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Thanksgiving Day in the UK


FreeThinker

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It seems that over the last five years, the quintessentially American holiday of Thanksgiving Day is gaining popularity in the UK.One in six Brits celebrate our holiday, mostly because of expat Americans, because of being married to an American, or having been exposed to it while visiting or working in the US.

Maybe we in America should turn the tables and start celebrating Guy Fawkes Day!

http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/wordofmouth/2014/nov/27/britsgiving-one-in-six-britons-celebrate-thanksgiving

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The Guardian article claims it's the supermarket chain Waitrose who announced that one in six households in Britain celebrated Thanksgiving this year. I beg leave to doubt their assertion - I have never heard of anyone over here celebrating Thanksgiving. Maybe Americans living here, but not natives. On the other hand the big retail chains certainly have embraced Black Friday here in a big way and the TV news has been full of near riots in shops as consumers get into fights over supposed bargains. We're used to that sort of thing in 'the January sales' which start on December 26th each year.

On a bit of a tangent, please indulge me in a rant:

Retail goods that are on the global market (such as electronics, cameras and suchlike) are far cheaper in the USA than they are in Europe, and in Britain they're even more expensive.A case in point: I recently bought a new lens for my camera. I paid £149+local taxes, in this case VAT. In Europe the retail price for the same item is €149+ local taxes (20% less) and in the USA the retail price is $149+local taxes (50% less). I've been told this is because transportation costs are higher in the UK, and the market is smaller. Balderdash - transportation across continental USA does not cost more than around the tiny island that is Britain - and the EU market is a similar size to the US.

Rant over. Carry on where you left off...

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It's also a day many sales begin, and the stores are crowded. You'd think people would be shopped out by then, but no, open a store and the people will come. Wait, isn't that sort of a line from a baseball movie?

C

"....people will come." is also a line from several porn movies, and of course, these days, is a field of dreams for us older folk.

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The Guardian article claims it's the supermarket chain Waitrose who announced that one in six households in Britain celebrated Thanksgiving this year. I beg leave to doubt their assertion - I have never heard of anyone over here celebrating Thanksgiving. Maybe Americans living here, but not natives.

This appears to be a classic case of drawing a conclusion from a self-selecting data set. The survey appears to have been carried out at one branch of Waitrose (an upmarket supermarket) located in the Docklands area. This is the financial trading district of London and has a high American ex-pat population. Like Bruin I do not know one family that is celebrating Thanksgiving, and that includes two families that have US connections. One has a mother who is American the other the whole family except the youngest two children, were born in America and in the case of the parents grew up there. As they stated they can't afford Thanksgiving having forked out for Bonfire Night and are now busy saving for the seven days of gluttony that makes up the English Christmas.

A company that I do some work for did conduct a survey a couple of years ago on Thanksgiving. Of over a thousand respondents between the ages of 18 and 40 living in the English midlands only six knew when Thanksgiving was and only twenty knew what it was. More than seventy percent stated that they had not heard of it.

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I concur with Bruin and Nigel nor have I heard of anyone celebrating it. I do think, however that we should have a day of mourning on the 4th of July.

Rick, I suggest you read Bernard Shaw's the Apple Cart. There is a scene in it where the American Ambassador informs the King that Congress had decided they have made a mistake and are rescinding the Declaration of Independence. The response is quite interesting.

Just think, if we had not lost the American Colonies we would not have got the Raj - which would have meant no Balti or Chicken Tikka Masala. Where would we be without our national dish?

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Does anyone eat Chicken Tikka on the day it is made? It should stand for at least 12 hours pref., 24. You are correct about the Tikka Paste problem. Was in Tesco's on Friday and the girl went to load the shelves with some. Before she got any on the shelf they had all been taken off her trolley! Fortunately I live in a city which has a high percentage of its population is of ethnic origins based on the sub-continent. As a result there are plenty of small shop which sell the required ingredients to make my own. Just off to spend the evening over the pestle and mortar!

I don't think Shaw liked his alternative future, it is though a dammed good play if you ever get the chance to see it performed. It performs a lot better than it reads.

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Rick, I suggest you read Bernard Shaw's the Apple Cart. There is a scene in it where the American Ambassador informs the King that Congress had decided they have made a mistake and are rescinding the Declaration of Independence. The response is quite interesting.

Just think, if we had not lost the American Colonies we would not have got the Raj - which would have meant no Balti or Chicken Tikka Masala. Where would we be without our national dish?

You'd be eating McDonald's or Burger King or some other artery-clogging burgers. Oh... right... you're already doing that. Dim newid, yna.

Colin :icon_geek:

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1pint of rice very well washed off. 1pint of water. Knob of butter. 2/3 pepper corns. 1/2 cinnamon sticks. Good pinch of salt.

Add everything to a pan with a tight fitting lid. Bring to boil and immediately turn heat to lowest setting. Leave without touching it for 30 minutes then remove from heat. Leave untouched for a further 20 minutes. Don't be tempted to lift the lid. What you should end up with is a light fluffy rice that's totally seperate IF you've washed it well enough at the beginning. Remove the rubbish which will all be at the top and serve.

On first reading, it sounds too dry and will burn. Rice from dry to cooked absorbs about 1.4 times its volume in water. So you have to fiddle the water amount to take account of the water used for washing that is still there. So perhaps.

However, 30 mins sounds way too long, 10 mins is what I use after bringing to the boil, and between 5 and 10 minutes standing with the source of heat removed. It is going to vary a bit with the cooker though, as it will be better with a super fitting pan lid and an incredibly small amount of heat - perhaps your cooker turns down lower than mine.

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Too true, Nick. There are many variables in cooking rice, including the rice itself. For instance, Jasmine rice cooks in about 15 to 18 minutes, while brown rice can take up to 24.

I usually use a little over two to one, water to rice, but that again is dependent on the variety and how moist you want the final product. I used chicken stock rather than water, or sometimes beef stock.

You want the liquid to be only simmering while cooking, although I bring it to a boil first.

Rice is another thing with no hard and fast rules. Do it to taste.

C

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We use a rice cooker. 2:1 chicken broth (or water) to rice. We use brown rice or Trader Joe's rice mix. Cover and turn on the rice cooker. When it beeps leave it alone for 15 minutes so the rice can absorb all of the liquid. Works great. Doug is Chinese and the rice cooker was a gift to us from his mom. Chinese moms know how to cook rice!!

Colin :icon_geek:

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm with Bruin et al on this one... methinks its wishful thinking on Waitrose part... Though, the powers of darkness foisted Halloween on us... at lease until parents were too scared to let their kids out in the dark.

I have never come across Thanksgiving over here. Perhaps Waitrose feel sympathy for the Indians who gave away their turkeys... If they had insisted on selling them their lives might have worked out differently.

While we are discussing curry and rice, a taste that came to us from Africa rather than the sub-continent when Uganda decided it could do without its Indian traders... A word of warning... if you have a surplus of rice do not keep it for next day, nor should you freeze it. Cooked rice can breed a very vicious virus, and there are very strict regulations for places like takeaways that keep it for any length of time.

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More on keeping cooked rice and then reheating it not destroying the spores of Bacillus cereus (bacteria, not a virus):

http://www.foodauthority.nsw.gov.au/science/science-in-focus/foodborne-illness-pathogens/bacillus-cereus#.VIyIodKUd14

It's interesting to note that it's not just rice.

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While we are discussing curry and rice, a taste that came to us from Africa rather than the sub-continent when Uganda decided it could do without its Indian traders... A word of warning... if you have a surplus of rice do not keep it for next day, nor should you freeze it. Cooked rice can breed a very vicious virus, and there are very strict regulations for places like takeaways that keep it for any length of time.

Actually curry was already a widely eaten dish before the Ugandan Asians arrived in England. The first curry house opened in London in the 18th Century, and I can remember eating curry at home in the early 1950s before the Ugandan Asians were expelled. My first recollection of going to an Indian Restaurant was for my tenth birthday in 1958, which was well before the expulsion in 1972. In the 1960s I was regularly having lunch in an Indian Restaurant as it was the cheapest place around to eat. Chicken Tikka Masala was certainly around in the 1960s as I recall having it at an Indian Curry House in Walsall on numerous occasions when my then boyfriend took me out.

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