Monday, October 8, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving, Eh?

Summer on Vancouver Island got off to a late start this year (I complained here about still lighting wood fires at the end of June). But it's lingered well past the time we've come to expect.

Usually, the Labor Day weekend signals the last of true summer, and, as soon as school starts, someone upstairs flips a switch and we are into autumn.

Not this year. We've had a few false alarms and the days are noticeably shorter, but right now we are still blessed with warm sunshine. Yesterday, a first for us, we took our Thanksgiving turkey out on the deck, sheltering under parasols from the afternoon sun.

Of course, we don't have family over here so our Thanksgiving is a very small affair. Many people I know are catering for full households. Folks here don't bat an eyelid at the prospect of cooking for 40 or more.

It has become something of a family tradition for us to take celebration meals, like Christmas and Thanksgiving, as well as summer barbecues with friends, at a slow pace spread through the day. Appetizers (just to tickle the tastebuds and stave off the temptation to snack) at 1pm, then a leisurely time to prepare vegetables and carve the turkey before serving up at 3pm, with dessert following several hours later. This lazy, spread-out approach makes for a stress-free day.

So, to all those north of the border, I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving. What are you all doing to celebrate?


  1. In my neck of the woods I served up "chicken" yesterday for my small gathering of three! If I made turkey I'd be eating leftovers until Christmas, even with the doggie bag I would have sent home with my daughter.

    Like you, family is a scarcity (family scattered all over Europe) so I keep it small. Oh, I could start inviting the "friends" but truth be told, this holiday was not one I grew up with so I do my "big, no holds barred event" just before Christmas.

    I host a tree-decorating party, each guest brings an ornament for the tree (this has been an awesome way to acquire some really exquisite and interesting ornaments) and they need to bring their enthusiasm...I'll share more in a post as this has given me an idea for one.

    I enjoyed reading your post and getting a feel for how you, and your family, spent this holiday.

    Cheers and Happy Thanksgiving, Jenny

  2. Sounds like a great of family relaxation. Please enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday :-)

  3. Happy Thanksgiving.

  4. Sounds yum to me! The food, I mean. The slow pace strategy is aces in my book, though, too. Happy Thanksgiving to the Bald Patch! :)

  5. Hey Ian,
    You know, folks in England give me a puzzled look when I tell them that it's Thanksgiving Day. They tell me it isn't until November. Of course, eh, I mention about the one in Canada.
    We have a bit of a traditional meal over here. Got a strange look when I bought a turkey. Then again, I get strange looks anyway :)
    Have a peaceful, positive Canadian Thanksgiving, eh!

  6. Jenny, we didn't grow up with Thanksgiving either, but as new Canadians we are happy to embrace the tradition. Your tree-decorating party sounds fun. I'm looking forward to hearing about it in a future post.

    Angela, it was a lovely and peaceful day indeed.

    Delores, hope you had an enjoyable Thanksgiving too.

    David, the slow pace makes a big difference. Not sure how that would work with a house full, but it works well enough for us :)

    Gary, I'm glad you keep the celebration alive over there and that you are able to educate some Brits that there is more to North American culture than just the US variety :)

  7. Happy Thanksgiving. I'm the same with our American Thanksgiving; spread the food and company slowly over the entire day.


  8. Happy Thanksgiving. No celebrations now until Christmas in the UK. Personally, I am usually exhausted by then, so a lazy day with the family is perfect.

  9. Happy belated Thanksgiving, Ian. Oh my, I wish we could spread it over the whole day. But, the children have the other side to go see after finishing their meals here. We always get lunch--which usually means a relaxing evening for me. :-) I have earned them ;-)

  10. Donna, that's definitely the way to do it, if time and family permits :)

    Ellie, the UK is rather poorly provided for in terms of holidays. I can't speak for the US, but here in BC we get a holiday each month from July onwards. Very civilized :)

    Teresa, I remember Christmas always being like that - having to share time between different sides of the family. Now we are on different sides of the world we miss them, but we do get to set our own rules.

  11. Yep, spread out is the way to go for these meals. Never experienced Thanksgiving, but stress and indigestion are things that need to be minimised at Christmas!

  12. Happy late Thanksgiving! I always loved Thanksgiving the best when I was growing up, but I think that's because my parents let me gorge my pudgy little self on just the mashed potatoes, which were my favorite. Not so much now as I've gotten older and a bit more pudgier :)

    My Thanksgiving is right around the corner. I'll see how I do this year.

  13. I hope you had a loverly Thanksgiving. For many years, I prepared a huge bazillion-course (a very slight exaggeration) Thanksgiving meal for family and friends, but now that our kids are grown and have their own families, our traditions are changing. Two years ago, one of our sons did all the cooking at his house, and last year was our daughter's turn. Dunno what's happening this year yet, but now that I've adjusted to the idea, I LOVE that the kids have taken over.

  14. Hope you had a great Thanksgiving, Ian! Mine was pretty good, though I did spend half of it in the US. I celebrated well, though it's not like I ever need an excuse to eat turkey!

  15. Nick, I don't know how American v. Canadian Thanksgivings compare, but around here it is a big affair. We never knew about it either until we moved here. We've been fortunate to be invited into friends' homes on a couple of occasions to experience it properly.

    Erin, nothing wrong with mashed potatoes. We add butter, eggs, and cream to ours so maybe they are not quite as healthy as some :)

    Susan, we'll have to get our kids trained like that so they can treat us one day. It's a family tradition, we kinda took over a lot of the Christmas dinners from our parents years ago, before we moved.

    Helloooo Jennifer! Great to see you back from your amazing international tour :) Hey, if you need an excuse to eat turkey, there's always the US Thanksgiving coming up, surely you can find someone to visit.

  16. I was thinking about y'all up there in Canada on Monday with the warm weekend. That would be totally weird for Thanksgiving. Looks like fall has finally found us. We even had some drizzle this morning. Time to bust out the rain pants and Poe.

  17. It was a bit weird, Shell. Also the warmth has now left us too. Suddenly it's time to light the wood stove.

  18. Happy Thanksgiving! It sounds absolutely perfect and lovely. A nice very relaxed and beautiful day. I love days like that. Hope all is well with you!

  19. Hi Ian .. glad to read about Vancouver Island .. Jenny my mother's cousin has been over from the Duncan area .. to be with us for that last tribute to my mother - so I often think of friends in Canada ...

    We had Mother's Day on 31st March one year .. and took the roast outside .. it was 30 degC - oddly enough with Jenny's son and his family who were over from Duncan ...

    Christmas in South Africa was always a challenge!

    Glad you had a happy time .. and I love the idea of spreading my meals out - cheers Hilary

  20. Hello Heather! It was a wonderful day. The sort we like to do actually in the summer months but kinda missed it this year :)

    Hilary, I'm always amazed how many people have connections with the Island. I found that with my previous island home (Guernsey) and I'm finding it again with VI. Hmmm...Christmas in the southern hemisphere would feel strange indeed to us northerners.

  21. Happy Thanksgiving. I hope you had a wonderful day. Thanksgiving here in Chicago involves going to mom's place. There's about 10 of us and we kick back, relax and laugh a lot.

  22. Happy Thanksgiving (a few days late)! I like the idea that Thanksgiving there is further away from Christmas but I can't imagine it being any different.

  23. No matter the size of your celebration, it sounds like a lovely way to spend a day

  24. Melissa, relaxing and laughing sounds good, no matter where you are.

    Danette, I hadn't thought about the proximity to Christmas, but yes I'm glad we have ours earlier.

    Mynx, it was indeed! It was only a week ago but it feels longer. From bright sunshine then, I am looking out at rain that has poured down on us since Friday :(

  25. Happy Thanksgiving! Sounds like you had a wonderful, relaxing holiday. I can't wait to fix our turkey next month. Yum!


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