I've wanted to hold a vegan Thanksgiving in London since moving here eight years ago (okay- specifically a vegan one for 3.5 years now but I'm the only one counting). Along with finding friends to dance to Wham! to (check), having mates over for food with blended crackers in was my main goal for metropolis life. If people could come over and eat roast dinners with homemade scones (that's what we call biscuits in the UK I'm afraid) then I would have made it.
So I made a vegan Thanksgiving for The Debrief, and in the process also got to cook two huuuuge Thanksgiving dinners for pals I'm super happy to have met in London. One crew was the last-ones-standing of our Goldsmiths bunch from halls, the other was the Club Mexicana fam. I still cannot close my fridge properly due to all the leftovers, and don't want to look at another sweet potato for a while.
Recipes for the panko-crust seitan, sweet potato casserole and pumpkin pie are right here.
Clearly there's a lot more to the Thanksgiving tradition than a cut and dry story of a dinner party with the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag Nation. So even though this is one of the first years that it feels like the UK has begun to celebrate a modern reading of Thanksgiving, it doesn't feel right to gloss over what's far more likely to have happened during the harvest of 1621 at Plymouth Plantation. I found a really useful explanation here, along with a quotation from Chuck Larsen that I really like for explaining why I think it is okay to celebrate this sentiment, just not the history behind it:
"The THEME of Thanksgiving has truth and integrity far above and beyond what we and our forebearers have made of it. Thanksgiving is a bigger concept than just the story of the founding of the Plymouth Plantation."
So read up, eat, drink, be thankful, and be sure to give your friends plenty of leftovers while citing as many FRIENDS-Thanksgiving quotes as you can.