but Ocean Spray ones are in the shops here.

Vegetable shortening is available, though not under that name, ready made pastry is readily available, fresh or frozen.

Foil pans are also available.

Get that bot of yours out there looking for things, so you don't have to carry it all with you.
If he Googles US foodstuffs in London he will find lots of places selling things on your list.
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Oct 22nd, 2012, 12:31 PM
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Waitrose online have something called Libby's pumpkin puree if that's what you are looking for.
Apart from the sweets shaped like sweetcorn, I think that you'd find all the other things on your list.
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Oct 22nd, 2012, 12:35 PM
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http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/kensington

Might check Whole Foods Market's ;arge well-stocked London store for any Thanksgiving stuff, like stuffing, that may not be generally available in England.
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Oct 22nd, 2012, 12:47 PM
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This is Ocado, but the same product. It even has a pumpkin pie recipe ;-)
http://www.ocado.com/webshop/product...Puree/29616011
BTW, most supermarkets will have enough varieties of stuffing to stuff our most annoying contributor. Marks and Spencer usually have a good selection Turkey is eaten at Christmas in the UK, so you are quite likely to find traditional accompaniments in the shops soon
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Oct 22nd, 2012, 01:25 PM
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Why in the world would you feel the need to comment if you're only going to be rude?!? If you don't have anything nice (or helpful) to say be quiet!

I'm an American in the UK also trying to make Thanksgiving dinner this year. I'm not in London but in a leafy suburb so I might have a broader selection in the grocery stores.

Canned pumpkin -- yes, available at Waitrose

Pumpkin pie spice -- not available, the individual spices are, but it will be cheaper to just bring your own rather than buying all the different ones for just one dish.

Evaporated milk -- yes, available at any grocery store

Crisco (solid vegetable shortening) -- yes, available at any grocery store under the name of Stork

Canned cranberries -- Yes, oceanspray usually available at Waitrose this time of year. We have bought hoity toity brand at Whole Foods (in Kensington)

Fresh cranberries -- Yes, available at big grocery stores (definitely Whole Foods)

Sweet potatoes/yams -- Yes, available at big grocery stores (definitely Whole Foods)

Candy corn candies -- Nope! Completely unavailable in England! For what it's worth, we've always had them on Thanksgiving too. We make cupcake turkeys with them. My husband just brought back a few bags from the States just for this purpose. Ignore rude people.

Poultry spice -- yes/no there is something sold as this, but it tastes different from what you're probably used to. Again, can find all the individual spices, would probably be cheaper to just bring your own.

Turkey flavor gravy -- Yes, available at big grocery stores (definitely Whole Foods)

Turkey (I'm not bringing one, though!) -- Yes, available at big grocery stores (definitely Whole Foods) but will probably be smaller than you're used to.

A foil pie pan. -- Yes, available at big grocery stores (definitely Whole Foods)

A foil roaster pan. Yes, available at big grocery stores (definitely Whole Foods) but check your son's oven before you buy one. Ovens don't seem to have a standard size. We are in our third house here and our third different size of oven!

You didn't mention this, but I'll throw out that campfire marshmallows are unavailable as well. You can sometimes buy a different brand but they taste different. I'm sure someone will be along shortly to express disgust for any sweet potato casserole made with marshmallows. But if that's part of your tradition no one should judge!

Good luck!
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Oct 22nd, 2012, 01:49 PM
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Started to say "who showed disgust" and then saw that it was, of course, Christina, the arbiter of all things good in HER universe. Salt should be taken with it!! Geez.
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Oct 22nd, 2012, 01:53 PM
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We have candy corn at Thanksgiving too although nobody eats them; it's set out in bowls as a decorative item -- like marshmallow peeps at Easter.
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Oct 22nd, 2012, 02:10 PM
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When I lived in the UK I could find almost everything I needed for a Thanksgiving dinner, including the best fresh turkey I have ever had. My "job" was also made easier because I don't like pumpkin pie--pecan or blueberry only. The ready-made crusts are fine.

The one thing I really, really missed was Pepperidge Farm Herb Stuffing, never did find it, but this was the mid-90s, may be available now. I made my own but just not as good.
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Oct 22nd, 2012, 04:09 PM
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Such a fun thread to read!
Fyi, I have two kids living and teaching in Japan. They both recently requested Candy corn and candy corn oreo's to share with their students. Fun and cherished memories aren't always "top shelf."
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Oct 22nd, 2012, 04:26 PM
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Candy corn is improved substantially by mixing it with some salted peanuts. Tastes somewhat like a Payday candy bar.
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Oct 22nd, 2012, 05:49 PM
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When we lived in the UK, I think the only thing we couldn't find was Pepperidge Farm Stuffing, DH's favorite. We even ordered a fresh expensive turkey although the people at the turkey farm thought we were crazy because it wasn't Christmas yet!
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Oct 22nd, 2012, 06:01 PM
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If I were you, I would just pack all of this stuff in a checked bag. You can't get any of this stuff in England. Maybe you can get substitutes if you want to spend an arm and a leg, but even then it's not the same as you'd get in the U.S. On the other hand, it might be fun to find substitutes for American stuff. I just read an article in a Martha Stewart magazine about a homesick American in Italy. Her Thanksgiving dinner sounded like fun, without the typical American things.
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