Roast Chicken & Being Thankful for American Thanksgiving

Canadian Thanksgiving has come to pass, but with an American in our house we get to double our thanks with the US holiday as well.

A few years ago I was fortunate enough to celebrate my first American Thanksgiving in actual America. We travelled to Colorado to be with sweetheart’s family, encountering eager and happy holiday travellers along the way, busy grocery stores once there, and a sense of togetherness all around.  There was food to be cooked, errands to attend to, and lots to do to get ready for the family friends, kids, and grand kids who would be joining us the next day. We all came together to ready the house, prepare seasonal dishes, decide on some good bottles of wine, and passed around, in true family tradition, the Ball jar of cream that would eventually turn to butter with enough shakes. On Thanksgiving day, people arrived with bread, homemade pies, vegetable sides, and a special treat: fantastic coffee that the award-winning roaster of the family would later prepare to perfection at dessert time. Kids were in tow and extra crock-pots were on hand. It takes a village and we were building the day together.

Now don’t get me wrong: my family Thanksgiving is lovely. My sister hosted this year and she did an outstanding job. The food is always delicious (particularly this year, Dee), the company great, and the laughter abundant. It’s different, though. It’s smaller, for one: usually just immediate family. And the decision about whether to celebrate on Sunday or Monday is based on everybody’s schedules. Very pragmatic. And different. More Canadian. In the US there is no squeezing it in. On Thanksgiving day (a Thursday) everybody stops what they’re doing, stores shut down, and people sit down to eat together. If you peek down the road at about 4pm it seems that everybody in the country is sharing in this special moment at the same time. There we were, giving thanks for being with each other and for making time to be present with each other. Our only job that day was to enjoy Thanksgiving.  It was one of the most memorable and loving holidays I have ever experienced. Those Americans do it right sometimes!

So as American Thanksgiving approaches tomorrow, I too will be taking a moment to stop, be present, be with some of the people that I love, and be thankful for all that is in my life. Since it’s just the two of us we’ll cook a small, organic roast chicken, maybe not at 4pm since we have other (Canadian) responsibilites at that time (work/school). But at 4pm, in the spirit of those celebrating, we will be thinking of you. And when we clink our glasses and dig into this bird, we will be with you in spirit. Happy Thanksgiving!

We used this recipe for Jaime Oliver’s roast chicken and threw in a few more veggies.

If you’re not celebrating American Thanksgiving, this one-pan roast chicken meal is a perfect weekend dinner. It take very little time to prep, and only about an hour to cook. Plus, I have a great blog post coming up for what you can do with all the left-overs.



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