Six Americans couldn’t do without a Thanksgiving meal. One of us will be in London for the actual day, so we celebrated early. We normally have all the interns together for a meal on Wednesday nights. This seemed like a logical time for it. We then whittled down the guest list to about 30 people, planned our menu and divided the work. I took the lion’s share as most of the recipes came from my family cookbook.

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A few folks had allergies, so we had a whole section of foods dedicated to them. This presented a little bit of a challenge, but as we were making things from scratch anyway, it didn’t add much to our time.

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It was all hands on deck when everything was finally ready. It was sleeting as the turkey breasts and casseroles were carried from our flats to the HOP. Thankfully dessert was ready ahead of time, and we weren’t too late getting started.

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The sweetest thing about sharing Thanksgiving with our Sunderland family was realizing how few British understood the roots of our American holiday. Most seemed to believe it was a celebration of independence. They were surprised to learn about how the Native Americans succored the pitiful Pilgrims through the winter. Many of us natives of America here can trace our ancestry to various American Indian tribes. In a way, we enacted the reverse of the original holiday – now Americans finding home and refuge in a foreign land.

Recently the HOP has met a few challenges, and celebrating Thanksgiving when we did served as a precious reminder of loving one another through rough times. We need each other as no individual has the full picture. We are two cultures coming together to celebrate the goodness of God and thank Him for His bountiful blessings in bringing us together in this time and season.

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They raised their glasses to me as the head chef – and I dedicated it all back to my grandmother. Happy Thanksgiving to all my precious family. I love you, miss you, and look forward to when I’ll see you again.

Oh – and keep watching this blog as by popular request I’ll be posting a few recipes!

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