Happy Thanksgiving (sorry it’s not turkey)
Thanksgiving Day is on Thursday, November 26, this year.
And it’s massive in America.
I’d go so far as to say bigger than Christmas.
When I lived in NYC back in 2010, I was waiting for the ‘big-cheesy-American-in-your-face’ Xmas lead-up.
I was to be greatly disappointed.
It turns out it was my London Town that when I came back for a visit, was super-crazy, cheesy!
Lights flashing everywhere, it was hectic… but hilarious.
I guess I had to leave to notice how in-your-face Xmas is in London.
But Thanksgiving comes first in the calendar so American’s put a huge amount of effort and importance into this holiday.
And then Xmas is only a few weeks later.
So, there’s no time for over-the-top-October-Xmas-hammering, like here.
It’s (actually) nice.
Having said that, I did go to the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade, with the huge floats floating above the Manhattan streets.
That was amazing.
What’s it all about
It’s a day celebrating the harvest of the past year.
The original Pilgrims (English colonists of Plymouth) really went all out.
In November 1621, the settlers‘ first corn harvest proved so successful, they invited the Native American, Wampanoag people, to enjoy the fruits of their labour.
The Wampanoag tribe came with food to share and they had so much, the celebration lasted 3 days.
Thanksgiving fast facts
- The first Thanksgiving included 50 Pilgrims, 90 Wampanoag Indians, and lasted 3 days. BUT, only five women were there.
- Turkey wasn’t on the menu at the first Thanksgiving. It was things like venison, duck, goose, oysters, lobster, eel, and fish, alongside pumpkins and cranberries (and not pumpkin pie or cranberry sauce).
- The woman who wrote “Mary Had A Little Lamb”,– Sarah Josepha Hale – convinced Lincoln to make Thanksgiving a national holiday after writing letters for 17 years.
- Abraham Lincoln proclaimed Thanksgiving a national holiday on October 3, 1863.
- The 1st Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade didn’t have any of those huge balloons.
- There are four towns in the United States named “Turkey.” They can be found in Arizona, Texas, Louisiana, and North Carolina.
- The average number of calories consumed on Thanksgiving is 4,500.
- The tradition of football on Thanksgiving began in 1876 with a game between Yale and Princeton.
Thanksgiving traditionally revolves around family and food.
Things like turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie.
Although, the 1st Thanksgiving was a 3-day affair.
Today, it’s just one decadent day.
And millions of American’s will travel to be with their family for it.
So, food is important.
But I’m afraid with all this talk of Thanksgiving.
I’m going to disappoint you in this post as I’m not cooking anything along that vein.
We have turkey and cranberries sauce at Xmas.
My family would hate me for doing it early.
Instead, I wish all those Americans and Canadians a Happy Thanksgiving.
And for the rest of us, here’s a delicious rack of lamb as a Sunday treat.
What’s your favourite Thanksgiving meal or Sunday roast? Leave a comment...
How to cook rack of lamb
- rack of lamb depends how many you're cooking for but 2 ribs each is nice
- 2 tsp rosemary, finely chopped
- 2 tsp thyme, finely chopped
- sea salt and pepper to season
- In a bowl mix the finely chopped thyme, rosemary, pepper, sea salt with a few tablespoons of oil. Now, massage this mix into the lamb and let marinade for 30mins.(make sure your rack is at room temo before cooking)
- Pre-heat the oven to 190˚C/gas mark 5
- Place a large frying pan over high heat with a little oil
- Quickly sear the meat sides – 1 minute
- Now turn the heat down a little and place the rack in, fat-side down and cook until golden brown – usally around 10mins
- Transfer to a wire rack and place in the oven over a baking tray(Keep the fat and juices from the frying pan for your gravy)
- Rack of lamb cooks quickly (10 – 12mins) so keep an eye on it as you want it pink.Check after 8 minutes with a meat thermometer or by inserting a metal skewer close to the bone – it should be warm to the touch for pink meat. If it isn’t cooked, return to the oven for 2 minutes before checking again
- Remove from the oven, cover with foil and rest for at least 5 minutes