Hey there! Hope all my American readers had a great Thanksgiving! I had the best British-vegetarian-Thanksgiving a girl could ask for. I took a ton of pictures, but my camera has apparently eaten them. I'm sure they'll pop up randomly in a few weeks- they always do.
So...Wedneday was a trip to London with Rosie (flatmate) and James (new friend). We took a later train out so we paid half-price and crammed as much as we could into our 7 hours in London. We went to the Museum of Natural Science (Damn it camera! Those pictures were awesome!) and hung out there for a while. We did a quick run thru of Harrods ( I wanted to stay longer, but once Rosie had found her vibrating mascara, she wanted to go grab lunch) and we went to a map store looking for an Xmas present for my dad. I found a really cool map that was about a square foot, and it looked really old and was all black and white. Flipped it over, had a der Paige moment. The map was from 1442 and was over 800 pounds. Dad will not be getting that for Christmas. I may go to London before I head back for Christmas and look again at the map store- but Rosie and James were not so patient and wanted to go elsewhere. Then we had jam and custard doughnuts the size of our heads. There's a great picture of that to, but it's on demon-camera. Then we split up for a while- they went to Camden town and I went to Waterloo to see iKnit- where the Harlot stopped on her London stop. The place is pretty cool- has a fullout bar in it but I wasn't overly impressed with the yarn selection. It really didn't have all that much. But I still found a couple things I couldn't leave without (use your imagination- the pictures are gone) like 2 skeins of Louet Gems sock yarn in the Dusk colorway which has greens, blues and purples. I'm thinking a fan and feather-ish pattern may work best for that yarn. I also got some Kraemer Sterling "Silk and Silver" in a purple. I love it when some of my favorite things are combined for me like sock yarn, the color purple and sparkles. I couldn't let it go. I carried some Malabrigo sock around for a while but since it was the same colors as the Louet Gems and 3 pounds more, I put it down and bought the Louet and the Silk and Silver. Not too bad for me.
Met up with Rosie and James again and we then realized we had 20 minutes to get back to Liverpool station and onto our returning train before our tickets expired. So, we sprinted across Camden town station and crossed over onto the Jubilee line and then went on the Northern line for a minute...and made it. Whew. Sat down on the train to get back to Colchester and waited. And waited. And waited. Someone had jumped in front of a train and killed themselves and it shut down all the trains north of London for 4 hours. There were a ton of people bitching about how late they were going to be, and yeah, we were late, but when someone died you can shut your mouth and forget about how you're going to be late. It's just rude.
Got back quite late (but not too late to make pumpkin pie!) and so I did just that. While simultaneously reading Mansfield Park and drying my hair. Take that, Martha Stewart. So made the pie, got it ready to take to my American Women's History class (if you have to have class on Thanksgiving, then pumpkin pie better go with it) and got there and nobody wanted to try it. They were all stumped as to why anyone would want to eat a pumpkin. So then Sinead, the Irish teacher of American studied walked in, asked if that was pumpkin pie and asked if she could have a piece. Once she announced it was the best pumpkin pie she'd ever had, everyone else wanted some. Brits can be fickle sometimes. So, instead of having our lecture on women in Utopian societies, we ate pumpkin pie and had girl-talk. Sinead also let me know that she will be calling me Martha for the rest of the year.
Got back from lectures and started baking again. Started with carrot cake. Made the batter, threw it in the oven and left to go check my e-mail. 30 minutes in the whole flat smelled like carrot cake, which was wonderful, but 30 minutes was way too soon. Someone had gone and turned the oven from the "oven" setting to the "grill" setting and turned it up a hundred degree. My carrot cake was burnt to a crisp on top and still raw on the bottom. So, now an hour behind schedule, I started again. The rest of the cooking went without flaw and my friend Simona from Romania even came over at 5:30 to help with the cooking! Alex and Reece, two of the flatmates and declared that a meal without meat is no meal at all went and bought 2 chickens (Tesco was out of Turkey), just-bake-and-eat Yorkshire puddings (so anti-American but we needed a bread of some sort so it worked) and potatoes for roasting. Since only one of our ovens was working and the chickens took twice as long to cook as they were supposed to, we ended up eating at 8 instead of 7 and didn't get to have Sweet Potato Casserole until nearly the end of the meal since we stuck it in after the Chicken came out. Then we stuck in the Pecan Pie which wasn't ready until everyone had already eaten more than they thought they could and we were all miserably sitting around the table groaning. People were a little worried about the Sweet Potato casserole (are there supposed to be marshmallows on it? And you eat it with the main meal? Are you sure? Americans are weird...) but then my Polish-Hawaiian friend, Piotr came in and said "Is that sweet potato casserole?!" and told his just-Polish friend Magda that she had to try some, everyone wanted some. And I have to say so myself, it was a good casserole.
So: the numbers
People fed at Thanksgiving: 22
Hours spent cooking: 6
Pecan pies: 2
Carrot Cakes: 2 (only 1 was edible)
Pumpkin Pies: 2
Potatoes for roasting: 8 pounds (weight, not money)
Potatoes for mashing: 7 pounds
Yorkshire Puddings: 30
Green Beans: 2 pounds
Sweet Corn: 3 pounds
Cranberry sauce: 1 pound
Sweet potatoes for Casserole: 2 pounds plus bag of marshmallows
Standing ovation from flatmates while putting the last dish on the table: Priceless
Having the other people help with the washing up: Even better
All and all it was a good Thanksgiving. Luke, the one who had to have Thanksgiving in the first place, missed out on everything. Including pecan pie- for the second time. I'm a little angry with him for that, but Thanksgiving here isn't about what Luke wants. It's about what I feel like cooking.
So that's about it. Hopefully my pictures will come back one day and I can show you the awesomeness of the fully decked-out table before a single bite was taken.
I'm out- enjoy your black Friday!