An American Thanksgiving Abroad

For Americans, Thanksgiving holds a special place in our hearts, and in our fall calendars. A day off from work and school, filled with close family, delicious food, and a cozy environment, the perfect combination to lift your spirits until the official holiday season. But what happens when a tradition you have spent you whole life observing is suddenly absent from the calendar is something that American expats feel the weight of every time that fourth Thursday in November rolls around. While Thanksgiving Day may not be officially observed here in St Andrews as classes continue, there are still plenty of options for all of the Americans in town to celebrate.


Given that American Thanksgivings usually revolve around a grand meal eaten with family, one perfect way to celebrate here in St Andrews is a dinner party with friends. Although most Thanksgiving dinners take days in advance to prepare, there is an easy alternative to most Thanksgiving dishes, perfect for a student dinner party. By using the following dinner party menu as a guide, you can ensure that all of your favorite dishes make an appearance at your Thanksgiving across the pond, and that you have all the important elements of a Thanksgiving dinner covered. Ask every dinner party guest to bring one dish off the menu and you’ll have a fabulous, and easy, Thanksgiving dinner party in no time!


Thanksgiving Dinner Party Menu


Cranberry Martinis

Cranberries are a traditional Thanksgiving food. Make them into a martini (just Vodka, Triple Sec, cranberry juice, and orange zest, with fresh cranberries for garnish) for a festive, and delicious, holiday drink


Main Course:

Simple Roasted Chicken/ Turkey Breasts with herbs

While roast turkey is the traditional centerpiece to any Thanksgiving meal, cooking an entire turkey is a difficult task. Instead opt for chicken or turkey breasts as the main course to your meal to get the same effect as your usual Thanksgiving turkey, but with a far simpler cooking time 

Homemade Gravy

Gravy is a must when it comes to any Thanksgiving meal. Easy to prepare, it will make a great addition to your meal

Home - Thanksgiving Dinner

Side Dishes:

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Brussels Sprouts are wonderful winter vegetables. When roasted, they make a hearty side dish to your meal, and add a pop of green to your holiday table spread

Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes

No Thanksgiving meal is complete without a heaping pile of mashed potatoes on your plate. Adding buttermilk to your potatoes makes them just a little more delicious, to enhance them for the special occasion

Carrot & Cauliflower Purée

Its traditional to have an orange vegetable on your Thanksgiving table, and anything from butternut squash to carrots goes. Carrot & Cauliflower purée is vibrant in color and simply delicious in taste, the perfect vegetable side dish for fall

Bread Rolls

While not exactly an essential part of a Thanksgiving meal, bread rolls straight from the oven and covered with butter, make the most fabulous addition to your full Thanksgiving plate.


Pumpkin Pie

Certainly the most traditional Thanksgiving dessert, pumpkin pie will make a delicious ending to your holiday meal. Its festive color will make a beautiful addition to your table, and there is no dessert more appropriate for fall. Be sure to serve each slice with a dollop of homemade whipped cream! 

Dark Chocolate Brownies

Perhaps not a traditional Thanksgiving dessert, no table spread is complete without something chocolate to finish off a perfect meal!


Images courtesy of Allen, Satya MurthyDavid GoehringErnesto AndradeIan Freimuth.