Thanksgiving #2 in France

I know I’ve been in France six years, but this weekend was really only my second Thanksgiving. Most years I do nothing, including last year where I was at the hospital so the question was moot. I did get a lovely delivery of pecan and pumpkin breads from a visitor, so that almost counts. Otherwise, the only time I’ve celebrated Thanksgiving was two years ago, when I was pretty stressed from my job and didn’t even try to take care of things like stuffing and cranberry sauce.

This year my friend Maggie was completely up for a full-on Thanksgiving, and it did indeed end up being full on, since we had 21 people! The menu consisted of:

Two roast turkeys (~16 pounds of turkey in all) + gravy

Masses of mashed potatoes

Mashed sweet potatoes

Sauteed brussels sprouts

Traditional stuffing

Roasted red kuri squash

Cranberry relish

Green been casserole

Pumpkin pie with whipped cream

Pumpkin bread

Pecan pie

I was in charge of cooking the turkeys (ordered the Thursday before at the Poitiers market, costing only 63 euros total this time) and they turned out beautifully, phew. But I learned a few things this year: at least with a small turkey, there is really no need to tress. So I’ll spend no more time buying kitchen string for Thanksgiving. Also, basting and oven bags seem unnecessary with this size turkey as well, though this wasn’t tested on purpose-. I added foil over the turkeys for the last hour to keep them from drying out.

We celebrated on Sunday to accommodate everyone’s schedules. I bought an American pumpkin a few weeks ago and saved it for Thanksgiving, so Saturday afternoon I spent roasting pumpkin, peeling it, pureeing it, and making pumpkin bread out of it.



Pumpkin bread has long been my favorite part of Thanksgiving. I’ll hopefully get around to making more, because these two loaves only used a third of the pumpkin.

Here’s what things eventually looked like for our Thanksgiving dinner.




Plate #1

Plate #1

Plate #2

Plate #2 (after a few first bites)


2 thoughts on “Thanksgiving #2 in France

  1. Looks so so delicious! I’m still debating if I want to attempt a Thanksgiving meal this weekend. It’s been 2 years since I’ve since I’ve done one, so I’m really really craving the foods. Just have had no time yet to prepare. We’ll see if I find some motivation… There are fresh cranberries sitting in the fridge though! Not that I know what to do with them…

  2. It was delicious! Though next time I will not invite 21 people! It had been two years for me as well, but I think it really takes another committed, American or Canadian person to feel like you have the support you need. Hope you enjoy your dinner!

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