Hey, existing and future American expats in London – HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!

If you’re currently living here and are still stumped where to eat some traditional fixin’s tonight, consult my previous post on where to find Thanksgiving in London. And if you’re already suffering the withdrawal of having no dreaded Black Friday price-slashing stores to camp out at, see my post, “Descend into the Dark Depths of…BLACK FRIDAY!!!

Well, looks like my Thanksgiving is undergoing a slight change in plans. As of yesterday my husband, who never gets sick, got sick. Flu, to be exact. So we’re canceling our dinner arrangements with friends, and I just returned from store-hopping to buy up some last-minute staples for our own private feast this evening. Not that last year’s KFC bucket wasn’t deee-lish, but, you know…Anyway, I gave some advice on where to get traditional Thanksgiving meal elements at the above link, so had to follow a bit of it myself today, though not as efficiently as I could have if I’d just high-tailed to Whole Foods.

Instead, after a 3-store scavenger hunt the other day just to get 4 ingredients for my dish to pass (cranberry jello) for the dinner we’ll no longer be attending, today was another London grocery trifecta just to compile some turkey, stuffing, and mashed potatoes. I have since become aware of the fact that my odds of finding pheasant and other game in London are perhaps higher than they are turkey. At least not as far as a Jenny-O-type turkey breast for those of us not hosting the masses for the holiday. A jaunt to Waitrose yielded either the full-on bird or sliced turkey breast steaks. Take a wild guess which I went for…Then Stove-Top stuffing, of course, had to be acquired at the Partridges in South Kensington, where I also picked up some Kraft Mac-n-Cheese for my invalid spouse’s lunch and Bisquick and Aunt Jemima syrup for breakfast! You heard me—I had to go to a special import store to buy pancake mix and maple syrup. It’s better to break the dark truth to you now so you’re prepared for a London existence without these items on every grocer’s shelf. The third stop was Marks & Spencer for the potato mash—M&S is always clutch for the quality prepared foods, as today is just not one affording me loads of time to boil and mash potatoes myself, and, if you’re quite over your pancake panic already, I may as well also tell you that you won’t find boxes of instant mashed potatoes in London either.

So as for that cranberry jello that I’d already made…we’ll be eating that all week. And I’m not kidding, I had to go to Tesco, Marks & Spencer, and Somerfield to compile just the cranberry sauce, jello, pineapple, and walnuts that I needed for that easiest recipe on the planet. Walnuts are for whatever reason difficult to find in isolation here (I had bought mixed nuts as a back-up), and our beloved Jell-O brand that has since become we Yankees’ general term for what’s called “jelly” here (just like we’ve done with Kleenex and Xerox) is M.I.A. I did find some squishy jelly cubes that achieve the exact same purpose, but they’re not everywhere.

In summary:

# calories you’ll consume eating food you buy = # calories you’ll expend running around everywhere to buy it.

On that note, time to check in on the sick-o and see if he wants some jell-o. Once again, London Relocation wishes you a happy and gluttonous Thanksgiving!